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All Hands on Deck 2018 – Day 1


So really before I get into what we’re gonna be doing here today, I want to take you back a few years to when I was, thank you, (laughs) giving a key note talk at the Jason Foundation Educators’ Conference, and I was up on stage and telling people about deep sea exploration and my career and looking for shipwrecks and finding new species and all sorts of amazing things, and also the need to diversify the field of ocean exploration and how we do that with curriculums and internships and all sorts of wonderful things. And after I finished, one of the teachers came up to me and said, “Well, you know, “most African Americans can’t swim.” I’m gonna click through a couple slides here, and she asked me how many oceanographers can swim. I said, “Well, pretty much everybody I know can swim.” And she said, “Well, maybe rather than “or in addition to all of these internships “and curriculums, “maybe you should find out a little bit more “about this and how can we ignite passion “for the ocean at a much earlier age.” So I went home and did a little bit of research, and according to the USA Swimming Foundation, these are the stats on swimming in the United States.40% to 64% of people have little to no swimming ability, and so it really has got me thinking about all of the people with whom I work, and everybody swims and surfs and scuba dives and kite surfs and does all sorts of crazy things, and this is not scientific, but I’ve no doubt that we all got into this field because of those early passions that were kindled because we loved being at the beach. I know that’s true for me, and I know that’s true for many of you in this room.And so it got me thinking about how can we be more intentional about those what are now serendipitous decisions that are made, and broadening from play, what are some of the other ways that we can really ignite those passions at an early age? So when I found out that NOAA was looking for a host for the 2018 forum, I just was beside myself with excitement. I was like, we need to do this, and they wanted it to be on broadening participation and engagement in exploration. It was like, well, we need to do it here, and so I really am stoked (laughs) to have you all here today, and really so that we can dig into this question of how we can spark this passion, spark people to be all hands on deck, and how do we get everybody on earth on board with knowing why the ocean’s important? So broadening out from play, we had decided on six themes that we’d be addressing over the next couple of days, and the others include imagining a bright, optimistic future for the ocean through story telling, wonders of awe, and wonder rather than doom and gloom, which is often the case.How do we immerse people physically in the ocean more, but also bring experiences to people who can’t experience it first hand themselves? How do we touch hearts and souls through creative arts of all kinds? I made those (laughing) with one of our speakers’ patterns. How do we create tools for people to explore for themselves, and through all of these things, how do we connect people to the ocean and to each other? So we have an amazing line up of speakers for you to talk about all of these different themes over the next two days in the mornings. In the afternoons, we have several different workshops that again talk about these themes, and we have the opportunity to interact with some demos of current research in these fields, and we intentionally made this event as participatory as possible. Probably everyone sitting in this room could be on one of these panels, could be one of the workshop leaders. We’re really excited for you all to be here and really want to draw from your expertise and experiences, and please, please speak up when we’re doing all of these things.So on a related note, when we were planning the forum, we really wanted a broad cross section of people to be here. Previous forums have generally been invitation only and result in a pretty small cohort of people that end up going to the same events, and so we knew that this wouldn’t happen accidentally. We had to be intentional about it, and so we put a lot of thought into how we would select participants and speakers and workshop leaders, and so we made a few changes to this forum’s process in that regard. So the first one was that we made an open application process, which many or most of you went through, and as a result, we have 350 people registered from more than 26 countries around the world, which I’m very pleased about, and we have a very broad cross section of expertise, ranging from scientists and oceanographers, all the way up to comedian paleoanthropologist television presenters, and everything in between. (laughing) The next thing that we did was recognizing that the cost to come to events like this, which generally are pay your own way, are often a barrier to entry, a significant barrier of entry.You need to be able to afford it to be able to come, so we committed funds to making travel assistance available to those who otherwise would not be able to participate, and those are Ocean Discovery Fellows. So we had somewhere around 100 applications, and I’m very excited that we have 42 Ocean Discovery Fellows with us here today, 21 of whom are from 11 states and Puerto Rico in the U.S., and 21 are from 17 countries around the world. I need to get a photo of Ayana, and so please join me in congratulating all of these people for being here (applauding) and coming from all over the place. I hope you have the opportunity to meet them, wonderful group, and I’m very, very pleased that you’re all here with us. The third change that we made was that we invited people with small children to bring caregivers with them so that they could participate in all activities. I don’t know why I’m crying.(laughing) I’m just gonna move on. (applauding) And the fourth was to make as many of the activities as possible open to the public as well, not just the people in this room, so we’re live streaming all of the speakers that will be in this room. Hello to our online audience. Thank you for tuning in. We have one workshop available this afternoon at 1:30, Transmedia Storytelling, which will be available online concurrently with the group that’s doing it here, and we also have a number of events at the New England Aquarium IMAX Theater that are free and open to the public. I don’t expect you to read this, but you all should have a handout with the schedule, and it’s really gonna be a lot of fun.Thanks to all of you who are volunteering to help out with that. The red light is flashing at me, and we’re already behind time, so in conclusion, I think I’ve said it a million times, but I am very, very excited about the next two days. I hope that all of these changes that we’ve made not only make a difference here today but also some of the lessons learned will be brought forward to future forums so that we can bring a broader choir of voices together. Of course, none of this would be possible without all of our sponsors, so thank you very much to all of you who are helping to support and make it possible for us to be here, particularly the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, or OER, which is co-convening this event with us.We’ve been planning in detail with many of their staff, and I’d like to invite Dr. Alan Leonardi, the Director of OER, up to the stage to tell you more about the National Ocean Exploration Forums. He’s a meteorologist and oceanographer and advises NOAA in the Department of Commerce on exploration research and technology. Great, thank you, Katy– Welcome, Alan. So much. Thank you. (applauding) Katy, big round of applause for Katy for putting on this great event. I can’t thank Katy enough for agreeing a little over a year and a half ago to have this conversation about doing this together and inviting this very diverse and very exciting group of people to come together to talk about this aspect of ocean exploration engagement.And I can’t honestly imagine a better place for this to take place than at the Media Lab. Just wander these halls a little bit, if they’ll let you, and take a look into some of the rooms and the windows, and you’ll see some really, really cool things going on, so I’m looking forward to a very exciting couple of days, but I thought I might just give you a little bit of a context for why we do this. Most people know that NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research supports exploration activities, either through our own conduct of that at sea for on average 180 to 200 days a year, through a grants process, and through strategic partnerships. What most people don’t realize is that we have a legislative driver that tells us that we should be convening meetings like this with the community as a whole annually preferably, but it’s not a requirement. We’ve been doing this now since 2013. The first forum was called Ocean Exploration 2020, and that forum really took upon itself to look at what the national program on ocean exploration might look like in the year 2020.In that forum, the participants came up with a number of things. A key item was that they really saw that the priorities for national ocean exploration should be driven by the community, not just the ocean practitioners, but the community as a whole. They also believed that ships and the assets would be more plentiful, been able to do this type of work, that the data that would be collected would be free and publicly available for anybody to use who wanted to use it, that citizens would be exploring themselves and become more engaged, and the public ideally would know a lot more about the ocean as a whole.Since that first forum in 2013, we’ve been exploring these topics in depth annually through the forum process. This is the sixth such forum. Last year’s forum took place at the Qualcomm Institute at the University of San Diego and focused on data and visualization, so bringing ocean explorers, ocean scientists, ocean practitioners, together with data practitioners, to figure out how we might unearth this volume of data in new and novel ways so that we can better understand the ocean and we can better connect people to the ocean through data. That was a great success. This year we’re gonna be building upon that success and looking at how we engage the public through things like storytelling, novel media approaches, and things like that. This doesn’t come together easily though. None of this process comes together easily, and it requires a lot of people behind the scenes. Katy, of course, has put in countless hours to pull this off. Jenny Chow has supported her. The whole local community has supported her. Carlie Wiener from the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Carlie, I don’t know where you are, but she’s put in a ton of hours as well, as a well as a couple of members of my staff, David McKinney and Adrian Copeland, so without their help, none of this would happen so I’m excited to be here.I’m not in the mode of wanting to talk at you. I want us to talk with each other while we’re here. The MIT Media Lab students are involved. The fellows are involved. If you haven’t met them yet, meet them. If you know them, introduce them to people that they don’t know. This is really all about building and growing this community, so before I get off the stage, I have the honor of introducing today’s keynote speaker, Neil Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs is the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observations and Prediction at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He’s effectively the number two in charge behind Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, and while collectively at NOAA, we like to refer to Tim being in charge of the dry side of NOAA, I think that what you’ll find through his presentation is that he’s much more comfortable on and often in the ocean than perhaps outside of it, and he’ll be relaying to us how the dry and the wet connect together in ways that are meaningful and powerful for the American public.So please join me in welcoming Dr. Jacobs to the stage. (applauding) Thanks. Thank you for that introduction, Alan, and thank you, Katy, for putting this on. Originally, Admiral Gallaudet, the Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmospheres and the acting NOAA administrator, was invited to give this talk, but unfortunately he had other commitments, and sends his regrets and regards, asking me to come talk to you, and I said, well, I’m the dry side. You’re the wet side. What am I gonna talk about? He goes, “Talk about your connection to the ocean.” So that’s what I’m gonna do today. Ocean exploration is just cool. (laughing) I can’t say it any other way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at NOAA watching the livestream of the Okeanos Explore. Just every second there’s some new life form, and they’re like, “Oh, I don’t think one’s been “identified yet,” and it’s amazing to me to just sit there and watch this, and the camera’s so impressive.I’m sure everyone here has probably watched these videos for hours. How it can actually see something so far away, and I was like, oh, look at this, a tiny, little fish over there, and you don’t realize how far away this device is until it zooms in, like a major telephoto lens in full HD. It’s unbelievable. So a lot of times you will hear Admiral Gallaudet speak about the blue economy, and there’s essentially four pillars to the blue economy. The first one is seafood competitiveness. The next one is ocean exploration, and then we have maritime and shipping, and recreation, and I started thinking about my love of the ocean and my involvement in the ocean and realized I have stories in all four of these. So the ocean covers roughly 70% of the planet, and it’s amazing to me that over 80% of it is still unexplored. That just boggles my mind that a lot of times we’re focused on trying to get to other planets or back to the moon, and we’ve got so much of the ocean that we haven’t explored.So in my portfolio, the dry side, it is space. It’s NESDIS, the program that manages the satellites, OAR, which is the research division of NOAA, the National Weather Service, which is the weather and climate forecasting group, and then the admiral and I kind of trade off working together with the National Ocean Service, and within that portfolio, my second day on the job, I got to fly down to Cape Canaveral to see a rocket launch. I couldn’t believe how cool that was, and still, watching the Okeanos Explorer videos just blow my mind, but what I wanted to do today is take this to maybe a little bit more personal level because what we’re trying to do is relate to people who have a connection with the sea, with the ocean. Almost everybody does, and if they haven’t, it would be awesome if they had that experience. I’ve got a three year old and a five year old, and I’m giving them swim lessons now because I go to the beach, and they see me out surfing, and they want to go out there, and I’m like, no, you gotta learn how to swim before you’re gonna go in the ocean, and bringing them up in that environment is just really important to me.So I’m sure everyone here today is here because you have a connection with the ocean, so this all hands on deck, encourage more people to explore their connections, so here are a couple of my personal connections. My academic background is actually in math and physics. I started out in condensed matter physics. I was working in a lab developing semiconductor material. It was in the basement of this building. I had no idea whether the sun was up or down or what time it was, and I was always an outdoors person, and I thought of going to grad school and just doing more of this in the basement lab work. It was alright, but I really wanted to do something that I enjoyed, and I was always an armchair forecaster ’cause if you ever wanna know when the waves are gonna be good, you gotta be able to predict the weather. So I would sit there and watch the weather channel and try to figure out when the waves were gonna be good, and then I thought, you know, I could actually go to school for this.Predicting the weather is just applied math, so I started looking at grad schools, and I ended up choosing a path on air, sea interactions. So my Master’s degree is in air sea interaction, and my PhD research, which I’ll talk about in a little bit later, was on extratropical cyclone genesis and how western boundary currents influence it, particularly with the Gulf Stream, but rewinding back to when I was a little kid, so I was five years old when I stood up on a boogie board, and I thought, when you weight 40 pounds, you can probably get away with that.(laughing) I got my first surfboard when I was seven, and I’ve been surfing ever since. I’m proud to say my boards I ride are still shorter than I am tall, although at some point I may get a nine foot just because it’s fun for everyone else to ride. So I grew up in the Treasure Coast of Florida, aptly named because people would find all sorts of cool treasures on the beach, and I was back and forth between Vero Beach and Miami, and then my parents wanted to retire in Charleston. My dad was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base, and of course when you’re down there, the water’s relatively warm, so when I moved to Charleston, Folly Beach became my next adopted home break, and that was the first time I’d ever have to surf with booties and gloves. And so then from there I went to grad school in North Carolina, and my adopted home break at this point is still the Outer Banks, which is fantastic in the summer, pretty brutal in the winter.Truth be told, I actually interviewed at two schools, North Carolina State and Woods Hole, and I loved the program at Woods Hole, but I opted for North Carolina State because I didn’t think I could handle surfing year round here, (laughing) and the idea of putting on a seven mill dry suit in February and wading through snow to go surf just. So when I left grad school, I had a lot of odd jobs, and I ended up landing at Panasonic, which is gonna sound kind of strange, but I was doing the weather and forecasting for Panasonic, believe it or not.They actually are in that business. The cool thing about this was they had offices all over the planet, and I realized I could stash surfboards everywhere, (laughing) and set up meetings all over the place, so I have boards in San Clemente. I have boards in Pupukea. I have boards in Singapore and France. I’ve surfed in every continent except Antarctica, and I’m not sure you can actually surf there. (laughing) But when I was traveling around, it was an unbelievable experience to surf all these exotic breaks, meet a lot of new people, but I also experienced a lot of other things that probably weren’t quite as pleasant, incredibly bad sinus infections from paddling through contaminated water with run off and sewage, paddling through heaps of trash in Bali, walking down the beach and just seeing waste on the beach. This kind of stuff was frustrating to me. So surfing’s not my only passion. I do do some diving, not as much as I used to.Actually most of the diving I did when I was traveling was just inspecting how bad the reef was before I surfed over it. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’ve probably left a lot of skin on various reefs around the planet, but experiencing as a child being able to do the glass bottom boat rides at John Pennekamp down in Florida, and then later on diving out there. That’s where I actually did my first diving. Recreational fishing has always been a passion of mine, so that was sort of the father, son bonding experience, and we would always do it on his boat in the ocean, but growing up, when he couldn’t go out in the boat ’cause he was flying planes somewhere, I would go down in the mangrove swamps in south Florida and do a lot of fly fishing for tarpon and snook and all sorts of fish down in the mangroves, and whenever he would come back, we would go out on his boat, and we would go fishing, and he always used to take me fishing because I was the only one in the family who could throw the cast net.And we would always fish with menhaden, and they’re not exactly easy to catch, and throwing a cast net off a moving boat when it’s going up and down in waves is not exactly easy, but some of the best experiences and conversations I’ve ever had with my dad have been out there, and some of the scariest too. We were out on the boat fishing one time, and we couldn’t get the motor to crank, and a storm rolled in, and I was just like, well, what do we do now? I could see land, but I think we’re stuck here, and his advice was, “Well, let’s just go to the front “of the boat ’cause if lightning strikes, “it’s probably gonna strike the engine “because the propeller’s grounded, “and the rest of it’s fiberglass.” I was like, our boat’s like 20 feet long.