Many conversations about sustainability and climate-change focus on activities on land – the green part of our planet. This misses a vital part of the puzzle, the role that our oceans play.

The blue economy is estimated to be worth over US$1.5 trillion per year globally, providing over 30 million jobs and supplying protein to over three billion people. With new large-scale industrial activities, such as offshore renewable energy as well as the growing interest in ocean mining and marine biotechnology, the oceans have moved to the top of political and economic agendas. This event will bring together leading voices in the field for a discussion on the risks to the health of our oceans and the opportunities in the transition to a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient blue economy. The speakers will provide firsthand insights into key negotiations, such as the UN High Seas Treaty; United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or the Biodiversity Conference COP15; scientific work in the ocean; the role of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in bringing hundreds of nations to one table; as well as the challenges, priorities, and opportunities to make the oceans and the blue economy an effective part of a sustainable future.

Keynote speakers

Ishbel Matheson is Chief Communications Officer at the Marine Stewardship Council. Ishbel began her career with the BBC, spending an extended period as an Africa correspondent. She subsequently worked as Communications Director for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including Save the Children and the Overseas Development Institute.  More recently, Ishbel worked for a FinTech company called WorldRemit, an online money transfer service that provides international remittance services to migrant communities around the world.

Dr. Joanna Post is Head of the Ocean Observations and Services Section at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and is working to sustain and strengthen the Global Ocean Observing System to deliver operational services for climate, forecasting and ocean health.  Before IOC, she was with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat for over a decade supporting intergovernmental negotiations and leading engagement on climate change science and ocean-based action. She began her career as a science writer and communications manager and holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.

Chair: Elizabeth Robinson (@EJZRobinson66) is the Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.


Dr John Siddorn is the Chief Scientist and Director of Data, Science & Technology at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) . Since joining NOC in 2020, John has championed the embedding of digital approaches to furthering science. Prior to joining NOC, John held positions at the Met Office where he was Head of the Ocean Forecasting R&D Department group and co-chair of the National Partnership for Ocean Prediction. His personal research was on developing ocean models with a focus on interactions between the ocean and atmosphere, and understanding how those interactions underpin predictability for climate and for high impact events.

Siva Thambisetty (@SivaThambisetty) is Associate Professor of Law at LSE Law School. She holds degrees from the National Law School of India and the University of Oxford and has been a principal investigator on a EU Horizon 2020 grant to study the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol as part of the INMARE project on Marine Biodiversity. She acted as an expert to the Chair of the G77 and China Group of 134 developing countries at the UN for a new Treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Moderator: Darian McBain (@DarianMcBain) is Visiting Professor in Practice with the London School of Economics and Political Science (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment), Senior Associate with the University of Oxford, Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance, and adjunct Senior Lecturer with Integrated Sustainability Analysis at the University of Sydney. Darian is the CEO and Founder of Outsourced Chief Sustainability Officer Asia (OCSO Asia).

How to attend

This public event is free and open to all. This event will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and an online audience. 

For the in-person event: No ticket or pre-registration is required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Register in advance here if you would like to join the event online

For any queries email

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBlueEconomy

This public lecture is endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development as a Decade Activity. 

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