Dan Burgess spoke to this collectivism in his recent piece reflecting on Sea7 - ‘Who Speaks For the Ocean?’. As always, Dan eloquently guides us through his writing right to the very heart of the issue; the challenge before us is that, both as individuals, and as communities, we need to change the narrative.
“Stories aren't frivolous entertainment, but are the coding that shape what we believe, what we choose, who we are, the way we think, feel and act every day. Stories shape our understanding of the world and the way we act in it. And therefore, stories shape the world itself.”
In his writing Dan emphasises the role we all have to play in shifting the narrative.
“…everyone of us has a role to play - brands, citizens, designers, writers, journalists, entrepreneurs, media owners, artists, activists, scientists, conservationists, teachers, content creators, film makers, parents - because we all tell stories everyday. We decide everyday what words come out of our mouths, on our social feeds, in our communities” and workplaces, through the platforms and channels we communicate through, through the things we create.”
And that brings me back to Seawilding.
Seawilding is a movement that speaks for the ocean. It’s not simply a ‘one-off’ project. Seawilding has no start and no end date. Sure Seawilding.org is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, filed with the OSCR, and complete with all the requisite legal paperwork. But the reality is that the name Seawilding speaks to us on many levels, rational and emotional. Seawilding are the physical embodiment of something much bigger, they are an idea made physical. What’s more Seawilding represents hope, and to me they are a vision for what marine ecosystem restoration could, and I believe should, be all about.
Hope is central to the Seawilding story, as their journey was born out of a designation of HOPE (quite literally!) with the designation of the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot in June 2019. Mission Blue Hope Spots are special places that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean. These Hope Spots are championed globally by local communities whom Mission Blue support with communications, expeditions, and scientific advisory. The idea is that anyone can nominate a site special to him or her. The criteria? Simply identify a site that gives HOPE. Collectively these Hope Spots are creating a global wave of community support for ocean conservation, and it’s hopefully one that leaders and policymakers simply can’t ignore.