(laughing) The front’s not that far from the back. So when I went to grad school, I had a lot of different assistantships. Every single one of them was tied to the ocean, but one of them was very interesting. When I came on board at NOAA, they were like talking about wet side, dry side. “What’s your experience? “We’re really interested “in the commercial fishing industry,” and I said, actually, being a satellite person, I do have some experience in the commercial fishing industry. I used to process AVHRR SST data for the commercial tuna fishery, and what would happen is the Gulf Stream would go up the coast, and these warm core eddies would spin off, and it would consolidate the fish ’cause they didn’t wanna swim outside of the comfort zone of whatever thermal gradient they liked, and of course these eddies are moving at two or three meters per second, and so this was back in the ’90s.Unless you’re out there just transecting the ocean with some type of thermometer, you’re never gonna find these eddies, so you had to use remotely sensed information, and I would have to go in twice a day and adjust correct for the satellite drift because it wouldn’t quite line up, and this was kind of a manual process. We’d have to align the image back the shape of the Outer Banks on the coast, and then I would send it up to them, and I mean, this was on Thanksgiving, on Christmas, every day of the year, and if I didn’t get that image out, I would get these really angry satellites phone calls from people in the middle of the ocean.”Where is this stuff? “We’re out here. “We can’t find any fish.” And then I realized how important all of these aspects are when you tie them together. Another thing in the four pillars of the blue economy was aqua culture. There’s a massive seafood trade deficit in the U.S., and that’s one of the things that we’re gonna be addressing, and I didn’t actually really think, aquaculture. That’s so far out of my world. Turns out, it’s not. I have a very large reef tank, and it’s always been a passion of mine, and I realized propagating stony corals, particularly the acropora, was something that I’ve always done, and I always loved, and I thought, this is really cool because they were explaining to the dry side guy ocean acidification, and I thought, I understand ocean acidification ’cause I’ve built a calcium reactor for my reef tank, which if you’re not familiar with as a device, you basically just pump compressed CO2, which I got from a welding supply store, into a container with calcium carbonate, and it was actually regulated by a solenoid on the CO2 that was connected to a pH meter in the tank.So automating this whole thing was really convenient ’cause then I could actually go overseas on a trip, and the whole thing wouldn’t implode when I was gone, but the life, the life in the tank was the coolest part. If you’re familiar with reef tanks, typically what you would wanna do is populate the reef tank with various what they call live rock, and it has all sorts of microbes and stuff on it that eventually will populate the whole tank, and process the waste and do other stuff, but you get a lot of odd hitchhikers, which come in on the live rock. And at the time that this happened, my reef tank was in my bedroom, and every single night when the lights would go out, I would just hear these really loud pops and clicks, and I’d turn the lights on, and it would stop, and I’d turn the lights off, and 10 or 15 minutes later, it would start again, and this went on for probably a month.And so finally, I got my Petzl headlamp with some red film, and I put that over it, and I was shining it into the tank, and there was this shrimp in there, probably four inches long, and it was just popping his claw, making the loudest noise I’ve ever heard, and this was quite a large animal, and I was like, I didn’t put that in there. (laughing) It just came in on some of the rock, and for all I know, it’s still in there. I read online where you don’t wanna reach in and grab these things ’cause they can really do some damage on your fingers, but probably my favorite species of fish actually was a bicolored blenny. This thing just had the attitude. If you’re familiar with this species of fish, they’re pretty entertaining. They back into a little hole, and they just stick their head out, and if anything comes by the hole, they attack it, and so I would have these snails crawling around, and the blenny would just stick its head out of the hole and just keep hitting the snail until the snail would fall off, and then it’d go back in its hole, pleased with itself.So going back to my love of weather and forecasting and how I got involved in this, as I said earlier, weather essentially generates waves. You gotta know when the weather is a certain way, particularly with the wind direction, with the swell direction, and we’re talking over the entire ocean, so some of these swells will propagate several thousand miles, and so I got involved in running numerical models, doing this type of forecasting work, and it’s incredible important for a lot of different reasons to have the ocean and the atmosphere coupled in the model, and this is, as sophisticated as these models are, a lot of the models aren’t coupled two way ocean and atmosphere.So this is something that I’m actually gonna be working on when I’m at NOAA for a lot of different reasons, but primarily, if we wanna achieve forecast skill into week three and four, we have to have a two way coupled model with the ocean, and we have to have a really good ocean model, and to have a really good ocean model, we have to have good observations. I’m just kind of biased ’cause I wanna know when the swell’s gonna be good. So going back to my PhD, I had wrapped up a Master’s degree. Interestingly enough, the funding for my Master’s program came from the Ocean Margins Program, and as I said earlier, I had a lot of odd jobs and assistantships, and one of them was driving marine equipment, buoys, moorings, all sorts of stuff, from NC State down to the marine lab at Wilmington, and the university paid for me to get a commercial driver’s license to do this.So I always in the back of my head thought, if my entire career fails, I can drive 18 wheelers, and I still have a CDL today, but I actually did time on NOAA’s Ron Brown during this process, and I also spent some time on India’s vessel the Sagar Kanya during the INDOEX experiment. So going back to my PhD, I was sitting around one day. I’d finished my Master’s. I had started the PhD coursework, and I really couldn’t come up with an idea of what I wanted to do for my dissertation, and this was in January of 2000. I don’t know if you’re from the Carolinas, but in January of 2000, we had the most intense snow storm that’s ever hit central North Carolina. The models were predicting three to four inches of snow. We literally got 24 inches, and it was one of those things where each time they would update the forecast, it’s four to six, six to eight, eight to 10. Then you’d go outside, and there’s already like 14 on the ground, and I thought the models really blew it.What went wrong in the models? This is a good PhD problem to solve. Well, it turns out at the time that the models, whether it was the regional models or the global models, were using a static sea surface temperature file that was a 30 day mean, and they do the 30 day mean of the sea surface temperature because when you collect the data from the satellites, there’s always cloud contamination, and so you build a composite over several days to try to wipe out the cloud contamination, but in the process of doing that, you actually smooth out a lot of the thermal gradients from the various currents, the Gulf Stream being the critical one for this particular storm. So then I started looking at some buoy and ship obvs, and it turns out that during that particular storm, the water temperature off the Outer Banks, and I mean measured off the end of the pier, was around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.This is January. It’s normally 38 or 40, and so what had happened was the current, basically this warm filament had backed up against the coast, and there was a massive thermal gradient. It went from very cold air right at the beach to extremely warm, and when you have cold air move out over very warm surface, you have really intense fluxes, and that’s what drives the storm development. And so then I started actually trying to figure out, well, what if we just took the actual SST from a couple days before that storm and swapped it out in the models? What would happen? Two feet of snow. The models nailed it, but it’s really not quite that simple of a problem because how do you get rid of cloud contamination, so I wrote a bunch of algorithms to basically filter out clouds in non-composite satellite sea surface temperature data, and at this point, essentially the model, it was not coupled. The wind stress from the air wasn’t feeding back and altering the ocean, but it was a step in the right direction, but I actually wanted to know why these western boundary currents get so variable, and it turns out that off the coast of Charleston, there’s this feature known as the Charleston bump, and the Gulf Stream basically runs up Florida, interacts with this bump feature, and that’s what sets the weird oscillation in motion, and without really accurate bathymetry information, we wouldn’t have even known that was there.So those are sort of my, I guess how I would relate to the four pillars of seafood competitiveness and aquaculture, ocean exploration, the maritime and shipping industry, and then recreation, but some of the recommendations that came out of the ocean exploration in a sea of data last year was that there needs to be active coordination and collaboration between academia, government, industry, non-profits, and that’s one of the things that I’m gonna be doing working with NOAA. So I’m developing a version of the global model that we’re gonna call the community global model, and it’s actually, it’s a unified forecasting system, but it goes beyond unify because we’re using these weather and climate models to initialize all sorts of other models.When you talk about harmful algal blooms and other things, it all comes back to having a really good weather and climate model, so we’re gonna be using the same dynamic core for all of the models, and of course we’re gonna be coupling them to ocean models, and if we’re gonna be doing that, we really have to focus on having a really good ocean model, and in order to do that, we need really good bathymetry data, which we’re actually lacking, and we need really good observations. So all of these models are essentially rely on observations for their initial conditions, so forecasting is just an initial value problem. The algorithms are right, but unless you start with good information, you’re not gonna get a good prediction into the future.Well, as everyone here knows, observing the ocean is not quite as easy as observing the atmosphere. It’s a little bit trickier, and so having ocean observations, exploring new ways to observe the ocean, is incredibly important, so whether it’s with underwater gliders, or argo floats, or we’re even exploring new dropsondes that we can deploy out of aircraft that take an atmospheric profile all the way to the surface of the ocean, and then where they go sub-surface, they go up and down in the water column and take measurements. These are interesting new observing systems that we’re gonna need to deploy to power the models, and we’re gonna do that through a lot of different mechanisms, primarily with public, private, and academic partnerships. An interesting partnership on the industry side on that front is with a company called Saildrone, and they actually have these drones that glide on the surface of the water, and as an atmospheric scientist, I always thought it was interesting because I could get pressure obvs.Open ocean press obvs are extremely critical, and wind and temperature, and so then, I went to one of the NOAA labs, PMEL, and found out that they’re actually hooking cameras and other devices to these things and monitoring fish populations with it and sending that data back to NOAA, which is hugely critical because it’s so expensive for us to try to put manned boats out there to do this, and now we’ve got these devices going out there and collecting data, sending it back to us, and industry’s interested in this. Industry benefits from this, and so what I would like to do as part of my agenda at NOAA is get industry, who’s going to benefit from this greatly, to start funding some of the applied research. I like to divide research into basic research and applied research, and if there is a profit motive for industry, they will fund applied research. There’s all sorts of fields, whether you’re talking about crop science or medicine or even in numerical weather prediction now. Industries funding a lot of the applied research at the university level, not necessarily NSF or NIH. The interesting thing about this is industry is probably not as interested funding basic research ’cause it’s hard to see a return on investment with basic research like applied research, but if a lot of the applied research is being funded by industry, then that means it should take pressure off federal funding sources to focus on funding basic research, which is something that could very well likely save humanity down the road.Even at the time it was funded, no one really saw a use for it. So as part of this all hands on deck, I think it would be fascinating, and I actually looked at sort of the distribution of people’s backgrounds here, to hear how the conversations go, to hear what everyone’s personal experience is with the ocean ’cause I know everyone here has one, and I didn’t even realize how connected I was to the ocean until they told me I was coming to do this talk, and it was about your connection to the ocean, which is really cool for me to come talk about ’cause normally I’m talking about models and equations and high performance computing, and I’d much rather just be in the ocean, to be honest with you. So anyway, that I think is the goal, and it’s gonna be great to hear the coordination and collaboration and discussion between everyone here because that is what is gonna happen in the broader community, particularly with younger kids. The last story I’m gonna tell you is when I was a kid, I was down in Miami, and I was at summer camp, and I would go to the Museum of Science in Miami.I don’t even know if it’s still there, would have summer camps, and every year I would take the marine biology one because we would get to go on these cool field trips, and we would get to dissect stuff, and I started thinking about what different experiences I had there and trying to trace back my love of the ocean to as far back as I can remember, and it goes really far back, I mean, almost further than I can remember. I only know it goes back that far ’cause I saw pictures of myself as an infant in the water. So those are my personal connections to the ocean. Thank you for having me here, and thank you for forcing me to really think about it because it was one of the few talks that I was really, really smiling a lot when I was putting my thoughts together for it. So I would love to hear the read out, what happens after this, what the next steps are, and if there’s any way NOAA can work closer with you and the community and how we can be better engaged with what we do, please let us know.Let me know. Every one in NOAA leadership has strong connections to the ocean in many different ways. I will be here for probably another hour, but my email as a federal employee is my first name, dot, last name, so it’s not hard to guess. (laughing) So if you want to talk about ocean exploration or you want to talk about surfing, (laughing) get in touch. Thank you. (applauding) You sit right here. (whispering) Sorry, we’re gonna get ourselves situated. Okay, you sit here. You come on over. Yeah, at the very end, thank you. Alright, we’re good. Thank you very much, Neil, for connecting the dots to your life story of the ocean.We’re really glad that you were able to share those childhood memories, and they’ve brought you up through your current career, and we’re very excited about the future research that NOAA will be working on. Good morning. I am Jenni Szlosek Chow, and I will be moderating our first panel, Play. So just saying the word leaves your face in a smile. (laughing) Together with these fine folks on stage, we will kick off this ocean party with all those positive vibes that the word play connotes. These individuals on stage each have a wealth of knowledge to share in the work, art, culture, practice, development of impactful playful moments, from its various modalities, like sports, swimming, and surfing, to tinkering, making and creating exciting novel installations, classrooms, or within your own home. I work with Katy here at MIT Media Lab’s Open Ocean Initiative, and serve as the project coordinator. An exhibit of one of our projects is right outside these doors.You might have seen it on your way in. It’s kind of hard to miss. I’m the event coordinator for this forum and also for Boston Ocean Day, and I am an oceanographer, so that might not seem so surprising in this audience, but when you go to a dinner party, and you tell people, “I’m an oceanographer,” the usual response is, “Oh, I’ve never met one of those.” (laughing) So why are we so rare, and more importantly, why do so many of us look more like me instead of this beautiful diversity that we have here in this room? We want that change.It’s something that we need to change now, so the ocean is for everyone. How do we increase the diversity of oceanographers? How do we have more folks in the world like you? We have a sea here of varied, unique, and exquisite talents and expertise, and you have chosen to have these careers and these passions that are ocean adjacent. We think about these questions a lot in the Open Ocean Initiative, and in the development of these national ocean exploration forums that happen every year, and play is a natural lead in to looking into this issue.If you know how to swim, you might actually consider working with the ocean. If you’ve ever been wowed by the beauty of a barrel wave and the crazy talent and strength of some person who’s able to somehow be so connected to ocean’s dynamicism, and then they’re able to stay on that wave with just a board separating them from that power. You might then think about how do we help the ocean, how do we work to take care of it? If you are given a set of blocks that can be combined in innumerable ways, and moments are filled with what if, yes, and let’s try this, then problems become fun projects, and innovation is around the corner.If science, technology, and engineering are presented in a carnival enthusiasm with joy and energy and art and entertainment where they all bleed together, we might start seeing holistic ways to do things, so Andre Fountain knows how to bring people together, communities, local leaders, sports personalities, and organizations. He’s a project coordinator of the Aspen Institute Sports and Play, Sports and Society Program. He is responsible for the execution of Project Play Baltimore, an initiative to improve the youth sports opportunities in Baltimore. Andre coauthored The State of Play Baltimore report, and this is the first hyper-local comprehensive analysis of the current state of youth sports in east Baltimore. Reece Bacheco, he is a surfer that tweets out nature articles on climate change and ocean engineering, ocean research. He is the executive director of Pure. This is the World Surf League’s non-profit focus on ocean conservation. Previously, Reece was co-founder and CEO of two video technology start ups, and he dedicates much of his time to the 5Gyres Institute, Surfrider Foundation, and the Waves for Development.Samantha Chiappetti’s work brings the Lego world to children of all ages, from toddlers on up to high school children. She is the partnership manager on the front end innovation team for Lego Education and is responsible for identifying and nurturing strategic partner product relationships with other organizations and focuses on bringing playful learning experiences to students across the globe. Maria Redin’s studying career path has glowingly depicted how science and art can work hand in hand, and also brings empowerment to youth. She is now the chief of staff at Two Bit Circus, where they are building a chain of micro-amusement parks. She with Two Bit Circus Foundation to inspire young inventors through their STEAM carnival events, and before we get on with this panel, I have a little bit of an explanation of how we run things here. This is actually a microphone, and it’s very soft. When it comes time for questions, which will be after our wonderful panel speaks, I will be throwing this out to members of the audience, so you have an opportunity to ask your questions and get involved, and then you’re to throw it back to me, and I hopefully will catch it.