Stephanie Wear is a marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy’s Global Marine Team. She is currently working to improve tools that build resilience in coral reef communities so that coral reefs survive the impacts of a changing climate.

Get instant access to her impressions of the Summit at Sea by following @stephwear on Twitter.

How many young entrepreneurs does it take to save the oceans?

Answer: All of them. Well actually, I am hoping the lucky number is 1000.  This weekend I am heading to a meeting of the minds as part of the Summit Series that started back in 2007, called Summit at Sea.

This year’s big event includes 1000 young ‘change makers’ doing everything from building iPhone apps to producing films to running charities for cancer. This year’s theme is focused on protecting the ocean, which is why I am going.

The organizers had a brilliant idea to get the creative juices flowing prior to the event by creating a competition – Shark Tag, You’re It – to solicit potential solutions for the biggest problems oceans face. The ideas are as diverse as the people that came up with them – and there are so many that I would love to see put in action. The prize? The ultimate marine biologist wannabe opportunity – to go shark tagging at the event!

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to get out of this incredible opportunity to be a part of Summit at Sea. I am definitely on the hunt for some new, fresh ideas on how to better connect coral reef managers to each other and am always thinking of more effective ways to communicate about the issues and challenges affecting ocean health.

I realized that this is a great chance for me to share my perspective and passion with entrepreneurs that have the potential to make a positive impact on the oceans.

One of the themes of this collective group is altruism, and from what I can see so far, there is a big emphasis on solving social problems related to poverty alleviation, injustice, and basic human needs. What more of a human need is there than clean water, clean air, and a secure food supply? These most basic human needs rely on us being good stewards for the environment.

I expect I’ll learn that many of these social entrepreneurs are making connections to the environment and understand how human well-being is intertwined with environmental conditions.  For those that aren’t, that will be my focus – to shine light on how important it is to think of both as we continue to work to make this world, our planet, a better place.

(Image: Nature Conservancy marine scientist Ancilleno “Leno” Davis, M.Sc., gets a close look at a Caribbean Reef Shark in Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, Bahamas. Image credit: © Jeff Yonover)

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  1. Don’t get eaten!

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