Collaboration Critical Pathways & Sustainable Ocean - recap Break out session

At the Pathways Conference on 4 April, the Critical Pathways and Sustainable Ocean communities jointly organized a session on the topic of ‘Whose Ocean’. Within the session, the focus was on the transition to a sustainable future for the ocean and in particular on whose voices should count when "we" shape the future of “our” ocean.

The attendees discussed what the ocean means to them, which voices have not been heard so far and how they could be better included.  Alex Oude Elferink (bringing a law perspective), Mikki Stelder (bringing a critical humanities perspective), and Stef Veldhuis (bringing an artistic perspective) shared their views on the question: ‘whose ocean is it’. In addition, Barnita Bagchi presented radical ocean futures – narrative scenarios that were developed by making use of science fiction prototyping and showing how the dominance of distinct voices could lead to drastically different positive or negative transitions. The session was moderated by Francesca Sangiorgi and Kei Otsuki.

Our conclusion? There are still many barriers to break to overcome ego-, terra- and anthropocentrism and reach a sustainable and just transition. Increasing ocean literacy and improving trans-disciplinary communication are important first steps. We obtained a lot of food for thought for our ongoing Whose Ocean Incubator project, as well as for potential future collaborations between Critical Pathways and Sustainable Ocean.