(laughing) Alright, so let’s get on. Andre, yes. Well, thank you for the introduction, and to start, Project Play Baltimore is, or to start, the Project Play is the flagship initiative of the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program. Through Project Play, Aspen aims to develop, share, and apply knowledge to help build health in communities through sport. The Project Play Baltimore Initiative is built on the framework of Project Play, the eight plays for the eight sectors that touch the lives of children.The eight plays are considered strategies to get kids involved in playing sports, and the eight sectors are groups of organizations and individuals that have resources to help create access for kids to participate in sports. So the eight plays in the eight sectors are the foundation of the State of Play Baltimore Report, which was released in September of 2017. The report is a resource guide for the communities of Baltimore to take positive steps forward in engaging kids through sports. Here is a snapshot of the study area for the initiative. We focused on a two square mile area. This map highlights the key community assets and where most youth live. As it relates to this conversation today, are the number of pools in the community. There are five pools.Two of them are indoor. Three are outdoor. Play three, encourage sport sampling. This is one of the eight play strategies, and this play has two meanings. Keep kids engaged in a variety of sports so that they can overcome the pressure of specializing in one sport at a young age, and two, grow the variety of sport options that are available to kids so that they can find the right sport that’s best for them.Through our youth survey that we conducted, we surveyed about 2,000 students in this area, and we learnt, and where we asked them, what sport would they like to try? And swimming was the top sport at 23%. You break that number down by gender, 18% of boys said they want to participate in a sport, and 27% of girls said they want to participate in a sport. You break that number down by race, swimming was the second sport behind basketball among African Americans at 21%, and it was the top sport among Latino or Hispanics at 29%. So I like to give credit where credit is due. I like to give credit to Michael Phelps for the reason why kids in Baltimore want to swim. (laughing) I mean, he’s a hometown guy, and he’s arguably one of the greatest swimmers of all time. So due to that interest in swimming, I was able to help foster a collaboration effort between U.S. Swimming Foundation and Baltimore City Recreation and Parks to help teach youth essential swim skills.In June of this year, U.S. Swimming Foundation came to Baltimore to host their Make a Splash tour, which focuses on water safety and teaching kids how to swim, but most importantly, the Recreation and Parks Department in Baltimore is now a local partner of the U.S. Swimming Foundation, which means they’re able to apply for grants worth up to about $15,000 on a annual basis to support their swimming efforts city wide. So we are hopeful that this is the start to engage more kids in learning how to swim and connecting them to other opportunities, and this is a good segue into the purpose of why we’re here for this session today on play. How do you spark curiosity in the ocean through play? Well, for example, once a kid can swim, an array of water based sports can open up, from triathlon to rowing to diving to surfing.Also job opportunities can come about as well. You can become a lifeguard, pool attendant, or so much more. However, to answer that question, I believe that collective impact should be the approach to connect kids to the ocean, and also doing that through swimming or other water based sports. The collective impact methodology is what we used for the Project Play Baltimore initiative to get more kids active through sports. Collective impact is about solving a complex social problem with the support of a variety of different stakeholders coming together to achieve a common goal. So for that very reason, I believe that collaboration should be fostered between colleges, grade schools, rec centers, and so many other people that are out there to help teach kids the essential skill of swimming and connecting them to the ocean. Together we can help kids see the value of the ocean, but we need to give them the tools and the opportunity to experience it. We must expose kids to the ocean and play settings and bridge the gap to a potential career path as well, and the last comment I’ll make is I just want to highlight a new program at the Aspen Institute called the Aspen High Seas initiative, which is gonna be focusing on connecting the ocean community and others to protecting the high seas on a global level.So at the Aspen Institute, we’re excited to be a part of more oceanography conversations moving forward, and I’m excited to be able to speak on behalf of Play and connecting the dots for kids to be more engaged in this particular subject area. So thank you. (applauding) Awesome. My name’s Reece. I’m here repping the World Surf League. Really quickly, I want to just be very clear that I am not a professional surfer.The amazing surfing that Jenni described, I don’t do. I’m decidedly average, if anything, probably below average. I work in and around professional surfers, but I am not a pro. That being said, I am stoked to be here. I’m stoked on surfing. I’m stoked on ocean conservation. I’m stoked in my role, and before I use that word one more time, I want to define what it means. Stoked is that euphoria. It’s that thrill. (laughing) It’s that excitement. The literal definition, right here, this is Mikey February. He is in the zone. He is making this amazing top turn. He is totally stoked. This is Steph Gilmore, six time world champ, just got a great wave. She’s in the water by herself, stoked. On a wave with Mikey February, surfing together, you’re stoked off of your friends. It’s that vibe. You’re like, yeah, woo. You’re just totally into it, right? This is a beginner. They’re pros. Of course they’re stoked. They’re always surfing really well. This is a beginner surfer. You may start to recognize if you zoom in. This is like her second day ever surfing, and she was going left, going right.This is a championship level performance wave, and that’s Dr. Ayana Johnson, who is your moderator for the next panel. (laughing and applauding) She’s stoked. Now as I said, I work for the World Surf League. We put the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves in competitions around the globe, countries all over the world. We have professional athletes, top notch athletes that compete for hardware like this, for the big sponsorships, and they compete in front of huge crowds.This is one of our crowds in Brazil where we have rabid fans. They just love surfing, and we broadcast these across our TV broadcast deals, online, streaming, social media, et cetera. It’s pretty serious business, actually, as much as we like to play around and have fun, but that line between fun and play and stoke is really blurry in surfing. We’re gonna take a look at this photo. This is John John Florence, two time world champ surfing backdoor and pipeline in Hawaii, right? He’s in the zone. He’s there. This is that pro. He’s the one getting barrel, and he’s really in there, but if you look at the same photo, same wave, same guy, same mouth agape, in the zone feeling, he’s just not wearing a jersey.In the first photo, he’s competing. In the second photo, he’s not, so that line of play and competition is really blurry, but he’s just in the zone no matter what, gets that stoked feeling off the ocean. This is Caroline Marks. She’s a 16 year old grom, and this is in competition, throwing up the dab, having fun with it, right? I mean, she is competing on the world tour. This is what her life dream is, and she’s out there goofing around, just as much as anybody else, and I just think it’s really beautiful about how much we love and play and get that thrill off the ocean as surfers, and more than any other professional athletes, I shouldn’t say we, ’cause I’m not one. (laughing) Our professional surfers are immersed in their environment. We’re literally in it. It is our office. It’s our playground. It’s our church, and so it’s on us to protect it, which is where WSL Pure comes in, and I’ll just play a quick video.(upbeat instrumental music) The earth is an ocean world. (waves crashing) As surfers, it’s our home, and it needs us to speak up, so Pure will shine a light on people doing good and making a difference. We can turn the tide by turning up the volume because we love this place, and you do too. So that’s WSL Pure. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower the global surf community to protect our ocean. This is a slide with bullet points because every presentation has to have one, but it checks a couple boxes. We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We focus in three core areas, climate change, coastal conservation, and plastic pollution, and we work with a lot of the great groups that are out there to try and tell their story across our broadcast, across our social media tip, activate with them onsite at our events, so groups like 5Gyres Institute, grassroots groups like Surfrider Foundation, up to NRDC or Center for Climate and Life at Columbia University.We work with them as well, so we try and tell their story across our platform and figure out ways that we can move the surf industry forward, and that’s really our great mission, so we’re happy to be here and open our doors and say, hey, we want to collaborate with you too and find cool ways that we can work together to help move the surf industry forward, to be better for our oceans. One more thing, we’re at MIT, so I have to show off cool technology. I don’t know if anyone knows what this is here, but this is the Surf Ranch, aka Kelly Slater Wave Co., aka the Stoke Machine. (laughing) So this is a manmade wave. That’s what Ayana was surfing earlier, so there’s a foil on a track pushing a sled underwater, and then the water moves over a contoured reef, quote, unquote, so the bathymetry of which will then essentially create different sections of a wave, like a barrel or a wall or an air section, and this is a manmade wave that the WSL owns, and I highlight this to really say that we think that there’s an opportunity here to engage more people in ocean conservation.How do we make sure we bring people into this, and get them hooked on the real thing? ‘Cause they come out of here stoked, smiling, just really, really, that was amazing. That was the best, most high performance wave I’ve ever been on, and we want to make sure that we’re using that as an opportunity to engage people in ocean conservation, get them hooked on the real thing, and that was my crappy surfing. Thank you very much. (laughing and applauding) Thank you so much for having me here today. My name is Samantha Chiappetti. I work for Lego Education, and working for Lego Education for the past six years has enabled me to see playful learning experiences go around the world or across the world, but before I start talking about learning through play, since I do work for Lego, we have to do a little bit of building here. So I have some really nice volunteers helping to pass out these little bags, so once you get this bag of bricks, I’ll wait just a couple minutes here.I’m gonna ask you to have your hands do the thinking. We’re getting close here. Alright, very nice. So with your hands doing the thinking here, when I give the word go, I want everyone to build a duck, and you have one minute to do it, and I will time you, so three, two, one, go. (laughing) (murmuring) A duck, yup. (laughing) Alright, we’re halfway there. 30 more seconds. (laughing) Smartest people in the world. (laughing) 15. Five, four, three, two, one. Alright, everyone stop building and hold your duck up in the air. Show it off. Let our neighbors see. (laughing) Beautiful, I love what I see here.So many different types of ducks out there. (laughing) Great. So with this exercise that I had you guys do, it was pretty fun, right? We had a little bit of fun, but what was actually happening while this was going on? So if we take a look at this here, you were actually practicing and learning all of these different skills while you were building. If we look at self-regulation, you had to control yourself with the excitement when I gave you the task to build, or you had to maybe hold yourself back from yelling at me when I was time pressuring you a little bit. Also, you used symbolic representation. That basically means that you had to remember what a duck looked like. Then you had to build from your memory. Is your duck asleep? Is your duck flying? Is your duck swimming? There’s no right answer here, but everyone’s duck is different because we all have a different memory of what a duck actually looks like, and then there’s spatial reasoning, thinking about what a 3D object looks like and then building that, and then iterating off of that as well.This is a great skill that enhances math and also something that Lego does innately, but as we’re talking about this here, this was actually learning through play. (laughing) You guys learned through play today, which is great, and why was this an actual learning through play task here? And that’s because it involved these five different skills that promote deeper learning, so when we look at these different skills, relating it directly back to this duck build that we did, this was joyful for you. You had fun. I could tell by the laughter in the room. You also probably felt a little bit of joy when you completed a task. That’s a natural thing as well.It was socially interactive. When I had you hold it up, everyone was looking around the room and seeing each other’s duck, comparing and contrasting. Also, you might talk about this later with your peers in the room, and you’ll now have this shared experience together. This was actively engaging. It actually was a little bit quiet when you guys first started to build because you were looking very intently at your bricks to decide what type of duck you would be building.It was in iterative process. You probably did a little bit of tinkering with your duck. You could have built it one way, and then changed it before the minute was over, and then this was a meaningful experience as well because you had to bring meaning to what a duck is to you. Like I said before, we all have a different memory of what a duck is, but none of those answers are wrong or incorrect.So now that we had all of that fun, I want you to think of a high school science course, or high school science courses in general. In those courses, you have to learn pH, learn about temperature, learn about buoyancy, learn about engineering, learn about all of these different things, and this might be the wrong room, but for a high school student, sometimes that’s scary or maybe not as fun as they think it could be, but if we bring these types of play to this experience in a high school, it makes it a lot more fun. So now I want you to think of a way that you can learn all of these different skills that I was talking about here through an underwater ROV that you have built, designed, programed, tested, and collected data with in the water that is near your school. Sounds a lot more fun, right? So this will give the kids a chance to actually bring these five different joyful, socially interactive, actively engaging, iterative, and meaningful experiences to a high school science class where it might not be the first thing you think of as something playful.So as we look at playful learning experiences that enable every student to succeed, this is our mission at Lego Education. This is when we are looking at developing products that go out around the world. We want to make sure that the experience is not only playful, they learn, but it’s also enabling for every student to succeed. So I hope this little experience that I did with you today and the skills that I shared with you for deeper, playful learning is something that you can bring back to your work as you are looking towards engaging not only kids, but adults in learning deeper about the ocean or different water around them. Thank you. (applauding) Thank you. My name is Maria Redin, and I’m the chief of staff for Two Bit Circus, (laughing) and Two Bit Circus is a band of mad scientists, engineers, artists, and creatives that have been creating.We’ve been building games, experiences, spaces, events for the past seven years, and if the slides would come up, so for us, play is super important, and our last creation is actually micro-amusement, okay, so this is the who we are, and for the past two years, we’ve been building a micro-amusement park in downtown Los Angeles. You should come if you get a chance.It’s the future of entertainment, as we believe it. It has VR, escape rooms, a robotic bartender, and, gosh, an interactive theater, but so that’s awesome. It’s super fun, but the reason we exist is actually to promote play. In fact, our company mission is to bring people together to play elbow to elbow, and we believe play is a social, gosh, brings people together in a way that doesn’t happen easily if you do it even across, gosh. I apologize. The slide’s throwing me off. Any case, basically we believe in social play, but sort of play is not only important for bringing people together, but it’s also really important from an aspirational perspective, and sort of to what Lego does as well. This is OK Go, the band. I imagine a lot of people have seen them. In fact, I believe somebody from there is speaking tomorrow as well. Some of our original team members at Two Bit Circus did giant Rube Goldberg machine for this video, and sort of after that video was released, OK Go kept on getting a lot of requests from science teachers and math teachers because they were using that material, gosh, to bring to life math and science lessons, so kinetic energy paths, trajectories.All those things were sort of being brought to life in a really interesting way, and so for us, from the Two Bit Circus side, the insight that came out is, oh my gosh. What is the rockstar equivalent for STEM, right? So if kids in general will teach themselves music if they wanna be a rockstar, what’s the equivalent, but for math and science? So what we ended up doing is doing something called the STEAM Carnival. So the STEAM Carnival back in 2014 was