MANAGING THROUGH A CRISIS
It has been four months since the first case of covid19 was announced in the United States, and we are nine weeks into a quarantine that has left many of us suffering from sadness, isolation, interruption of work, education, and social interactions. We support family, friends and strangers as we can. We hope for a cure. What is also important is that we use this period for introspection, evaluation, growth and invention. I have spent the past few weeks here in Maine thinking this through, personally of course, but also in the context of the World Ocean Observatory. The essential question is: how does an organization dedicated to such a large prospect as the ocean manage in this time of crisis? In the last two months the W2O has sought to respond in two ways:
First, to be useful. We have assembled from our vast catalog of educational materials a collection of distance learning resources to help educators connect with their students via virtual classroom and for parents managing an educational structure at home. Our aim is to support the continuation of ocean literacy learning as we navigate a new and challenging virtual medium, and to apply our extraordinary resources for the benefit of teaching and learning for every student we can reach.
Second, to be relevant. We have launched a revised platform for World Ocean Forum, devoted to the idea of Solutions within Reach. You will have read about this initiative in last month's newsletter, and we talk more about it below. We have solicited contributions by ocean experts and innovators of novel ideas and new structures and technologies to address who, what, and how we want to be on the other side of this crisis. These provocative contributions will be posted on WorldOceanForum.org, promoted to our vast global audience on social media, and shared by our network of listservs, interest groups, educators, and ocean decision-makers worldwide. Editions of World Ocean Radio will further promote individual ideas, and the forthcoming 2020 volume of World Ocean Journal will amplify these further in a downloadable digital print format. Our intent here is to amplify the power of science and imagination through a global exchange of alternative approaches and viable solutions for the future of the world ocean.
The rest of our work will continue, and I hope for some additional positive program announcements in the coming months. Ocean systems have never been more challenged than today, and the ocean has never been more essential as we plan for change. The W2O is structured efficiently, economically, and effectively for these disruptive circumstances; there is every reason for our work to continue as a positive, optimistic, and substantive contributor to transformational change.
Hold fast. Lean Forward. Be safe and well.
With thanks and best wishes,
SOLUTIONS WITHIN REACH
Last month we announced Solutions Within Reach as the new focus for the World Ocean Forum. Curated by Dr. Tundi Agardy, we are engaging with our network of thinkers, scientists, decision-makers, activists and global citizens as a means to enable a conversation about new ideas as an alternative to those that are proving ineffectual and unsustainable in the face of this pandemic. We are asking for thoughts on the following:
Who, what and how do we want to be
on the other side of this crisis?
Submissions are currently being accepted and we are curating responses on our platform. To contribute your thoughts on Solutions Within Reach, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.