Application Deadline:  February 5th 2021.

The Ocean Changemakers Challenge aims to showcase innovators working to develop business solutions to ocean-related sustainability challenges. It is aimed at early-career researchers or professionals. 

Building on the success of the Women and the ocean: Changemakers challenge, The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative has launched the Ocean Changemakers Challenge, a competition open to men and women that aims to showcase leading changemakers working to develop business solutions to ocean-related sustainability challenges. It is aimed at early-career researchers or professionals.

Three finalists will be invited to present their business idea and vision for a blue economy during a special ocean changemakers session at the World Ocean Summit Virtual Week in March 2021. By “blue economy” we mean a sustainable ocean economy that harnesses marine ocean resources for long-term economic development and social prosperity while protecting the environment in perpetuity. 

To help bring the changemakers’ ideas to life, they will receive guidance from renowned ocean leaders as part of a 12-month mentorship programme that will begin shortly before the summit. 

Mentors include:

– Angelique Braithwaite, co-founder and director, wider Caribbean, Blue Finance

– Kendra MacDonald, chief executive officer, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Entrant profile

  • Researchers, early-career professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators with solutions to tackle some of the ocean’s greatest challenges, including for example marine pollution, overfishing and overexploitation of marine resources, unsustainable aquaculture, marine engineering and oil drilling, and destruction of ocean habitats.
  • Individuals who have been recognised by local communities but not yet by the international ocean community.
  • Individuals who are driving change locally and have innovative solutions we could learn from to scale ocean solutions rapidly.

How to enter

To enter the Ocean Changemakers challenge, applicants need to submit a short video of no longer than 1 minute in which they address the following question:

“How are you contributing to the sustainable development of the ocean economy? How would you benefit from an ocean leader as a mentor?”

The video should highlight how your work or academic study is creating innovative, viable, scalable and action-oriented business solutions to sustainable blue-economy challenges.

The video should be sent as an unlisted video link on YouTube or Vimeo, or uploaded in a common video format, such as AVCHD, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, WEBM or WMV.


Selection criteria

A panel of judges from the World Ocean Initiative will review the videos and select a shortlist of 12 entrants. The videos of the shortlisted applicants will be posted on the World Ocean Initiative website and social media channels (#OceanChangemakers). Applicants will be judged according to how well their ideas meet the following criteria:

Impact on blue economy: clear link with sustainable development of the ocean

Innovative: original idea—or clear improvement on existing idea—focused on progress

Viable: should be feasible in the medium to long-term

Scalable: can be scaled up and applied in different contexts

Investable: offers opportunities for growth

Winning entries

The judges will select three winning applicants, each of whom will receive:

  • An opportunity to present the innovation to the World Ocean Summit Virtual Week audience during a dedicated session
  • Mentoring from a high-profile ocean mentor, who will work with them over a 12-month period to help refine their ideas and shape their leadership skills.

Next steps

Entries will close on February 5th 2021.

Please read the terms and conditions.


If you have any questions about the challenge please check the FAQs below. If you cannot find an answer to your query, email [email protected].

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the World Ocean Initiative (WOI) Ocean Changemakers Challenge 2021

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