the idea of basically showcasing how science, technology, engineer, math, and sort of art for us as well, could lead to something really exciting so that kids would be inspired to become inventors themselves, and that’s exactly what we did.Back in 2014, we created, basically had a pop up of 100,000 square feet full of games, games that we had designed and designed with our partners, designed with interns, and effectively for a week, we basically brought kids in. For about an hour, we taught them the basics of games, and then let them loose with all the games that we had created. We basically said, this is how you start. This is how you can end. If you too sort of could learn science and get excited about the things that we get excited, these are the things that you could do, and we did it again in San Francisco in 2015. We did it again with the Dallas school district in 2016, and we moved that work on to our foundation, which basically continues this.Gosh, over the past three years, we’ve thrown 30 more STEAM Carnivals with different school districts, and, gosh, I’m just gonna show you a little bit about impact, the impact that we’ve done from that respect of, there’s a lot of data there, but the most interesting piece is the stuff on the white background. So we asked kids if they thought that, if science has anything to do with real life? And before STEAM Carnivals and some of our other programs, basically like 60% of kids didn’t think that science had to do with anything in real life, which is really, especially for an audience like this, for is, it’s a terrifying statistic. After sort of going through sort of the connection of the STEAM Carnival, 15% agreed with that statement, so this is really a big drop.The other one that was really concerning to us is sort of the idea, is am I gonna fail science this year? We asked them if they agreed with that statement or not, so mind you, we work with a lot of kids in underserved schools, and, gosh, this one really breaks my heart, so the idea that almost half of the kids thought that they would fail science that year, so after sort of going through an experience, like an exciting and inspiring experience, we were able to drop that space, sort of that number to 10%. Now, how you learn and how you get inspired sort of has a number of reasons, or rather, sort of why you succeed at a class has many number of factors, but certainly, as a lot of us know, the idea of confidence and connection to your life are two big pieces to that, and so that is what we have to do with the STEAM Carnival.The Two Bit Circus Foundation continues that work to this day, and sort of it just kind of goes to show at least for us how play is a really important lever in bringing populations that normally are not exposed or don’t believe that this is something that’s possible for them into the space, so there we go. (applauding) Thank you very much, panel. Now this panel spells fun, and we are going to continue the fun with more workshops later in the afternoon where you can dive deep into some of these topics, so I know many of you signed up for Lego Wave Finder workshop. We also have one on aqua games. Now it is your turn to participate, so I’d like to know if anyone has a question, and I will toss them the microphone cube. And can you catch. And can you catch. No pressure, really. You don’t have to catch ’cause I also have to throw so I don’t want to put pressure on anyone.(laughing) There any takers? Anyone interested? Ready? Nice. (laughing) That’s a little heavy, so. My question has to do with there was some talk about if you get kids swimming in swimming pools like in cities, then there’s a leap made from, oh, if kids like to swim, that will connect them to the ocean, and my experience growing up in Oklahoma is that I spent a lot of time in swimming pools, and I had no interest or awareness of the ocean, so what do you do in that space between, oh, I like to go to my local pool, and, oh, I actually care about the ocean? How do you make that connection? Thanks. Do you want to start? Anyone would like to start? I’d default to you first, but I have a comment, but I’ll go to you. Yeah, so I’ll take that, and I think that’s a good, valid question. I think in urban areas, some pools are accessible, but then when you think about trying to connect the dots to the ocean, it kind of is sort of hard, and it goes back to my comment I made earlier about working with a variety of different stakeholders to use their resources and assets that they have to think creatively of how do you connect the dots? Okay, kids are learning how to swim, but how do we spark their curiosity that they want to learn more and that they can swim in larger of a body of water, but also can be educated on some other aspects of the water? So I think it’s crucial that one person or organization can’t do this alone.It takes a team effort and working collectively. Yeah, I’d echo the partnership aspect, so I used to live in Rockaway Beach, New York City, kind of underserved community, and there was a group there my wife was heavily involved with called Swim Strong, which was getting local kids in the water, in a pool, and then connecting them to surfing, and then getting them out in the ocean as well, so we would bring boards to the pool, get them used to paddling around on a board, right, and then trying to take them out in the ocean on a calm day and have them understand the currents and the undertow, et cetera, and there are a number of groups that work in that space.There’s also Surfrider L.A., has a project called One Watershed, just trying to connect us and say, “Hey, we’re all part of this one watershed.” It’s not just the surfers, right? In South Africa, there’s a group called Surfers Not Street Children, which tries to take kids off the street and connect them to surfing, so that’s why it was important for me that we have Mikey February as a South African. He represents what those kids can become as a pro surfer, so it’s important for us, as a league, to help support those images and support those programs, but I do think partnership between the groups, you gotta get them in the water and understand the basics of stroke and breathing, and then the next step is get them in the ocean so they kind of understand ’cause it’s really scary, and kids, if they feel too confident, just coming out of pool and go straight out into the ocean on a heavy day, it’s scary.And to add to that, there could be collaboration within the school district as well. How do you work together with the science department and also physical education? I don’t even think that they work hand in hand, but to that point, that could be something creative of how you really marry those two ideas together. And as an oceanographer, I’m gonna chime in really quickly on that question too ’cause this is something we think about a lot. I know there are many. There’s robotics programs out there, like SeaPerch, that try to have kids building robots and using pools. We’re actually working with Lego, and this is a workshop that you’ll see here today on developing underwater Lego robot. So that’s one way to make a connection to the field of oceanography, but in a landlocked area, and I think there’s also a lot of focus on aquariums and their jobs, and there is a workshop on the future of aquariums here, and I think another area we’re really looking into is telepresence.How do you get that ocean vessel experience, the real work of doing ocean research, in real time to people on land? And that would be another way to connect that dot. Thank you. Any other questions? Yes. Hi, my name is (mumbling). I’m a designer, and this is for Samantha. In the ’80s, I worked with Lego to design some of the first space elements for turning into kind of space education and so on. It’s a fantastic product. Are you guys now, and as we know, plastic is an issue with the oceans. Are you guys starting to look at ways to make Legos with biodegradable materials other than plastic? Yeah, the organization is starting to work towards creating non-plastic materials with their bricks. I believe it will be early next year or later this year. There will be a set of plans, and it’s the plans from plants set, so it was made I believe out of sugar cane, and I think the company has a goal, I believe it’s by 2032, to have all of the bricks be made out of non-plastic materials.Fantastic. (applauding) Oh yes. Nice catch. (laughing) Hi, Annie Dees, National Geographic. Another question along the same lines with Lego for Samantha. If you added up how many Lego pieces exist already in the world, I think it far, far outnumbers the number of people on the planet. Yes. And with this idea of do we need more Legos? What about all those Legos that everyone has in their house in a huge pile that can’t be sorted? Is there any smart, innovative person here at MIT or at Lego who can come up with a Lego sorting machine (laughing) so that we can repurpose these and we can have 10 million ducks already in packages? We don’t have to make new Legos. The ones that we have already are all unsorted and discombobulated. Yes. So is there anyone at Lego who’s actually working on that? There potentially is in our headquarters, Billund, Denmark.I’m just not aware, but I would also look to our colleagues here, especially at MIT Media Lab, Lifelong Kindergarten. They always are coming up with really creative ways to do different things with Lego that you already have in your classroom or in your home already, so ways that you could utilize it in your home, there’s many multiple fans of Lego out there that have done different things with some of our robotics kids to build sorting machines, not only for Lego, but for other different items that they have around their homes or schools, and also there’s activities and lessons and building instructions online, not only from Lego, but also from other fans out there that just utilize the bricks that you already have, so you don’t have to create or go out and buy a brand new set.You can create with what you have. We want to start that playful learning with stuff that you already have at home or have access to maybe at your library or something like that. Like Coinstar for Legos. Yeah. (laughing) Do you mind tossing it back, Annie? Thank you. Nice. Nice. (laughing) Hi, my name is Marah Hardt, and I work at a non-profit called, excuse me, Future of Fish, and we work mostly with small scale artisanal fishers trying to work on sustainable seafood, and we try to often introduce the element of play, but I’m wondering if you guys have any tricks for when actually dealing with adults, who the first impression when you pull out Play-Doh, Legos, or pipe cleaners and say, “We’re gonna build a new seafood supply chain,” they look at you like you’re nuts, and it can take half of the time to just try to get them involved and get them going, so I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on trying to engage grown ups who may be a little jaded that play doesn’t lead to learning and doesn’t know the science behind it.(mumbling) I think a lot of it has to do with the set up. We have had those types of workshops, and what has helped us the most is basically giving people a little bit of time beforehand to know what they’re about to get into because what happens with adults that’s very different than children is that kids don’t care if they look silly. In fact, they tend to enjoy it. Like adults, we’ve kind of built all these personas in front of us, and so if you find yourself in a situation where you sort of end up not looking your best, then walls go up. So what we usually end up doing is letting them know that something like this is coming up, that everybody’s gonna look silly, so just kind of prepared for that, and then oftentimes, this is not from Two Bit Circus, but I used to work at IDEO, where sort of we often used those types of similar materials to do that type of work.You almost want to go through a system of decompression. Like right at the beginning, you’re just like, alright, we’re just gonna sort of pick. We’re just gonna draw our representation of what you would look like if you’re a superhero. Nobody doesn’t want to be a superhero, if you will, but then sort of that beings down that path of like kind of deconstructing your armor, if you will, and then you can go into things that are a little bit sillier, a little bit sillier, a little bit sillier, and then ultimately get to a place where it’s a little bit more open for workshops like that. And I would just build on that. I agree with everything you said. Just having a lot of materials available, so having the Play-Doh, the Lego, the pipe cleaners, the whatever you think might work for that.Having multiple modes of expressing themselves, I think, could be also helpful, and then also posing the problem upfront first without showing the tools that they will use to solve it, I think could be something. So they’re thinking through the problem that they want to solve, and then you give them the tools after they know the problem. That might be helpful, and maybe also posing it, what we do in our lab here is we talk about prototyping for inspirations, so it’s okay if it doesn’t work correctly.It’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect, but you have this prototype that you’ve learned from and you can work from, and you can iterate on it and build from there. Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m sorry. That’s all the time we have for our panel, but thank you all for participating in it. We will move on. Thank you. (applauding) We want to talk to you about the importance of imagining, so if you can find a seat, please do. You’re all so well behaved and quiet. This is amazing. (laughing) There’s a few people coming in, so we’ll give them a second to find a chair. So welcome to the Imagine panel. My name is Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. I’ll be moderating. I’m a marine biologist by training, but haven’t actually collected any data for about a decade now.I founded and run a consulting firm called Ocean Collective that designs conservation solutions grounded in social justice, and so a lot of the work that we do is imagining what a future relationship with the ocean could be, and before I introduce the panelists, I just wanted to share a little bit of context for what we’re gonna be discussing today. So in the prompt from Katy, she mentioned the need to imagine a bright, optimistic future for the ocean. I think that’s a message that for those of us who are more on the science side who understand the details of all the different ways things are going wrong, we often aren’t imaging the ways that they could go right, and so there’s an opportunity to go from bad news to good news and from no vision for the future to this optimistic one. I will say, however, that there is a misconception that all the news that’s being discussed and presented in media is bad news about the ocean, but that is quantitatively untrue. There was a paper led by Jennifer Jequette analyzing ocean stories in the news, and they’re actually not all bad.They’re not even mostly bad, and there’s this really big appetite on the part of the press to tell positive ocean stories, so hoping that this discussion will inspire a lot of that. So when we started thinking about ocean, imagining a better ocean, the first step at that was this workshop called Beyond the Obituaries that Nancy Knowlton arranged at the Smithsonian, and then that morphed into this collective thinking about ocean optimism, and now what I think about a lot is ocean futurism. What does futurism look like in an ocean context? So it’s with that in mind that I want to introduce our panelists who will each give their remarks, starting with Steven Wendland, who is the head of creative development at Technicolor and currently executive producing season three of The Deep, which will be screened at the aquarium here tomorrow, so I’ll turn it over to you, Steven. Thank you. Can you hear me okay? Actually just a slight correction.We’re screening a few episodes of season one, so if you got kids, please bring them. I think they’ll love it. I don’t know if anybody’s seen the show, but I’ll give you a quick whirlwind trip of it. First off, I want to say thank you for inviting me here. It’s so great to be here with such an esteemed group of people to discuss our little TV show, The Deep. I guess I have to put the first slide on here.There we go. As was mentioned, I’m an executive producer on the series. I also helped to develop it for TV about five years ago, just a little over five years ago, and since this is primarily a kids’ show, I don’t want to assume that anybody’s seen it. I should start by playing you our opening title sequence. I think it’s a good summary of what the show’s about, who the characters are, what they want, the kinds of adventures they go on. (dramatic instrumental music) My family are explorers. We have been for generations. Some argue that everything on earth that can be discovered has already been found, while others look up to the stars, we know that there are an infinite number of things that shine in the darkness below. There are things lurking in the seas that long ago vanished into myth. We believe these myths are returning. Secrets are rising out of the abyss. My family are explorers, and we explore the deep. (growling) (water splashing) (applauding and cheering) It’s fun, right? So when we first discovered The Deep, it was a graphic novel called Here Be Dragons.You can see it there. It was written by Tom Taylor and illustrated by James Brouwer, published by Gestalt, all in Australia. A second novel came out later called The Vanishing Island. My colleague in the UK, Allison Warner, called me up one day and said, “You gotta read this novel. “It’s amazing. “I think you’ll love it.” I read it. I realized she was right. I thought it was bold and fresh. It had strong, diverse characters and an epic story. It was totally different from anything on TV at the time, so we gave it a huge consideration. I always love a story that helps you see something that you thought you knew with completely fresh eyes, and that’s what’s struck me about The Deep.Tom Taylor once told me the inspiration for The Deep came to him either from an article he read or a scientist he heard. I’m sure you’ve heard this too, how we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans, and something just clicked with him in that moment, and he realized he had his big idea for The Deep, and it’s a big reason why we decided to option it and develop it for TV. I think it’s simple, and it’s a powerful premise for telling loads of great story ideas, and I think one of the reasons why this series works so well is that it somehow feels strangely authentic. We’re not forcing healthy edu-tainment for kids here. It doesn’t play down to its audience.It doesn’t try to be cute, and it’s certainly not preachy. The Deep is aspirational. It’s fun. Many of our stories are based on a premise that happens to be real, either a real creature, a real occasion, or a real event in history, and we take that premise, and then we build a fun mystery around it. When we first pitched the series, the only thing broadcasters said they wanted without exception was comedy, comedy, comedy. Unfortunately, we pitched them adventure, but we managed to stand out from the pack with a really fresh, quality show, and thankfully, The Deep now airs all around the world. Here in the U.S., it’s available on Netflix and Universal Kids. The show does incredibly well in Europe, especially in the UK and Germany. We’ve used these territories as key to building the brand.We’re doing our best, trying expand the brand into areas beyond the TV screen. We’ve created a short 4D film, which is now available in a few theme parks and aquariums across the U.S., as well as a special Deep-branded activity at Sea Life aquariums in Germany and the UK. We’re actually doing a special screening, as you’ve mentioned, so please bring your kids. I’m happy to say that we now have toys (laughing) coming out this quarter in Europe and hopefully soon available on Amazon in the U.S. The toys are doing a soft launch before Christmas, then expanding to a bigger push in spring. We also have a line of great quality books from Bloomsbury that have just released in the UK and Australia, and I’m proud to say that we’ve recently announced a partnership with Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute. These guys go on real deep sea missions. They’ve discovered hundreds of new species in their last mission, and they expect to find thousands more in their next mission, which begins next year.Our partnership helps them connect to a younger demographic and helps us connect our fans to the real ocean. But I think one of the most satisfying things about working on The Deep is hearing directly from our audience. For example, we get to hear some parents like to watch it when their kids aren’t home, or that they like to dress up for Halloween as the Nekton family, but we also get to hear how much it genuinely inspires people. Believe it or not, we’ve had multiple comments from parents that tell us their kids have decided to become marine conservationists because of this show. