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Research and innovation
News article17 September 2019Galway

Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors inspired to spark change at Summer School

Image of delegates outdoors

It takes our community to save the ocean

Twenty-three Youth Ambassadors from fifteen countries connected to the Atlantic Ocean participated in the first All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors Summer School in Galway, Ireland, from 23 to 27 August 2019.

The Summer School, developed under the framework of the European Union – Canada – United States Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, and the European Union – Brazil – South Africa Belém Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation, which foster structured international cooperation on marine research under the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

Learning from experts

The Summer Schoolprovided the Youth Ambassadors with the opportunity to engage with political, social, economic and scientific leaders to develop their skills to become actors for change in 2019 and beyond.

The Youth Ambassadors learned from experts on how to develop communication and advocacy campaigns on ocean issues, reach out and engage local communities, and experience the challenges of those living by the ocean. The Summer School also introduced the power of science diplomacy and the work of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

Over the course of four days, the Summer School equip the All-Atlantic Youth Ambassadors with training and skills to become ocean leaders and marine champions.

The School taught how effectively communicate to citizens and the broad public the importance of ocean for the well-being and future prosperity of our communities, and inspired them to work together to create awareness and mobilise action for a protected, nurtured and sustainably harnessed Atlantic Ocean.

The Youth Ambassadors created campaigns central to The Ocean as a Living Museum; Getting to Know the Atlantic; and Becoming Atlantic Friendly. These campaigns were presented to an independent panel who gave constructive feedback and advice on how to bring them forward in their own communities.

Young innovator and science diplomacy

The Summer School included presentations, among many others, from young innovators such as Fionn Ferreira, winner of the Google Science Fair 2018-2019, who developed a method for extracting microplastics from water.

Former European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn shared her experience and wisdom on how science diplomacy influences policy. The School also included contributions from the National University of Ireland Galway, Global Ireland Initiative, The Irish Coast Guard and Saildrone, to name a few.

Following on from the Summer School, the Youth Ambassadors will be continuously coached by partners from the Horizon 2020 funded projects AORA-CSA and AANChOR which support the Galway and Belém Statements respectively, to ensure their full embeddedness in the activities of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. The projects will also continue to develop their campaigns and actions to address the sustainability challenges faced by their own communities and the Atlantic Ocean.

Next stop: the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum 2020

The Youth Ambassadors will pitch their campaigns and achievements at the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum, taking place from 5 – 7 February 2020 in Brussels. During the Forum, the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors Forum will be launched, which is an example of how the EU works together with its trans-Atlantic partners to empower the next generation of leaders for sustainable development along and across the Atlantic Ocean.

The first All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors Summer School was developed by the Healthy Oceans and Seas Unit, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, in close cooperation with the Horizon 2020 funded AORAC-SA and AANChOR projects, together with the assistance of the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Details

Publication date
17 September 2019
Location
Galway