From October to November, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO gathered youth with the only requirement: an endless love for the ocean and the will to act and bring about change. Within the frame of the Ocean Decade and as part of the Decennio del Mare, the "Young Blue Minds" project seeks to build a network of young "blue minds" aged between 18 and 35 and offer opportunities for collaboration by giving them visibility and mentorship.
"We have chosen to make Young Blue Minds itinerant indeed to give local talents the opportunity to emerge and make their contribution to safeguarding our Blue Planet." - Marta Musso, marine biologist.
Young Blue Minds - First stop in Lerici, Italy
The project made its first stop on 22 October in Lerici, a coastal town in Liguria, Italy. Due to bad weather and rough seas, planned data collection activities at sea were replaced by interactive workshops: OutBE on citizen science and Marta Musso’s Possea on plankton sampling and analysis. Participants learnt the importance of data collection, observation of biodiversity and marine environment parameters, and how to include these actions within the business model of their project or in support of third-party projects.
The round table discussed some exciting projects: "Sea Sentinels" project by the CEO Kel12 with a visit to the boat; the ceramic work of BuonVento Pottery and the illustrator Davide Besana; Blueat, “Alien is good, alien is food” project on the use of Alien Species in the Mediterranean Sea for human consumption; PesCo on promoting awareness of responsible and sustainable fishing. The day concluded with the screening National Geographic documentary "The Hidden Treasure of the Tremiti Islands"on the black corals of the Mediterranean Sea by marine biologist Giovanni Chimienti.
Young Blue Minds - Second stop in Venice, Italy
The project stopped on 26 November in Venice, Italy. “Atelier Aperti”, a tour in collaboration with Venezia da Vivere, recounted the 1,600 years of Venice through the hands of the craftsmen. Palazzo Zorzi hosted the presentation of the book "As whales in a bottle” by the author Giacomo Talignani, journalist of La Repubblica, who narrated a journey into the climate crisis among lost animals, trapped men and unheard messages.
During the round table, discussions were centred on young start-ups and projects and how to support or redirect their development. These included "Sea of Change", a start-up on blue carbon, “Venice Calls”, an association to solve Venice’s problems of and the needs of its residents; “Il Sale di Penelope”, a podcast on fishing for women; and, MSP MED, a European co-funded project towards the operational implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning in our common Mediterranean Sea.
During the Possea Laboratory with Marta Musso, participants gained an awareness of the importance of biodiversity and ocean preservation. The day concluded with a theatrical show titled "History/Story of the Sea" by the historian Alessandro Vanoli.