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels. It’s almost like we’re no longer just making a TV series. If you’d like to know more about The Deep, feel free to chat with me after this, or please check out our website at you. (applauding) I’m excited to introduce our next speaker, Ella Al-Shamahi, who’s a National Geographic explorer, a presenter on BBC and PBS, and a comic, and also does, no big deal, paleoanthropologist, specializing in fossil hunting in hostile territories. So she’s not an ocean person, so please give her a warm welcome to our ocean space. Ella. (applauding) Thank so much for having me, guys. So that’s the big confession, that I’m not an oceans person. The bigger confession is I can barely swim. Like I can get from A to B, but nobody understands how I got there based on my technique, that kind of thing. (laughing) Actually I’m a mountain person. I’m a cave person. That’s what I do, and it so happens that I was really interested in looking at some caves in the island of Socotra, which is between Yemen and Somalia, and then I kind of got stuck with the ocean to get there, basically got lumbered with the ocean.I don’t think this is the kind of room that you’re supposed to say you got lumbered with the ocean, but that’s basically how it was, and the issue so to speak was that I had to look at the ocean if I was really interested in trying to raise the profile of this incredible place. It’s known as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. It’s an incredibly, incredibly beautiful, diverse place, and then I had to rely on what I know to raise the profile, and that’s usually how I work, so my other jobs, as mentioned, are that I am a stand up comic, and I am a BBC presenter, sometimes PBS as well, and sometimes I’m a producer as well, and the reason why I do those things is actually pretty simple. There’s a few reasons, but the main reason, for this room certainly, is that we have a communication problem in science.We just do. We have a massive, massive communication problem, and when I say that we have a massive communication problem, I mean some people just don’t even believe us. (laughs) Some people don’t even believe the data that we show them. Some people find us really boring, okay? We’ve gotta accept that. Some people find science, the ocean, actually quite boring, which is weird to some of us, I know, but it’s the truth, and some people of course just don’t really respond very well to the preachiness maybe, the doom and gloom narratives.Some of us who are activists and missionaries, we love that stuff, but actually to the masses, sometimes that doesn’t work. So I strongly, strongly believe in harnessing three things. One is being comedy and humor. The second is adventure. Adventure is exciting, and the third thing is the power of the moving image, and by that I usually mean film and television, though also apparently it means YouTube as well, so I’m quite open and broad, and so the issue is how do we do this? And I think the issue before that is to just point out that there’s hope in these narratives actually, and there’s hope in these methods. If you think about 30 years ago, now we all know that people of color and their community certainly have issues today still, but if you look at the progress that’s been made over the past 30 years, if you’re not willing to acknowledge that a part of that difference in the mainstream and the attitudes of the mainstream is a result, a direct result, of comedy and television and film, then it just is.If you think about something like Will and Grace, it partly changed the zeitgeist. It was partly the right moment, certainly, but it also changed the zeitgeist because it humanized. It was emotional, and that’s part of it, right? Part of it is that in this room there’s probably a lot of academics. There’s probably a lot of scientists. There’s probably a number of activists, and that’s all well and good, but the truth is that kind of means that we tend to really like facts. We tend to really like jargon. We tend to really like nomenclature, and let’s be honest. We don’t want to be seen as stupid, particularly academics. We’re really, really scared to be seen as dumbing down, and we have got to get over ourselves because if we want to reach the mainstream, they’re not interested in nomenclature.They’re interested in some wow facts, some of the wow theories certainly, but mostly what they’re interested in is feeling. It’s that emotion, and so what I really kind of very, very quickly just want to hit on, just some points to be thinking about, and they’ll appeal to some people in the room. Some of you might it not be your thing, so one is comedy. I was once told that I should stop pulling faces ’cause it makes me look ugly. Took a picture next to these dead guys, and I feel perfect. (laughing) So the thing is, comedy is an interesting one. Now there will be people in this room that really have an incredible sense of humor. It’s okay if you don’t, but some of you really, really will, okay? Some of you will know that you have a few jokes in some of your lectures that delivered, some of your presentations that deliver.Guys, if you’re into humor, go for it. Really delve into it. Think about taking an improv class, thinking about going to an open mic night. Think about taking a comedy class ’cause it’s not about becoming a comic. It’s about learning how to harness the humor. Part of that is also thinking about really funny narratives, and guys, delve in deep. If you think of something that’s funny, see if you can collaborate with some comics.See if you can get something out there. Really, really simple example was that I was talking to the (mumbling) about rhino horn and how one of the many uses is as a hangover in the Far East and as an aphrodisiac, and the thing is, that’s really tragic, and it’s also really funny if you take a step back. Now just bear with me, right, ’cause I might get a bit dark, but think about this for a second, okay? (laughing) You are essentially wanting to murder an incredible, majestic animal that is in danger just so that you can get a hard on. Like think about that. Now think about if somebody really ran with that in the Far East. Let’s say you picked up a few comics in the Far East, YouTube channel, something, and they ran with that as a comedy bit. Imagine if somebody did that. It’s not preachy. It’s taking the piss, and it’s kind of funny, and I mean, this has been done time and time again with so many things, and we need to be thinking about this with the oceans.What’s funny about plastic, guys? We keep thinking about what’s depressing. How do we solve it? What’s funny about overfishing? How can we embarrass through the use of comedy? How can we stimulate? How can we raise some kind of emotion using comedy? The second thing is adventure. It goes without saying adventure is, you know what? I watched something on Netflix the other day. I watched The Goonies. The Goonies, guys. I was like in heaven. Adventure is so powerful, from the young to the old.Adventure is something. If you switch off a documentary about plastics, you might still switch on an adventure doc that also has plastics as some kind of a background theme, and that’s what we need to really, really be looking at more. How do we use adventure? It’s this incredible thing, and again, so many of us are academics. We’re a bit careful. Don’t be awkward. We don’t wanna be seen as just really gung ho. There’s a way of doing it sensibly of course, but we need to be thinking about adventure as well, and the final thing is film and television, and I will say, guys, I got into that by taking a module. I took a Master’s level module in film and television. I would not be here if I didn’t do that. Look at your university. Look at your open courses. Look at how you can get the skills that you need and then collaborate from there, and I’ve run out of time.Thank you so much. (applauding) (mumbling) Our third speaker is Steven Gould. He is a science fiction author of 11 novels. He is currently working with James Cameron on sequels to Avatar, and he is not an ocean person by profession per se, but he has a lifetime love affair with the ocean through diving and sailing. Yeah, I think I’ve got, yeah, so one way I could start this is by saying (speaking in a foreign language), which for people who have seen the movie, that means I see you, but it’s a very significant thing to the movie Avatar. I found myself in a room with James Cameron, in his living room, at one point. It was a job interview, the first time I ever met him, and it was to do work on this series of movies, but around 20 minutes in after professing a very serious love of his movies, particularly the director’s cut of The Abyss, I said, you know, I really like your movies, but 12 people have walked on the moon, and only three have been to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, and I really want to talk to you about that, and we had this two hour appointment to talk about why they were talking to me, but we went two hours and 45 minutes because we spent like an hour and 25 minutes, the next hour and 25 minutes, talking about that adventure, about that trip where we’re not talking, and oddly enough, it brought back to a book I wrote in 2000 called Blind Waves, which is an incredibly unrealistic book where ice shelves have slid in the Antarctic, and the oceans have risen 90 feet, and there’s a huge paranoia about immigrants, and just totally unrealistic.(laughing) Completely unlikely to have happened, but in that thing, I had designed a submarine because my main character was doing ocean exploration. In this case, she’s doing coastal ocean exploration of drowned communities, communities that are now completely underwater, and I designed that sub, and had James Cameron say to me, “You know that sub you did in that? “That would work,” and to have someone who co-designed the submarine that went down to the bottom of the Challenger Deep to say that was just incredibly, that was a high point, peaked early kind of moment.(laughing) But if I would say anything, there’s some common things about what has been said here earlier, and that is the arts, video, TV, books, comics, and so on are the ultimate Q-ship, and a Q-ship, for people who don’t know, was especially during World War II and World War I, were merchant vessels that were armed with deck guns, which were then concealed because torpedoes were incredibly expensive for the Germans, so they would actually surface their U-boats, undo their deck guns, and sink the merchant shipping, and the merchant ships were sitting there waiting for that to happen, and they would undo their guns, and they would sink it.So it’s a disguised weapon, and so in science fiction, in fantasy, in drama of any kind, that’s a Q-ship that lets you examine issues that are far more serious and far more significant, and also to a certain extent unattractive to your reader, your viewer, and so on, so your ability to deal with issues, like in my fiction, I’ve dealt with issues of childhood sexual abuse. I’ve dealt with issues of various social issues, but this is in the middle of our drama, our story, so we get people who are gonna turn away from a news story about that, who are going to put down a newspaper article on that issue, and instead, they’re going to subconsciously absorb that. I am not advocating that people write political tracts.In fact, whenever we write something that is designed specifically to propagandize concept, we end up turning off our viewers, our readers, as much as anything, but the things that we are passionate about cannot help but emerge in our works of art, our works of fiction, and I find that it is just as important for me that the science in my fiction, the science in my stories, and oddly enough, James Cameron feels the same way, that if you don’t get that right, you’re not going to be able to sell the fantastic element of your stories, and that would be the message. Get everything. I tell lies for a living to tell an ultimate truth, but if I want them to buy a big lie, a big non-scientific fact in my story, I surround that with as much scientific, psychological, and physical realism as I possibly can, and that’s the way you do it to sell whatever else you’re selling. Thanks, that’s all. Thank you. (applauding) This actually makes me feel really hopeful because we have all the elements, right, like we have the potential.As much as I hate to even make this analogy, it’s a lot easier to make people excited about the ocean than about climate change, and so when we’re thinking about the wow factor and engaging people’s feelings on the positive side, on the humor side, on the adventure side, we have it all there, and so it’s a matter of how are we weaving that together in all these different ways? And so I’d love to hear from each of you sort of what do you think are the remaining challenges or roadblocks to scaling the solutions to the communication problem that Ella described? What’s gonna get us to the next level on this? For any of you.I mean, I don’t think I’m in a position to necessarily, I’m not an expert on this. I just think that story, I mean, I’m a huge believer in story, and I think that when you can immerse yourself in an experience, when you can identify and relate and aspire with the characters that you’re watching or reading about, that is a powerful means to communication, and that’s not just kids. That’s everybody. I think if you can show somebody really living and loving and experiencing this world, and you can give them that vicarious experience, I mean, that’s the key for me, I think. I also saw in one of your slides that one of your products that you’re rolling out is quiz books. I don’t know if I’m the only person that was like, quiz books, this is a great addition to the series. (laughing) Because I loved the workbooks that went with like all my favorite shows and characters, so my question for you is like how much science are we gonna sneak into the fun quiz books that go with that? Yeah, it’s a really good question. I hinted at it, and sorry I didn’t talk much about the books that we’re releasing.They’re really beautiful. There’s the official handbook of The Deep that’s out. There’s six new original stories and chapter books, and then there’s that activity book that you mentioned. All of them are sort of peppered with realism, as you say. We base a lot of the stories, I mean, I did an official track of this at one point where almost every story has a basis in fact, and then we sort of just grow it and blow it and build on that into something that sort of tips into fantasy, but it’s that appealing, is it real? Could it be real? It might be real, is really tantalizing, and I think it’s a really critical part of the show’s success.I don’t think it would be near the success if we didn’t have that sort of realistic rounding. I think it would just be this fantasy show that people might enjoy, but it wouldn’t have that sort of really compelling, I want to go there, kind of feel. So Ella, you said one thing that really struck me, which is the value of humor, but in particular you mentioned ocean plastic pollution and overfishing, and we need to find the humor in that, so I’m gonna put you on the spot, and say I’m guessing a lot of people were like, hmm, good idea, but how the hell would we do that? ‘Cause it’s really hard and depressing. Do you have any initial thoughts on how overfishing could be funny? (laughing) So I think that’s the point, right? So there will be people in this room who study overfishing or who are really engaged with overfishing, and the question is really to them, where’s the funny in it? There’s gotta be something funny about it or a way of making it funny.Now maybe it’s not the thing itself. Maybe you can create a character who is just so useless that he or she kind of enters into a kind of funny territory, but I would say that the step before that, in answer to your first question, is two things. One is to be thinking about our institutions and our organizations and how we help those within those organizations and institutions be better communicators. Really, really simple things, like if you were to once a term, once a semester, organize an evening of communicators where you invite the general public, and you get them to try and be funny. So let’s say you had 10 people that worked in overfishing, and you ask them all to get onstage, and to just talk about the most ridiculous parts of their work. Now imagine if that was the culture across the country and my own country, and what have you.Eventually people would start to see some really interesting, but amusing things. Now then if you went on to the next step, which I was gonna suggest, which is in addition to helping people become better communicators and teaming them up with people that are really good speakers and having these evenings and these events, if you were to then think about networking, so getting them to meet comics, getting them to meet stand ups, getting them to meet improv troops, eventually something would come out, and eventually one of those things would go viral, and I suppose that’s what I’m saying.The better we are at communicating the better, you know, Neanderthals is what I study. Now they’re kind of funny just ’cause they’re Neanderthals, right, but some of the stuff that I find funny is war, and war is not funny by nature, but I have a solid five minutes that will make you laugh, and it’s just because I’ve studied it for so long, and I’ve gone in it so deep that I found the funny in it, so the question I suppose is a terrible thing, but I’m sorry. It’s up to you guys, those of you that study overfishing. Where’s the funny in it? Try and find the funny, and think about, is there something in here that could go viral that’s funny? So other Steven, (laughing) along those lines, finding the humor in things, the wow, the opportunity to tell a story from a new perspective, you, in this science fiction world, are like imagining whole new ways of seeing and interacting with the planet, and so I guess I would say what, and you’ve told so many different types of stories. What are the stories that really remain untold? Are there any major opportunities or narratives that you think that really need to be brought into this space? I actually think that is less of an issue than, well, there’s a huge variety of stories being told.The question is whether or not they find their audience or not, so you can look at almost any of these issues. The interesting thing is the technique. One thing about how to examine the unfunny thing, if we set this overfishing thing on a completely different planet, we no longer have to cringe as humans, consumers of fish, that were overfished or are taking at a point in their lifecycle without realizing that they have a 25 year birth cycle that are moving this. Sure there’s lots of fish, but we’re not actually going to see more for an incredibly long time, so that stuff can be moved into a thing that will not make, and even though it’s a dark subject when examined here, you can definitely go ludicrous on the topic, but it’s interesting.So science fiction