#01 Jeremy Raguain — how can technology help policymakers advocate for the ocean?
Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Ocean Embassy, where I interview engineers, scientists, researchers, policymakers and everyone in between and beyond, that all advocate for our oceans in one way or another. From exploring the deep sea, to building robots that grow macroalgae, to voicing concerns and targets at government levels on a daily basis — there are so many ocean champions out there.
Today’s guest is someone I admire very much. I met Jeremy when we were both Ocean Discovery Fellows at the All Hands on Deck conference at MIT Media Lab in November 2018. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in the United States is one of the leading ocean exploration research institutes and holds a conference dedicated to a specific marine field of study annually. In 2018, however, the conference was a bit different.
That year, it took place at the MIT Media Lab, an incredible interdisciplinary technology and design institute at the infamous MIT in Boston. It was organised by the Open Ocean Initiative led by Katy Croff Bell — who we will, by the way, welcome here on the podcast soon, too – and it was a complete shift from what conferences I had been at usually looked like. The spirit of interdisciplinary work, the urgency of collaboration and high level of youth presented was amazing. The fact that there were so many diverse and young people present at a conference we could have usually never afforded, was thanks to a fund for so-called Ocean Discovery Fellows, young ocean leaders and explorers from around the world, which, as I mentioned, both Jeremy and I were.
Jeremy is from the Seychelles and studied Environmental Science and International Relations in Cape Town and Dresden, and when we met in 2018 he was working for the Seychelles Island Foundation as a project coordinator in education and outreach, biodiversity and logistics. Since March of this year, he lives in New York and is a Fellow of the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS. Throughout these last years, he has built an impeccable network advocating for small island states, for the oceans as a resource and ecosystem, and I’ve seen a lot of pictures of him in UN conference rooms. He is a Young ocean leader and was a member of the Inaugural Youth Policy Advisory Council at the Sustainable Ocean Alliance.
We talk about the ways in which the ocean has shaped Jeremy's life, work and future, and how technology has built empathy around all of it. We discuss ways in which technology could improve ocean protection in the future and how important it is that some people make the move from field work to diplomacy at the highest levels.
I hope you enjoy this episode!
Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection.
Mixing, Music and Sound Effects: Anna Madlener
#ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation