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Andrew Merrie, Radical Ocean Futures, Falling Walls Engage 2018 (Subtitles available)

Andrew Merrie, Radical Ocean Futures, Falling Walls Engage 2018 (Subtitles available)


This is a piece of dead coral It’s bleached white Because of warming sea temperatures caused by human induced climate change indeed around half the coral reefs in the world are bleached just like this with little hope of recovery The global ocean has gone from wild infinite and full to Limited finite and full of garbage. It’s oily. It’s hot. It’s acidic. It’s plastic Indeed humans have had such an impact on the ocean that we have fundamentally altered the genetic structure of many marine species But why does this matter? well The ocean feeds us provides most of the oxygen we breathe it helps regulate our climate it helps us find treatments for disease the ocean matters We have a limited amount of time to anticipate this changing ocean to prepare for a lot of surprises and to act But I just want you to take a second to think about 50 years ago. What was then seen to be impossible or unimaginable and and Then think about 50 years in the future. How do we anticipate what could be a radically different world? So how do we start to answer that question? I want to introduce radical ocean futures So it hard this is a compelling set of provocations to think differently about the future We applied a method called science fiction prototyping To actually develop these narrative scenarios of the future ocean. Each of these is all together They’re built on hundreds of scientific papers that forms the scientific evidence base for these scenarios But we formed them into two narratives to give distinct compelling pictures about the future The first one here is this is Astrid she’s a seafood CEO who helped to transform the food system and privatize global food security through farming jellyfish deserts We have the Rhine of the last fishermen and this Alejandro, she is he sort of witnessed the oceanic death spiral which humanity’s failed to avoid and this story phenom are reports on how a group of Pacific island nations came together and were able to survive several meters of sea level rise, but not only survive but reinvent their civilization under the waves and finally Michelle in this final story. She talks about how Humanity in combination with artificial intelligence and and And science were able to come together with the help of robotics to actually re Reinvigorate these ecosystems and come up with a future where we have thriving coral ecosystems So radical ocean futures Really sort of helped us to draw these compelling pictures and create a tapestry of the future which allowed us to sort of engage in stimulate and simulate what their future might be Did this project have impact? Yes we were fortunate enough to actually be able to present this project at the first ever UN oceans conference in 2017 and we even got a chance to talk about the future ocean with the president of the General Assembly We were also able to connect across broad audiences. We published and wired and was able to connect science fiction nerd and geek culture and the future ocean And we were in an editorial in nature which sort of encouraged scientists to be able to learn to tell science stories And then we and more importantly or perhaps really humbling was we were also able to have an emotional impact We were able we one user on reddit said that they went and read right in the last fisherman And they said that it was it almost made them cry because they’ve been connected to it So unless somebody has any questions I would like to share three learnings from the project First I want to say that combining or using storytelling an authentic artistic expression in scientific scenarios Can really make sure that they actually have an impact and give people an entry point to the science Which is otherwise very very unsuitable and it also allows by using this compelling Artwork to cut through a lot of the noise that exists you have to use imagery and art that people find exciting and is not just functional So it’s It’s a website and it’s also a physical exhibition And so it has a number of different forms where we can connect it to two different audiences and Finally scientists from different fields are starting to use this themselves to engage in conversations about the future ocean. Thank you

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