has a fake reputation as a futurist phenomenon, when in fact, science fiction predicts the future the same way a shotgun kills a duck, right? You fire off a shotgun. The pellets spread out, and one pellet occasionally hits the duck and takes it down so that’s– Maybe we don’t want like analogies where we’re killing our future though. (laughing) Hits the target. Take it down. Just hits the target. One thing hits the target, but so many things don’t. On the other hand, science fiction is almost always more about the time it is written than its ostensible setting, past, future, fantasy, et cetera. The Lord of the Rings is about, among other things, the trench warfare of World War I, which Tolkien experienced, so there’s things that happen, but I really believe strongly that narrative art in particular, but other kinds of art, can wrestle with these issues in ways that are far more acceptable to a mass audience than putting out a tract, a political tract. It’s interesting because what I’m hearing from all three of you is that there’s this opportunity to use art and story and moving images to help people imagine other ways, but it doesn’t have to be the way it is now with this absurdity of like, I know.Let’s kill all the fish right when they’re about to make babies. That’ll be a good way to make it sustainable, so thinking about like how do we envision another way, help people see that there are other options, other ways. I think there’s also different audiences. So in the UK, for example, we have different channels on the BBC, so BBC4 is for the people that are really serious, and then BBC2 is a bit less serious, and BBC1 is like, “Hey, plastic’s bad, guys,” but the thing is, and we’ve gotta remember– ♪ Take your canvas bag ♪ ♪ Take your canvas bag ♪ ♪ Canvas bag ♪ We’re starting a performance art here, but no, but I think the truth is that we need to remember that there are different things, so the tracts for example are really useful for the academics and for the activists because they’re the one’s who need all the information, but actually if we want to read the masses, that’s where you need to start thinking about this stuff– So Steven you mentioned that the show was really popular in the UK and Germany in particular.Why do you think that is, speaking of these different audiences? That’s a good, well, there’s a couple of factors. Part of it is the strategy of building the show. We sold it to CBBC at one point, and we partnered with Super RTL in Germany, who became a big brand partner on it, so there’s a lot of factors that go into the success or failure of a kids’ TV show. Sometimes it’s a lot of luck, but those particular territories happen to be good for a good viewing base, as well as extended licensing opportunities so that’s– I was hoping for some like weird cultural hook.I was wondering myself– If there’s like a business, a practical reason– The amount and level of public education, which has been a problem in our country, as we cut back on various aspects of that, is different, is sufficiently high, that there’s an engagement there. You know, I don’t know the specifics, I can’t speak to that necessarily. All I can say is I kind of come back to the fact that if you can, well, let me back up and say, part of the fact of the marketplace right now, especially in kids’ business industry, is that you have to make a universal brand.You have to make something that can appeal because you can’t easily sell to one broadcaster and fund your show. So by definition, you have to put the pennies together from all sorts of different territories and markets, so that changes the kind of content that you’re creating in a way, so you’re trying to create something that can be universally, and that’s a good thing, captured by an audience around the world, and this happens to be one that seems to be connecting all around the world. Great. Questions, we’re all gonna see if I’m better at surfing or throwing things. (laughing) Michael. Okay, great, thanks, Ayana. I actually don’t have a question. I just wanted to hold the cool mic. Give it back then. No, no, no, so I’m the director of the Aspen Institute High Seas Initiative, and so one of the things that we work on is trying to figure out how to connect people to the high seas, which is inherently difficult, because it’s at least 200 miles away, and the ocean’s really deep there, and I think story’s a great way to do that.I’m also a recovering television writer myself, and a book editor, and so as I think about stories and particularly about the stories that you’re talking about in the science fiction realm or in the children’s television realm, one of the aspects that we kind of bump up against is that there are programs like Wild Kratts where you have actual science being done with children and engagement with animals that actually exist, and then The Deep and some of the science fiction components where there’s this element of Here Be Dragons and showing things that in your fantasy mind could exist, but we sort of know enough about the oceans to know that those large discovery creatures don’t actually exist yet, whereas in space, of course, everything is open to be a possibility. So how do you bridge the gap between wanting to do both of those things, of including science and including creativity, but knowing enough to know that maybe the greatest creative things aren’t actually there? How do you bridge that gap? Could I take a stab at this? Yes, please.One of my great dislikes, my thing I would rant out a little bit, is movies and stories in general that depict technology and science as the villain. So in the case of the ocean, this has been a tremendous thing. I mean, we have The Meg going right now where, yes, there’s a giant creature, that it wants to eat you. It wants to be destructive. I wish we could find species like that that were so massive, so I think it’s really important to try and find drama that does not demonize technology that does not demonize literally the scientific method.Right now we get enough of that in the news, where, oh, yeah, global climate change, yeah. We have people who are denying stuff that 98.7% of scientists working in climate field say it’s a real thing, but then you get representations of here’s the one scientist who doesn’t buy that, and then take one scientist from the other group, versus. So I think that’s part of what’s going, what we need to avoid. Michael Crichton, science is out there to eat you, kill you, and do something, school thing.I really prefer the, we got rid of smallpox in my lifetime, school of science, and so on, and I think that’s a very important direction to go, but again, engaging story, engaging characters, we’re never going to get anywhere. Cameron spent five years or so working on a movie project that was gonna be about the colonization of Mars, and he spent incredible amounts of time. He had a room full of file cabinets with all the research material, and he said, “I could do this movie, “or I could do a sequel to the Avatar projects,” which have already made a significant change in attitudes about colonization, the treatment of Native peoples, the over-exploitation of resources to the detriment of an environment, and so literally he’s tabled that and went towards the sequels in hopes that there would be actual change resulting from these, so.We’ll take one more question. I got super chatty. I might just like walk. Is this this cheating when you walk over before you throw? Yes. Hey, I got it. Okay, so I have like two questions. Sorry, we really only have time for one– Only one, okay, just one– They’ll be around. Okay, so I’m here with my 12 year old son, and a big part of being 12 years old is video games these days, so how do you think the medium of video games, which is like kind of the cross between imagination and play, is going to make an impact on the younger generation in terms of awareness of all of these issues and awareness of the ocean? I have no idea. (laughing) I mean, my initial response, and I mean, it’s such a big question. There’s 1,000 answers to it, I’m sure, but I mean, one thing that I’m particularly excited about is that video games are getting to such a sophistication that they can really tell stories, and it’s stories in a different way.They’re immersive stories in a way that you couldn’t tell on the TV screen or the film, and I think that’s powerful storytelling when you can be in that and you can experience these things. I’m not gonna judge which games are good, which games are bad, but the ability to do that now is really powerful, and that excites me. There’s some fantastic games out there that really have incredibly sophisticated tricks to immerse you in that experience, and I think people have just scratched the surface on what you can do with that. My daughters play a game that is set in an alien ocean that is really impressive in both its graphics and immersion, and the number of lifeforms and so on that you have to interact because it’s a survival game as well.So I’ll have to actually get the name of the thing. I don’t have it in my head, but ask me later, yeah. Is it called what? Spore. No, it’s not Spore, but that’s an interesting– Shipnautica? Subnautica. Subnautica. That’s it. That’s it, Subnautica, Subnautica. I’m only attending conferences in the future where there are children ’cause they have all the answers, (laughing) and on that note, unfortunately we have to wrap up this panel, but thank you so much.That was really great. (applauding) (murmuring) (laughing) Alright, hi, everybody. My name is Emily Salvador. I’m a second year Master’s student here at the MIT Media Lab, and I’m just so excited that this forum’s being hosted here. It’s such an exciting opportunity to meet such inspiring people, especially the people on my panel. They’re such stewards of imagination and engagement and innovation in so many ways, and I’m so excited that they’re here to speak to you all today, but before we get started, I wanted to tell you all two stories of mine that relate to the theme of this panel which is immersion.So similar to Neil Jacobs, who gave the keynote this morning, I also grew up on the Treasure Coast in Vero Beach, and conveniently, Vero Beach is an hour and a half away from the theme parks in Orlando, so Disney and Universal and Sea World, and when I was a kid, I loved going to Epcot. It was one of the most inspiring science museums, albeit labeled as a theme park, for me, and I distinctly remember in one of the showcases they had this giant touchscreen, and on it you could feed fish, and you could learn more about them and engage with their environments in really interesting ways, and I remember asking my parents, how does this touchscreen work? Where are touchscreens? When can I get one? And at the time, iPhones weren’t around yet, and it was the only place where you could engage with these really inspiring technologies.The same can be said for aquariums, and museums, and theme parks alike. They really bring forward innovative technologies in ways that don’t reach the public until they become commercially viable, and in that, I can definitively say that going to theme parks and museums is the reason that I went to MIT and that I’m at the MIT Media Labs, so I’m really thankful to people like the ones that are on this panel that have championed those initiatives. And then the other story that I wanted to tell is, how many of you have ever been to a tide pool? Just go ahead and raise your hand.Oh, okay, a lot of you, and how many of you have seen, just shout out some names of animals that you’ve seen, maybe an octopus, or a sea cucumber. (muffled shouting) Great, I’m sure you all said something different, and I think that that’s really cool, so paralleling my experiences at museums and theme parks, there’s actually going to tide pools. I think that they’re one of the most exciting places because every time I go, there’s a different story that’s being told.I’m having a different experience. There’s serendipity in what I get to discover that day by going, and I think that there’s a lot of lessons that can be drawn from ocean exploration and ocean engagement that then can inform museum spaces and theme park spaces, and so I’m really excited to introduce this panel now. We’re gonna start with Sven Lindblad, from Lindblad Expeditions, and he brings people to the ocean by creating marine focused expeditions aboard small ships. Sven has focused on global exploration with the goal of inspiring people to explore and care about the planet, and so this is really exciting.So you bring people to the ocean and create immersive experiences for them. Oh, okay, well, thank you, first of all. It’s been so much fun listening to everybody here. Just Ella sort of triggered this, and various other people have talked about what were the triggers in their lives that created some level of passion or interest to do what they currently do as adults, and she brought up rhinos in a somewhat different context but when I was 19 I moved to East Africa. Well I went for a summer and then I dropped out of school and then stayed for the next seven years. I was living in a national park called Tsavo. 5,000 square miles, the largest national park in East Africa. And it also had the largest population of black rhino in the world. And one day I was a little bored. I was working at this tenant camp because we didn’t have any gas and I decided to go out just to see how many rhinos I could find in one day and I found 59. Which was an extraordinary number even for us. 15, 20 a day were fairly normal but 59 was extraordinary.And then I went back 10 years later and I was there for a week and did not find one. And I think that’s the point when I became a conservationist way before I became a businessperson. Because I felt that that was way way too much power in the hands of people. That we could essentially wipe out an animal. In any case but that’s not really what I’m here to talk about but we all have something that gives us that kind of base for whatever it is we ultimately choose to do. When I left east Africa I wound up becoming particularly interested in the ocean mainly because it reminded me of the Serengeti kind of notion but that’s a long story but and now I run an expedition travel business and partnership with National Geographic, we have eight ships all over the world, currently we have two in Antarctica, two permanently in the Galapagos Islands, one in the Channel Islands, three in dry dock which is no fun but they’ll be heading to Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize, and Baja, California.So over the years what we’ve tried to do is give people extraordinary experiences, we all know the ocean is wonderful, it’s mysterious, it’s full of interest. We know it’s essential, we know it’s under threat. And we certainly know that it’s not as well-understood as it ought to be or needs to be. And so this opportunity to bring in our case something like 25,000 people a year to the ocean, give them extraordinary experiences, experiences of a lifetime which is not a cliche in this case. Each one, each expedition being different because it’s really almost totally dominated by the forces of nature. And then bringing them in connection with ideas, scientists, naturalists, historians, whatever it may be that inspires and enlightens that time that we’re together I think is really potent and we also have a fund together with National Geographic, we raise about $1.5 to $2 million a year that we invest in conservation, education, and exploration.And now I’ve been talking with Katy who I’ve known for a long time during her time working with Bob Ballard about how we could use these ships more effectively as platforms for science, research, storytelling, what have you. And so I’m gonna show you a brief video because that’s gonna illustrate it best and I know time is of the essence here. (upbeat music) Ice matters to me because it’s such an incredibly insanely beautiful substance. (cracking) But ice is also a window into environmental change. It’s where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action. Since 2007, our team has deployed timelapse cameras to make a record of how glaciers are receding as a consequence, apparently, of climate change.Now, these cameras that we’re in the process of installing here in Antarctica right now are the first time that we’ve had an opportunity to look at this part of the world. Lindblad has given us access to the ship. The logistics down here are very, very difficult, very expensive, it’s hard to get to these sites and the opportunity to work from this remarkable floating logistics platform if you want to think of it as such, the National Geographic Explorer, is fantastic, and we’re all together getting these cameras in the right place at the right time.We’re here in south Georgia and we’re doing the very first biodiversity assessment that’s ever been done by a citizen science program. We’re here with National Geographic and today we’re gonna be doing a bio blitz. There are lots of very educated people who wanna contribute meaningfully to the world around them and to the scientific knowledge of our planet. And now with technology if you have an iPhone, if you have a Samsung Galaxy or a tablet or just your camera, you can meaningfully contribute to how we understand the ecosystems. The National Geographic Lindblad vessels bring greater number of people to a greater number of places than professional scientific parties can touch in a year.And that’s just such a fantastic resource and especially nowadays when we all carry around with us really remarkably powerful photographic devices that just happen oh by the way to consistently talk to GPS satellites. So every time we click our smartphone button, we’re geotagging a particular observation that no scientist likely was ever going to get to make. We then collate all those photos that we’ve collected on the day and we upload them to a website called iNaturalist. That photo now becomes a data point for that biodiversity survey. So the conservationists, researchers, and anyone from anywhere in the world can get the data and start to find out what’s happening and what’s changing in these fragile ecosystems.(upbeat music) We’re hosted onboard a Lindblad expeditions and the National Geographic Society do this research. This is research that we’re doing in several parts of the world and specifically here in Antarctica. Killer whales are the top predator in the ocean so understanding the impact they have as predators on marine ecosystems is very important. Particularly with ecosystems that are changing rapidly. Not only are they doing their work, but every day they’re sharing that work with our guests.So this is an interactive process. Science is being done, research is being developed, and our guests are participating in that whole experience. Everybody benefits as a consequence of that. This is real citizen science. How many killer whales are there, where do they travel, what do they eat? They sound like very simple and basic questions but they’re difficult, it takes a long time, and we have to use some complicated research equipment to do it. I think it works both as an experience for them and as a research opportunity for us. Okay, time’s up. (applauding) I’ll be around for the next day, I’d love to talk to any of you who have any ideas about how this may be applicable to your work or your ideas.(laughs) Fantastic. So next I’d like to introduce Vikki. Vikki is the president and CEO of the New England Aquarium and its research and conservation institute, the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life. She served as the president and CEO of the council on foundations in the ocean conservancy and she’s also founded many organizations that help empower scientists to engage in the public discourse on environmental issues. And we’re very excited that she’s here. Thank you. I think I only have one slide. I’m the most low-tech one on the panel. If I can find it, there it is. So good afternoon or good morning everybody. It’s almost lunchtime so I just wanna thank Katie for this opportunity. It’s just such a pleasure to be here. I have sort of dipped in and out of ocean conservation over the course of the last 10 years of my career and I’m not sure an event like this with such an amazingly diverse group of people talking about this issue in such an interconnected way could have happened, certainly not 10 years ago so kudos to MIT and to Katy for pulling this together.