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At the Websummit in Lisbon we speak with Carlsberg's Jessica Spence. 

You were just on stage here at Websummit talking about your initiative Ocean 2050. In a nutshell – what is it about?


It started in our head when we were reading about this horrible prediction that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean which is for me an unimaginable thing because in my family it goes back to the 1950s when my grandfather first started to explore the oceans and started revealing those oceans to the world.


The images he took of those oceans where those of abundance and diversity and richness and the whole world fell in love with it and felt this wonder and awe about the ocean that they were discovering for the first time.


By the time my father was an adult and working with my grandfather on expeditions in the 60s and 70s he started to realize a huge change and started to develop what has become known as a conservation ethic which is the idea that we should protect what we have before it is gone. And this has intrinsic value and value for our society and our lives and our hearts. And that conservation ethic has brought us to where we are today. And we have fought some battles and had really good initiatives and have done important work – but it is insufficient. And at the core is that the idea of protecting what you have so you don’t loose it is just not engaging people enough. “We’ve got it, so there is no urgency.” There is a shifting base line and we loose it little by little but nobody notices how quickly it is going and new generations are coming to world and they can’t imagine what it was like before.


A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Filmmaker and globally recognized advocate on water issues, Alexandra Cousteau continues the legacy of her renowned grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father, Philippe Cousteau, Sr. She has mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to inspire audiences on the weighty issues of policy, politics and action.  Alexandra is dedicated to advocating the importance of rebuilding abundance in our oceans in order to restore a healthy planet. Her global initiatives seek to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but also the human communities that rely on freshwater resources.


In May 2018, Alexandra received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Clarkson University. In 2016, Alexandra received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Georgetown University, her alma mater. She works closely with Oceana as a Senior Advisor to help propel their important work on oceans to an ever larger audience through expeditions, events and advocacy.

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