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 talk at first hand about key negotiations, such as the UN High Seas Treaty 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.

Meet our speakers and chair

Vladimir Ryabinin is the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. He is an oceanographer, climatologist, and marine engineer, and is the holder of a senior doctorate in Physical and Mathematical Sciences. From November 2001 until 2015, Dr Ryabinin was a senior scientific officer in the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and a staff member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Emily Shuckburgh (@emilyshuckburgh) is Director of Cambridge Zero, University of Cambridge’s major climate change initiative and Professor of Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology. She worked for more than a decade at the British Antarctic Survey where her work included leading a UK national research programme on the Southern Ocean and its role in climate.

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).

Rupert Howes is the Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). He is a lifelong committed environmentalist and professionally qualified accountant, and came to the MSC from United Kingdom organization Forum for the Future as Director of the Sustainable Economy Programme. He has been internationally recognised for his work to promote sustainable fishing practices (he received for example the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Award, WWF Leaders for a Living Planet Award and Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship). 

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).

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

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.

For the online event: Registration for this event will open after 10am on Wednesday 8 November.

For any queries email

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBlueEconomy

Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.