(applauding) So I wanted to also share a little bit about my personal connection. I was fortunate enough, I am the daughter of a military officer who moved around all over the world and I was fortunate enough to spend my high school years in Pensacola, Florida along the Gulf Coast. And if you’ve ever been there it’s the most beautiful water and the most beautiful sugar-white sand and I was also into surfers, not surfing, just surfers. (laughing) And I just fell in love with the ocean and I wanted to be a marine biologist. And I just knew it. And I had a science teacher who was a bit of a mentor to me who actually told me there was no place for women in science. And I am of an age where that was not an unusual thing. I was a pretty good writer and so I pursued a liberal arts career. And it’s amazing how karma happens and how life comes full circle because I’m still pinching myself to be here at this meeting with these panelists but also now leading this beloved, iconic institution called the New England Aquarium so be persistent.I had all kinds of great opportunities that came my way and I took them and eventually found my way back into this world and what I think of is my strengths in communicating married with this passion I have for the ocean and trying to figure out how do we get people to care about these issues as much as we care about them. And so the title of this panel is Immerse. I am three months into my job at the New England Aquarium so I know very little, frankly, about how we design our exhibits, how we pull all of this stuff together and I wanna be very transparent and authentic about this. I wanna call out Billy Spitzer who is our vice president for education and exhibit design so if you have any questions about that, he’s the guy to ask.But I came to this institution because I really believe in the power of aquariums. When I was, earlier in my career I was recruited by the Pew Charitable Trust to start a project that became something called Sea Web. And we worked at the interface of science, communications, and policy, trying to help scientists be more effective communicators. And at the time the Pew Charitable Trust ran a project called the Pew Fellows in Ocean Conservation. There may be some of you in the room. And that was housed at the New England Aquarium so I learned, my early lessons about conservation actually happened at the New England Aquarium and it really changed the course of my life. So I believe in the power of aquariums which historically have been really there to entertain and entertainment is fabulous and we’ve had panels about play and interactivity and all of that’s great but I think there is a progression that’s evolving and we’re kinda moving from kind of entertainment to education to inspiration and then to what I’ll call activation.And I came to the New England Aquarium because I’ve run a major conservation organization. I deeply believe in the power of communicating science and research which the aquarium has had a 50-year history of doing. But then what do you do with all of that? So I wanna be slightly provocative about this topic of immersion. We must continue to give people these incredible experiences like Sven and the others on the panel have done. Carlos has worked with us at the aquarium in our science of sharks exhibit for example.To edit film that really creates this impression that you’re right there with the sharks. All of those things are amazingly important but I’m here because I want to ask the question, to what end? How do we take all of this inspiration and all of this education and really inspire people to action? And so I came, I think there is a real opportunity for aquariums to become 21st century conservation organizations and we’re fortunate to be working with MIT and I hope some of you will come to the workshop this afternoon on the future of aquariums which historically has been about what happens inside aquariums but I think the new conversation is what’s inspired inside those four walls that then makes you act out in the world in new and powerful ways? And one very simple example of that is the work that we’ve been doing, our science at the New England Aquarium helped the Obama Administration justify the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument just 130 miles off of this coast.The Trump Administration is working on rolling back a number of these protections for national monuments both on land and on sea and early in my tenure, a month or so ago, yeah, really early. (laughs) I lent my voice to an op-ed that I penned that talked about the importance of these incredibly beautiful places, the Serengeti of the sea, actually is the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts. And we need to be using our voice not only to inspire but to also activate. And we got I think something like 700 people signed an online petition so those 1.4 million visitors that come into the aquarium every year can be mobilized to action and so I’m really eager to talk with those of you in this room to learn from you about how to do that with respect and to really make change happen in the world. So thank you. (applauding) Really good. Yeah. Thank you so much, Vikki. Next we have Carlos Toro. He is creating impactful experiences that draw on the scientist to inspire action.He leads a team of designers and developers and filmmakers at Steer Digital. And he’s directed and produced conservation-themed programming for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. And he’s recently partnered with Looking-Glass Factory to produce experimental underwater volumetric content featuring giant manta rays. And so what I think is really great about this panel is we just went from people that are taking you out into the world, people that are bringing you out into the world from these liminal experiences and now we’re gonna hear from somebody that designs experiences within these liminal spaces. So one thing that you forgot to mention is it’s Throwback Thursday. (laughing) So I have to open this up, right. (cheering) This is Smith Hill, Providence, Rhode Island. That’s where I’m from.So the reason I bring this up is because all hands on deck to me, like I wanna dig a little bit deeper with that definition. And in my mind it’s not just like engineers, researchers. It’s like people that you drive by the neighborhood and you might not think there’s much going on here. You know? I was jumping in and out of that window a lot. (laughing) And I was exploring, I was exploring my backyard, I was exploring my neighborhood, I would be out all day and I wouldn’t come home til really late and so I think we know this and I think we feel good about who’s here today and I’m not cynical about who’s here today but I wanna re-emphasize that these places are worth investing in because there’s kids here that can contribute to this. Mm hmm, mm hmm. So I’m gonna bring it a little bit forward and I’m gonna show you that (laughs) my concept of nature at 17 wasn’t that sophisticated.Okay? (laughing) This is us on top of a rock, we just took a photo. (laughing) This is what we thought being out in nature meant. But one thing that I wanted to mention about this photo is these are all first generation Americans. And the biggest thing for them is to just have financial stability. It’s not even about contributing to this discussion at all. This is like a luxury. This is like maybe next generation. But one thing that I saw was that I didn’t wanna miss that boat. I felt like I was coming late to a dinner party. Like the American dinner party which is like get a home, have a safe, secure place for your kids, move out to the suburbs.But at the same time it seems like that model is going away. It’s just counter, it basically is counter to what’s happening in the wider context, the environment. So I don’t even know if that something that I wanna dedicate myself to. So I decided to jump in. Like I’ve always loved nature and there were like some satellite dishes on that house and through those satellite dishes we got Discovery Channel, we got, you know, Nat Geo. So the value of that is known to me. And so a few years ago I really jumped in but the funny thing about this was this was like my bucket list item.And I thought just one day of my life I wanna do, as a filmmaker I do get access to these incredible experiences, but I thought one day this was gonna be like the top. And then I blew right past that. (laughing) Right? Yeah. Yeah. (laughing) And so that for me was really empowering ’cause I felt like I could go back to the people that I have new networks and new relationships but I can also go back to the people I grew up with and say. There’s so much out there to be inspired by. You know? There’s so much out there to be awed about. You know? It’s not all doom and gloom. Especially today, I think we should take like 10 seconds for silence because there was a massacre this morning. And this is the context in which we’re working. ‘Cause how we gonna make people care about this when all these other things are happening? So I just wanna take 10 seconds. Okay, so I’ll get into it a little bit more. This is me being really stupid.(laughing) Okay? (awing) Yeah. That’s a probably 12 to 15 foot tiger shark. So it’s just for the Discovery Channel. But one thing that I really, really love about this experience is it got me up close and personal with these animals that are vilified, right? Just soon enough you find out that those myths just melt away and that was very important for my growth. This is down in Ecuador were I’m doing some work as an FFME ambassador. And this is also the project, so we have Alex Hornstein in the back and I teamed up with Alex to develop a 32-camera holographic rig. That I’m gonna show you guys. And so this kinda comes back full circle. I wanna be able to immerse kids in neighborhoods who, and really everyone, but I have that bias too, that I care about that population, right, like I wanna be able to show them that there’s really amazing things out there.And like how close can I get them to that? You know? So this project was meant to get much closer to that. Alex was like hey we could make these things look alive in a box. I’m like, cool. So there’s a display outside where you can see the footage that we picked up. And there’s some moments in there were you can see this technology working really well. But it’s really beta, beta, beta. Super beta. (laughing) So here’s the moment here where you can kinda see where you start to get a sense of the volume and depth and this might have applications in museums, aquariums. Mm hmm. And Alex has a really, really cool presentation about aquariums of the future. And whether or not you can distinguish whether what you’re seeing in the tank is there for real. Oh! Or if you can trick the brain into believing that this is all happening in there without having to house these animals. Mm hmm. Hmm. So this is the last photo, this is our studio now.It’s in Providence, Rhode Island, and it’s right down the street from where I grew up. And for me it’s not just an office location, it’s not just a studio location, it’s a place that people can come in and get acquainted with what we’ve been able to see. ‘Cause we’ve been privileged enough to do that. So that’s it. That’s awesome, thank you. (applauding) That was great. That was great. Thank you. (mumbling) Yeah, thank you so much Carlos and thank you for reminding us that immersive and actual experiences should also be accessible. Dan Fields is an executive creative director at Disney Parks Live Entertainment at Walt Disney Imagineering. He leads creative development for all the Marvel-themed entertainment in Disney parks and resorts worldwide. And he’s worked extensively with the Disney cruise lines to produce day-long experiences and shows like Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea.Thanks very much. And I’m delighted to be here with so many great, great thinkers and contributors. I’m sure the outlier coming from the world of entertainment and theater. I have the honor and the pleasure to conceive and develop and produce and deliver live entertainment experiences in the parks. I think that I was invited to participate in this event because I do, one of my passions is finding ways of drawing the guests deeper into an experience. So long before I was an Imagineer, I was the theater director of plays and musicals. In Seattle I wanted to tinker with how to make theater more engaging so I tried staging Shakespeare’s The Tempest with the guests sitting on the floor and the play happening all around them and recruiting the audience to help Ariel, Ariel from The Tempest, not the sea, to make some of the magic. But then joining the heartbeat of the American theater in New York, my very first job was as the assistant director on the original production of Lion King on Broadway. So in case you’re not one of the 90 million people (laughing) who have seen that production in the last 20 years, probably the most defining moment of that production is the very first one.As the famous chant begins the show and the song Circle of Life begins, the entire animal kingdom parades through the aisles of the theater, and that instantly makes everyone in the theater a subject of King Mufasa and also instantly more invested in that story. Mm hmm. About 12 years ago I became a creative director for live entertainment, the live entertainment studio at Walt Disney Imagineering. And how to connect with our guests through character and story and experience became even more important to me in the theme park environment. Now most of our young guests, they would meet and hug Mickey Mouse as a large walkaround character and well you might have done that when you were at Epcot. (laughs) So the puppets that we created for Disney Junior Live On Stage allowed two to seven year old kids to experience Mickey and his friends as their size for the first time, recontextualizing that experience. And in case that wasn’t enough for the toddler crowd, we did engage them by dropping bubbles on them and confetti on them, which of course makes us the only time in history when it is appropriate for this keynote transition.(laughing) We’ve all wanted to find the perfect opportunity for that. I also created stage shows for the Disney cruise line like this comedy Villains Tonight. So in this case we allowed the characters like Hades and Ursula to improvise with the audience as part of the show to defang anyone, any young audience members who might have a fear of the villains. And then even the streets of Hong Kong Disneyland became our stage. With the Muppet MobiLab, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew who I think got his degree here, (laughing) could see, he could actually see from a remote location, could see and talk directly to the guest as he drove around and then he would lure them in to become the subjects of his misguided experiments with poor Beaker of course getting the worst of it. You’re gonna meet the writer and director, show director of that event, Cory Rause, at this afternoon’s workshop.So when you engage directly with the guests, they’re gonna stay longer and they’re gonna play longer and then surprising things might happen. (laughing) For the opening of Shanghai Disneyland, we wanted the guests to feel like Darth Vader was really there so we allowed him to occasionally take over Tomorrowland; the guests didn’t seem to be too concerned with the Dark Side, they just followed him around taking selfies. (laughing) But my current challenge is bringing to life the superheroes from the Marvel Universe.Our guests both young and old are really eager to have heroic encounters with these aspirational characters and relate to their heroic qualities, not just their actions. So we try to create real, dimensional locations and a narrative conceit to back up those experiences. In the movies, we sit in the dark and we watch a protagonist have an adventure. So like in this theatrical show where Dr. Strange levitates to battle with Dormammu, a demon from the dark dimension, but in an inclusive and immersive environment he can also take time to teach a powerful protection spell to a young guest.That’s the icy token of Ictholan, in case you were wondering. For Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney cruise line. If we focus on making our guests the center of their own story, then we can put them directly into the bifrost and transport them to Thor’s home world of Asgard like in this immersive walkthrough experience at Hong Kong Disneyland. So while it’s thrilling to watch Black Widow kick some Hydra butt, it’s also pretty empowering for some seven year olds to believe that they can throw a shield like earth’s mightiest heroes in The Avengers Training Initiative at Disney California Adventure. Since I thought it might be a good idea to demonstrate some relevancy to the ocean theme as best I could, (laughing) I will end with King Triton’s Concert, which was an immersive Little Mermaid show that we created for Tokyo Disney Seas. Our desire here was to cast the guests as mer-citizens of Atlantica which is the underwater home as I’m sure you all know of Ariel and King Triton.The environment was 360 degrees of liquid effects. (upbeat theatrical music) And undersea scenery. But most powerfully, Ariel swam overhead just out of reach and looked guests right in the eyes as she sang Part Of Your World. So I’m really looking forward to being part of your world and hearing your stories as well, thanks. (chuckles) And nailed it. (applauding) (laughing) (murmuring) That was really fantastic. So now given that I’m a student from the MIT Media Lab and I wanna be able to represent the Media Lab’s involvement here in the All Hands On Deck forum, I wanted to ask, at the Media Lab we have three guiding words that are our principles.They’re impact, uniqueness, and magic. And I was wondering how those three words impact your work either with conservation or with bringing people to these amazing places or creating more accessible experiences for people. So again, impact, uniqueness, and magic. Well nature is, whoops. Nature is unique. We don’t have to make it unique. It’s full of magic and we certainly have impacted it and we hopefully can begin to impact it somewhat more positively.And so that’s a very, very logical confluence of words in terms of if you take people out and you expose them or you bring them to an aquarium or you take them to Disney World or through your immersive 32, it was so much fun listening to Carlos’s and seeing his images last night over dinner. That’s just unbelievable. And this place in Ecuador is the best place in the world to see large aggregations of mantas, just as an aside, so you should speak to him about that if you wanna go see them. But so to inspire people and to find ways to show them the awesome aspects of our natural world and then to begin to have a conversation in one form or another about what kind of positive impact we can have is an important idea in whatever form it takes.Could you repeat the three words? Impact, uniqueness, and magic. Okay. So I spent the last six years of my career running something called The Council on Foundations in Washington DC, it’s the trade association for organized philanthropy and I learned a lot about what motivates foundations, what they care about, how they choose to fund a lot of the great work that all of us want to be doing to change the world and I learned a lot about how they define impact. And so that’s what immediately came to mind is I think that we have perhaps thought too much about impact in that context and not enough about the magic and the uniqueness which can’t always be measured in the way that some of our systems require us to measure it. So I think there is a really healthy tension among those three words that we can’t ever forget what it is were trying to accomplish but we can’t lose the heart in all of this. And