The Ocean Race Summits started with a stand-alone event during the 2014-15 edition of the Race, at the stopover in Newport, Rhode Island on the east coast of the USA.
Following the success of that initial event, The Ocean Race Summits have evolved into one of the pillars of the sustainability programme of the Race.
During the 2017-18 edition, a series of Ocean Summits were scheduled at strategic stopovers in the Race bringing together a range of key players from the worlds of sport, industry, government, science and passionate ocean advocates, to showcase innovative solutions to the global crisis of ocean plastic and to inspire action to help turn the tide on this urgent and most pressing issue.
Further developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, Premier Partner of The Ocean Race, the Summits are now taking place outside of the Race and include Action Labs and/or Innovation Workshops that allow a deep dive into solutions to the most pressing issues surrounding the restoration of ocean health.
Since that first Summit in the spring of 2015, The Ocean Race Summits have collectively seen thousands of attendees, both in-person and online, come together to work towards the restoration of ocean health.
In past events, mayors, governors and ministers have signed their cities, states and countries up to the Clean Seas programme, while companies such as Volvo Cars made public commitments to reducing their use of plastics in new cases, all with a focus on reducing plastic pollution.
We have seen regional and national governments, businesses and a range of ocean advocates lead by example, making solid commitments to help stop the ubiquitous spread of plastic in our seas.
Now the focus for our Summits has expanded beyond plastic pollution to take on the larger challenge of ocean health and how it impacts the overall health of our blue planet.
But the goal of the Summits remains - to bring together a diverse group of top experts across many fields and disciplines who can work collaboratively to develop and share effective solutions to restore ocean health.