Hear from a diverse group of inspirational thinkers and doers in a series of main stage talks over three days. OCF 2021 speakers offer insights and inspiration to guide action for the next decade. More speakers will be announced soon here.

Head of Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section, UNESCO, France.

Julian Barbière is Head of Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Educated as an environmental scientist, he has approximately 20 years of experience at the international level in the field of ocean sustainability, ocean governance, and the implementation of ecosystem-based management approaches at various geographical locations. He is the lead person responsible for Sustainable Development at the IOC Secretariat, and is known within the UN for his contribution to ocean ecosystem management. Working at the interface of science and policy, he has led a number of UN initiatives, such as the start up phase of UN Regular Process -2006-2009 aimed at delivering a global integrated assessment of the state of the ocean. He has been instrumental in developing the IOC portfolio in Marine Spatial Planning since 2005, and is now leading the preparation phase of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Political geographer, ARC Laureate Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Jon Barnett is a political geographer whose research investigates social impacts and responses to environmental change. He has twenty years of experience conducting field-based research in several Pacific Island countries, and in Australia, China, and Timor-Leste. This research has helped explain the impacts of climate change on cultures, food security, inequality, instability, migration, and water security, and ways in which adaptation can promote social justice and peace. Jon is Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Geography at The University of Melbourne. He was a lead author of the chapter on Human Security in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and he co-edits the journal Global Environmental Change.

Biological Oceanographer, Member of the Executive Planning Group (EPG) of the Un Decade of Ocean Sciences, Universidad Nacional Autónoma De Mexico

Elva Escobar Briones, UNAM, has a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography. As an expert in Mexican deep sea diversity she collaborates with national and international scientific groups and supports decision making by ISA’s LTC from 2006-2015 and the CBD EBSA committee since 2008. She is a DOSI leading member since 2013; participated in, in drafting the outline for the IPCC Oceans and Cryosphere in 2016; a member of the NASEM UGOS committee since 2018, and EPG member of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for the Sustainable Development 2021-2030. She directed the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology (ICM-UNAM) from 2011-2019.

Director of the Department of Climate Change and Disaster, Government of Tuvalu

Pepetua E Latasi is the Director of the Department of Climate Change and Disaster, Government of Tuvalu, and is responsible for overall coordination of climate change and disaster-related matters at the national, regional, and international levels. She played a key role in developing Tuvalu’s National Adaptation Programme of Action – and in supporting the implementation of priority actions through the NAPA 1 and NAPA 2 projects – and was involved in the preparation of the project proposal for the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project. Ms Latasi is the designated National Focal Point for the UNFCCC.

Scholar of Indigenous Knowledge, collaborative leader in Aboriginal Community Development and Aboriginal Higher Education, Australia

Norm Sheehan is a Wiradjuri man, born in Mudgee NSW. He is a collaborative leader in Aboriginal Community Development and Aboriginal Higher Education, a Professor of Indigenous Knowledge, and a leading Design Thinking practitioner. His expertise lies in identifying and activating existing strengths within communities as a basis for relevant education, research, and development initiatives. Professor Sheehan has more than 30 years’ working in education and is responsible for the development of the first Australian Bachelor degree of Indigenous Knowledge and Doctoral degree in Indigenous Philosophies. He is recognised as contributing significantly to the development of Indigenous Knowledge as an academic discipline.

Oceanographer, Chair of the Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Director of Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research and the Institute of Oceanology (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Fan Wang is the Chair of the Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Director of Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS (YICCAS), and the Institute of Oceanology, CAS (IOCAS). He is mainly working on ocean circulation dynamics, including the western boundary currents in the low-latitude Pacific, tropical ocean circulation, and shelf circulations in the China Seas. He led the constructions of CAS buoy networks in the Yellow and East China Seas, and CAS real-time mooring array in the western tropical Pacific. He undertook more than 30 projects funded by National Basic Research Program, National High Technology Research and Development and National Natural Science Foundation of China. Dr. Wang has published over 140 papers and 3 Academic Monographs. He serves as deputy chair of Chinese Society of Oceanology and Limnology, vice chair of Northwestern Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (NPOCE) SSC, and member of Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO).

Surf culture researcher & Master Shaper, Australia

Tom Wegener has complemented his physical work as a surfboard manufacturer with academic scholarship.  Tom started making surfboards in 1979 and has led the industry in many ways from starting the green surfboard movement to igniting the rebirth of ancient Hawaiian surfing. He was awarded Surfboard Shaper of the Year in 2009 and Australian Good Design Award 2011.  In 2019 Tom Received a PhD from the University of the Sunshine Coast. His research focused on how culture sustains local industry – namely how the culture of surfing supports the thousands of surfboard artisans in Australia and around the world.