Immersive Experience at the Ocean Voices Retreat: Connecting, Collaborating, and Inspiring Change

During the week of May 15th 2023, The Nippon Foundation-University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Programme welcomed its international network to an exceptionally sunny Edinburgh, to foster connections, share knowledge and reflect on the programme’s journey throughout the past year.

Ocean Voices Team
Ocean Voices Fellows and programme office

Between May 13th and May 20th, Ocean Voices invited its international team to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland for its first, in-person retreat. From shared knowledge to personal growth, the retreat provided a platform for the Fellows to strengthen relationships, engage in collaborative research, and reflect on their journey towards a sustainable ocean future.  Throughout the retreat, Ocean Voices’ co-creative nature was at the core of its activities, reflections and future planning. The retreat began with a strong emphasis on building connections. Fellows from different corners of the world came together, sharing their unique perspectives and expertise. Through workshops, discussions, and informal gatherings, deep bonds were forged, creating a supportive network that will continue to thrive beyond the retreat. On Monday 15th May, Ocean Voices hosted Voices in Ocean Governance, an event that focused on the role of different disciplinary perspectives in addressing complex ocean challenges. The event was split into a seminar and a workshop. The Seminar featured presentations from the Fellows about their research and work and was immediately followed by an Early Career Ocean Exchange (ECOE) workshop, where local ocean leaders shared their journey to finding their voice and using it.  

Central to the retreat's agenda was the sharing of knowledge and the identification of new research collaborations. Engaging seminars and workshops facilitated dynamic exchanges, with participants delving into a wide range of topics, from discussions about the value of academic qualifications with academics to potential collaborations between Fellows and established partners of Ocean Voices.  

The retreat offered a unique space for Fellows to reflect on their personal and professional growth. Through individual writing sessions, roundtable discussions, and one-on-one mentoring, participants were encouraged to identify their goals and aspirations within and beyond their Fellowship programme. 

The Ocean Voices Retreat in Edinburgh was an unforgettable experience filled with camaraderie, growth, and a shared commitment to protect the ocean. From strengthening relationships to igniting new research collaborations, this gathering served as a reminder of the power of collective action, while taking full advantage of the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh. The Ocean Voices community continues to grow stronger, driven by the passion and dedication of these remarkable individuals who are voices of change for our precious ocean and the wellbeing of its custodians. 

Voices in Ocean Governance panel
Voices in Ocean Governance event panel
Voices in Ocean Governance panel
Voices in Ocean Governance event panel
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