As Peace Boat’s 102nd Global Voyage docked in New York City, the first Blue Innovation Summit Reception was held onboard Peace Boat on the evening of October 10, 2019. This special event highlighted the importance of blue innovation and partnerships for transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies as we work towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Featuring speeches from various partners, live music and performances, the event brought together approximately three hundred representatives from the diplomatic community, the United Nations, foundations and private sectors, with a particular focus on blue ocean industry technology and practices.

The event was held following the inaugural SeaAhead Global Bluetech Summit in New York during the day, where hundreds of high-level stakeholders gathered to talk about the intersection of ocean innovation and finance. This year’s theme, Next Generation Bluetech, organized the event around forward-looking strategies and new paradigms of innovation where technology meets the ocean. Peace Boat Founder and Director Yoshioka Tatsuya introduced the Ecoship to attendees, taking the stage along with top executives from some of the largest and most important organizations in the sector to discuss a wide range of urgent topics including the decarbonization of shipping, smart ports and urban waterfronts, advances in aquaculture, enabling technology for offshore wind, maritime cyber-security, solutions to the problem of ocean plastics, and ocean-centric approaches to combating climate change.

Following the Summit, attendees boarded Peace Boat for several hours of partnership building and discussions, including speeches by co-organizers Mark Huang of SeaAhead and Ted Janulis of The Explorers Club, as well as Mark Schrope of Schmidt Marine Technology Partners. United Nations partners were also represented by a presentation by Francois Bailet and Jessica Howley of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea within the UN Office of Legal Affairs. Joining them on the stage was Benjamin Banafo, a 2019 Fellow with the United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Thematic Fellowship, who shared a passionate appeal with all present.

Following these speeches, music was presented by violinist Alexey Etchevery and DJ Alice Iguchi, providing the ideal backdrop for exchange, networking and building new friendships and partnerships towards working together for a sustainable future for our oceans and our world.

Peace Boat will next be back in New York City in June 2020, around the World Oceans Day, and we look forward to continuing to develop partnerships and collaboration with stakeholders from various spheres towards the common goal of saving our oceans.

Photos by @OneUpCreations and Trevor Campbell.