In honor of World’s Ocean Day, the Online Ocean Symposium will be hosting a series of three special meetings through Google’s Hangout conferencing. Much in the way that some of the less environmentally concerned (our outright hazardous) corporations have been using advanced technologies like conference calling and video calling to hold closed meetings that advanced their agendas and lines their pockets at the expense of the oceans, we can now freely and easily use the same type of communications tools to combat the damage that has been done and bring awareness to our beautiful oceans.
It seems surprising to think that today, with the prevalence of social media crossing over into all aspects of life, through media, technology, and even helping to spur on revolution, then not enough has been said about the values that these platforms provide, and inherent opportunities within them for even greater social, political, and environmental change. We here at the Online Ocean Symposium are quite the early adopters, but still even find ourselves in awe of the power of these tools.
With the Worlds Ocean Day coming soon, on June 8th, we truly have a wonderful opportunity to use these tools and not only help to advance the cause, but strengthen an already growing community of activists across the globe who know are truly empowered in an international coalition of dreamers and earth shakers to accelerate the changes.
In combination with the Google Hangout, we will be running live feeds on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook enabling us to educate, engage, and interact with supporters everywhere. Participants in the Hangout include organizations as far geographically from each other as Jenifer Austin Foulkes, the program manager of the Google Ocean’s Program, in Mountain View, California; Richard Vevers from Catlin Seaview Survey and Underwater Earth in Australia; Mission Blue Board Member Sharon Kwok straight from Hong Kong, and of course, our very own Andrew Kornblatt will be moderating. Each of these organizations is taking a very different tact, yet they are all attempting to achieve the same goal, and by working together, we can all do so much more. These are just some examples of the people who will be participating, yet it clearly displays the truly global interconnectedness that we now possess, and the power of unity that comes from that.
In the days before social media, it took 16 years for this day to be recognized by the United Nations after its initial proposal by the Canadian delegation at the RIO Earth Summit of 1992. In the short 5 years since it’s official recognition, it has been able to garner incredible support from organizations and activists across the world, and by working together with all of the tools at our disposal, we are presented with the opportunity to create a change that won’t merely benefit our grandchildren or our children, but that we can proudly see the initial results of within our lifetimes. We now have the ability to gather people who all over the globe who sympathize with this cause, and turn them not merely into supporters, but active participants, and create a chorus of voices that cannot be ignored.