Diving Deeper Into Our Mission
Updated: Aug 27, 2020
As we prepare to debut our initiatives for this fall, I thought it would be beneficial to have an opportunity for prospective members of our community to get to know us at our core. Our mission may seem broad and encompassing, but there is a deep passion and vision underlying the variety of ocean innovation applications that we look to help grow.
The oceans are a frontier in crisis, facing threats including warming, acidification, overfishing, plasticization, pollution, and lack of regulation and enforcement. Meanwhile, public funding for ocean research has dwindled globally as the resources to explore and understand the oceans have primarily been siloed to the fossil fuel and defense industries. The few initiatives that have made significant accomplishments in the ocean science and exploration space in recent years have mainly been millionaire and billionaire philanthropic efforts. Overall, we have the collective talent to explore, understand, and save our oceans, yet the world’s priorities for the oceans have largely been dedicated to profit and militarization.
Additionally, current sustainability initiatives to improve the global interaction with the oceans are not enough. Plastic pollution is on pace to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, if not sooner. Meanwhile, approximately 90% of global marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted. Not even 10% of the oceans are protected, and enforcement of those protections are noticeably lacking. Sustainability involves continuing the practices that deplete natural resources and mitigate the negative impacts of our wasteful practices that have gotten us to this point, albeit at less detrimental rates that minimize the impacts to the environment. However, sustaining an ocean with only around 10% of fish stocks available, continued plastic accumulation (despite recycling efforts), and minimal protections and enforcement, among a myriad of other issues, is not a sustainable development goal, it’s a cop out. The oceans don’t just deserve better, they have to have better if we’re going to build back bluer.
The new blue economy must be restorative, not just sustainable. A restorative blue economy means investing in radical innovations and alternatives to current practices that avert depletion and do not require mitigation whatsoever. It means turning to aquaculture and plant-based seafood alternatives instead of continuing archaic, destructive and bycatch-producing fishing practices like bottom trawling. Additionally, a restorative economy focuses on the development of biodegradable plastic alternatives instead of creating and recycling plastics. Beyond that, it offers opportunities for disruptive technologies to hold polluters and illegal fishermen accountable, novel vehicles to understand and explore our oceans, and new bridges to connect society and the oceans. Underlying this change beyond strategic priorities is a systemic change; where we develop the investment to back it up as well, even if it is not taxpayer funded.
The systemic failures to catalyze solutions for the oceans' greatest problems inspired me to create Seaworthy Collective, the first startup community and incubator focused on the ocean impact vertical in South Florida. Our mission is to build and empower a community of current and aspiring ocean innovators and entrepreneurs to grow their own ocean impacting startups. Headquartered in the blue economy epicenter of Miami, Florida, Seaworthy strives to be a globally recognized hub for startups and aspiring startups with products or services that positively impact the oceans. We are democratizing and advancing opportunities for ocean innovation in varying applications of science, technology, environmental conservation, marine policy, social impact, and beyond. Seaworthy leverages a global network of innovators, experts, and leaders, as well as South Florida’s strong concentration of maritime business and research, through expert panel discussions, business ideation workshops, pitch competitions and more.
As Seaworthy Collective’s Founder, I have spent over a year conceptualizing, idea validating, business planning, getting mentors and strategic collaborators on board, and finally preparing to launch this fall. Communicating my vision and passion for solving the systemic failures obstructing the necessary innovations to save our oceans has been the crux of my entrepreneurial journey thus far. I truly believe that empowering the ocean science, conservation, and exploration community with the skills, knowledge, and resources for innovation and entrepreneurship through Seaworthy Collective will create a catalyst for a restorative blue economy.
I hope some part of this deeper dive resonates with you, whether you are in the ocean science, exploration, and conservation sphere, or are a current or aspiring innovator or entrepreneur (or both). Please feel free to reach out to me directly and let me know how you align with our mission, and don't forget to submit the form on our home page if you're interested in getting involved with us as well!
I look forward to an exciting few months ahead as we start building our community of Sea Change Makers and seeing what we can innovate for our oceans together.
Seaworthy Collective Founder & CEO