sometimes I think that happens too much.That was a very sophisticated answer. Oh! (laughing) Brilliant. Hardly. (laughing) So our company, we have another company called Steer Films which I’m a director for, and the tagline is impact driven. That’s all we wanna do. We just wanna work on things that matter. Things that are timeless, like nature. Like, right? Just seeing things work on these trips the way they’re supposed to, it’s an interesting luxury, it’s a weird time right now where that feels like a luxurious thing to witness. So all I can say to that question is that I completely agree with that. With those words and that mission. And it’s something that we strive to do as well.And I think we find magic inherent in the natural world, just being able to go out and witness and come back and talk about those stories. So those are the things that inspire us. Yeah. Obviously magic is one of my words as Disney. (laughing) But the practical application for it whether it’s as a technologist to then to dream something but then understand how to make it real as you and your colleagues at the Media Lab are doing or to use the magic in storytelling to find something relatable for a child. Take the example of Moana. That’s just a story about defying expectations for that young girl. That becomes, that magic is in service of the story. So we put in everything we do and then on the back end you can grow up to hopefully be involved in one of the 140 disciplines at Imagineering that makes that magic happen for the young guests who will then make an impact, it’s all gonna feed in.That’s awesome. Sven and Vikki, I had a question for you both. So both of you engage a lot with going beyond these liminal spaces like museums and theme parks and actually going out into the world. And I was curious how do you bring back your field research in a compelling and a compacting narrative to tell in spaces that the public can engage with? Go ahead. Well that happens in a multitude of ways. And it isn’t consistent, necessarily, remember our primary business is bringing travelers and showing them these awesome parts of the world.And then we’re trying to look for creative ways in which we can use these platforms to make those experiences more impactful beyond those privileged relatively few who have to the opportunity to go to those places. And that’s exactly why I’m here and that’s exactly why I love Katy is (laughs) because she represents to me for the behalf of the planet an accelerator that can use us as a tool to improve the ability to communicate more broadly as a consequence of what we do as part of our daily business, if you will. Mm hmm. So I’m here to really, really hope that there’s a bunch of people in this room that will at some point go to Katie and say, “I have a great idea that might work for Sven’s boats.” (laughing) Let’s figure this out. So I’d like to say that the Boston Harbor and the Gulf of Maine are in many ways the New England Aquarium’s very best exhibit.So to my point earlier it’s not just what happens in the walls of the institution, it’s what happens out on the water and so our science and research team for many, many years has been gong out and I’ll go back to my Northeast Canyons National Marine Monument example. You know, we do these aerial surveys once every several months and every time the researchers come back they have these amazing stories of what they see and under the water, on top of the water, you know, whales and sharks and just things that in abundance that we can only imagine and dream about and so part of that is to come back and say this is why we have to protect these places. We don’t even know what’s there to the points that have been made many times prior. So I just think it’s part of our, it’s in our DNA to find it, to study it, but then to bring it back and share it with people so that they can be inspired and educated to take action.It’s a very circular process. Very fascinating. And so I know that we’re the last thing between you all and lunch. (laughing) I’m gonna ask one more question and then maybe we can get quick answers from you all. So how do you create a sense of exploration and discovery or serendipity in immersive experience designs or in the experiences that you create? I should start. Yeah definitely you should start. Again, a sense of exploration. I need to give that like two seconds. Well I can talk about that in a theme park environment I’m sure many of you have been to some theme park whether it’s Disney or otherwise but there’s the planned activities, the ride you go on or the show that you queue up to see but it’s ever more important to have serendipitous experiences, to bump into a character or a show, something you didn’t know was around the corner.And we’ve actually done the research to find out that those kind of experiences greatly improve people’s feelings about their experiences in our park. Even in a highly-programmed environment like that it’s our responsibility to make sure that not every moment is truly programmed for the guest. That surprise and delight is an essential human need. So we do our best to try to program it so you can have it. (laughing) Yeah I was gonna say that’s a little challenging. It’s probably something I’m gonna get better at and I can explore through our work. So the thing that we have to contend with is let’s say we’re putting a VR experience together. A lot of that is scripted.Right, if you’re having a voiceover, really push those moments that the viewer can then anticipate. That’s a great question like how can we incorporate serendipity into that experience, but I don’t have a clear answer for that today. So I had this fascinating conversation a few weeks ago with a man named Peter Chermioff who is the architect who designed the New England Aquarium. We’re the first and oldest in the country by the way, 50 years next year. And we were the first to have this kind of giant ocean tank. How many of you here have been to the New England Aquarium? Yay! (laughing) So the first to have this giant ocean tank and I think what we often forget is that serendipity comes in the quiet sometimes too and just in being able to sit there and ponder and so I had never known this but there are sort of windows built into the outside of the ocean tank as you make your way up and they’re a particular size so that a small family or a group of people can just stand there and observe this tank and the interactions within the tank at various levels as they ascend and descend.And we’ve heard so many anecdotal stories about how that’s where people get that inspiration. It’s not anything that we have programmed or necessarily even intended, it’s giving them the space and the quiet to have their own experiences. Well nature is really spontaneous and (laughing) full of serendipity all the time. And when you think about it, how many of you have been to the Galapagos Islands, for example? Okay, some of you. All of the rest of you should go at some point. But when you think about it it’s analogous in many ways to a production like Disney World except we don’t have to produce it.(laughing) Mm hmm. It’s produced itself. What we probably should do is do a better job of investing in its health so that it can keep on producing all this magic and all this serendipity and all of this wonder. So I guess I’m kinda lucky ’cause in many ways ’cause I just have to get people to a place where all that– Happens. Stuff can happen. Do it safely and do it with teams that can help people along the way and provide the little inspiration that we can provide compared to what it is providing on its own.Mm hmm. Well thank you so much, that was an excellent final answer. And so if you enjoyed this Immerse panel I encourage you to attend the transmedia workshop, the shared explorations beyond the screen workshop, or the New England Aquarium future of the aquarium workshop. Thank you all very much and thank you to our panelists. (applauding) (murmuring) So just kidding, we’re not having lunch just yet. You’re about 10 minutes away from lunch so just bear with me here. (laughing) Yeah actually I do need that, thank you. So to get your mind off sandwiches and transform it to art, I want everyone to close their eyes for a minute. And I want you to think about a piece of art, a creative work that may have inspired you in your life in some way.Whether it’s a play or a novel or a piece of art. Now think about how that affected you in your life in some way. Now open your eyes. Has anyone not been inspired by something within their life in a creative form? That’s what I thought. And that’s what our founders thought and that’s what Schmidt Ocean Institute thinks. So our organization is uniquely positioned to be able to share science and art together. Schmidt Ocean Institute is a non-profit that advances the pace of marine science with technology, open sharing of data, and communications. Our co-founder Wendy Schmidt firmly believes in this, and not just sharing the science that takes place on the ship, but using it to transform why people care about the ocean. And it was her idea to start our Artist At Sea program. So why select artists? Well artists, like scientists, have a curiosity. And they’re not just interested in the result but the process and they have a unique way to illustrate that.For example, up here is one of our Artist At Sea participants, Lily, who recently was on Falcor using our remotely operated vehicle, Sebastian, to paint images of species that they found on the sea floor. But artists not only can share the process, they can help tell the story and they do so working not just side by side but by directly with our scientists on the ship so they are not just on Falcor, our research vessel, doing art while scientists are doing science things, they are participating in the science and using that experience to then translate their art. Our Artist at Sea program started in December of 2015 and has been going strong for 20 artists who have sailed on Falcor. Each year our open application process which is open to artists internationally continues to bring in new art, new types of artists, and greater interest in our science art program. Last year we had 91 applicants and we will have another open call this December. Now these scientists and artists work in tandem together and these relationships have fostered collaborations not just while at sea but after the fact.The artists range from many different disciplines and we try to get as many different types of artists as possible on Falcor to translate the science and share within new mediums. We’ve had musical composers, cartoonists, traditional painters, fiber artists. We really try to embrace all of the arts and creative disciplines. And these artists themselves find new ways of creating and interacting with the science and being out at sea.Our impressive cohort has ranged from international and national artists who not just use their art mediums but also use the ship itself. For example, the rocking of the boat could sometimes be a hindrance for someone who’s trying to do a fine-detail painting, but some of our artists have embraced that movement and worked with it in their art forms. For example Ben Cosgrove who wrote a composition about that or Rebecca Rothstein who I think is here in the audience today who used the movements of the ship on her paintings. We even have a same type of science taking place, for example, multi-beam mapping which is looking at the sea floor and mapping the sea floor bed and having different artists translate that in unique ways. Our artists not only participate in science expeditions but recently we started an artist expedition.And we did this with a transit so when the ship was going from one place to another we took this an as opportunity to not only bring on a bunch of artists, six in fact, but also a scientist to work together and they learned how to do multi-beam mapping, the artists participated in night watches and also learned how to clean up that mapping data. Now all six of these artists were able to transform what they learned into their art.And some of that is displayed here today and we actually have two artists here from the expedition who will be standing by their work at lunch. These science-art relationships foster long-lasting collaborations; many of our artists continue to work with the scientists post-expeditions. For example, Kirsten Carlson who was an illustrator who came on one of our ships is still working to do illustrations with the scientists she worked with and some of their sea to sky science. We also have artists that have come together, two of our artists who didn’t know each other before this program came together and applied for a National Science Foundation Antarctica program that was successfully funded and they went to Antarctica together and used some of the art that they created on Falcor as a starting point to build their exhibit and their relationship through their continued works.These science-artist collaborations continue. Another example is one of our artists, Michelle Schwengel-Regala who was one of our earlier artists and a fiber artist who crocheted our CTD casts that were displayed on the screen. And this was a really unique expedition that might have been very hard to explain or translate. They were looking for unique proteins in oxygen dead zones. And what she did was take these crocheted CTD casts and string them together to tell the whole story of what they found on that expedition. Now that inspired her to start working with metal, malleable metal, and make mesh metal sculptures that actually illustrated the water columns that those CTD casts were collected at.And what’s funny is she kept in touch with the scientist from that expedition and he was in Honolulu visiting when she happened to be showcasing those new sculptures at the Honolulu Biennial. And he walked in and immediately knew exactly what locations those sculptures were from. And I just love that story because it’s a perfect example of how art can really work with science to make it more approachable to the public. Our artists that come on Falcor also require to participate in community outreach. And what this entails is journaling or blogging about their experiences and we usually ask for two to three blogs that are reflective of their time at sea and working with the scientists, and we put that out on our website and through social media. But we also engage with audiences remotely while we’re out at sea and so the artists participate in a ship to shore connection and that has taken place with classrooms, at galleries, at communities, and allows them to tell their perspective of what’s going on on the ship and what they’re doing.And the artists can also share post cruise when we’re in port we’ve had them give tours of our research vessel, sketching tours where we bring other artists on board and they’re sketching the ship as they get to tour the different research platforms that we have available. With the art that’s been collected we started getting quite a bit as you can imagine with 20 artists. We wanted to share that and not just keep it for ourselves and the scientists on the ship.And so in 2017 we started a traveling exhibit with the works of the artists from the program. This has now been traveling to 14 different exhibits across North America in museums, aquariums, community centers, conferences, and even the America’s Cup thanks to our amazing sister organization at (mumbles) Racing who’s here today. And these artists have an opportunity to present their work to interact with each other, to interact with the press and the public and share what they’ve done. It also allows us to engage with the public in new ways and show that science can be transformed in many different venues and in many different ways. So as we move forward with the Artist At Sea program, we hope to have many more artists and unique programs and projects related to this. We have an open call that will take place this December. We also have our expression of interests out right now for scientists and engineers and you should have all gotten a postcard today that showcases three pilot tracks. Our oceanography track which is what we typically do but also we have a technology and coral reef track.And this also provides new venues and avenues for ways to work with art in creative and unique ways. And with that I will say we can go to lunch now. I do wanna make sure that you all take a moment to explore the art that’s displayed today. We also have Keith Ellenbogan who’s work is going to be shared on the video wall along with the Artists At Sea exhibit. He’s funded by the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and his work is showing the amazing photography from Stellwagen Bank. Thank you so much and enjoy your lunch. (applauding) I haven’t walked on the beach or immersed myself in the ocean for over two years. Now, for some background. I live in a coastal city. I hold a Master’s degree in environmental studies, and I’m a former National Park ranger of an ocean-based national park. But in the summer of 2016 I severely sprained my ankle and I haven’t fully recovered my mobility, in part due to an underlying physical disability.A condition I was born with but I only recently found out that I have. My access to oceanic endeavors is limited not just by my body, but also by society and that’s what I’m here to talk about. Ableism is entrenched in ocean conservation and research, and neither will be accessible until we start addressing that more directly in spaces like this very room. And access and accessibility don’t refer just to disability.Access is a beautifully multifaceted word. It has far too many meanings and possibilities to address in two minutes, but when I say the word access I’m holding open all of those many meanings and possibilities, including those both physical and figurative. I want to use the privilege that I have of being in this room today to generate and amplify creative, collaborative ideas for promoting and ensuring equitable access. We must work together to continually reimagine how participation and leadership in ocean exploration, research, conservation, education, and storytelling can be made more accessible for all people whose stories are not part of standard narratives. Thank you. (applauding) Hi everyone. My name is Fernanda, I am an interdisciplinary designer and I’ve spent the last year on an adventure. I was living in London, Tokyo, and New York over this past year and I did this as part of my Master’s research in a program called Global Innovation Design.And in it, a group of designers spends time in these three amazing places doing research on how to solve global issues for areas they’re passionate about. We’re a very diverse group but for me that’s meant thinking about how technology’s changing our human relationship to nature, how that’s different in these different places, but also the universal elements of it. As a designer I spend a lot of time thinking about systems, how we live in systems and how we might design with them in mind. And I think nature is the biggest system we’re all a part of and it’s necessary to think about it when we’re designing solutions for the great big challenges we have ahead. So as a traveled in London I worked on an effort in connecting urban citizens to urban wildlife for the benefit of humans and animals using audio recordings. In Japan I experienced the deep awe that comes with living in a place that subject to natural disasters and typhoons and hurricanes and the tension that comes with the desire to control nature and the need to work with it.And most recently in New York I’ve been working on how bio-materials might be used to engage and educate young people and students into understanding and learning more about nature. And I’m curious in how we can do this in a way that’s accessible, that benefits kids and communities and engages everyone. And this last one is an ongoing project so I’m really looking forward to being inspired over the next couple of days and to keep this conversation going with you all.Thank you. (applauding) Hi everyone, my name is Liz, I’m representing my local beach today in California. (laughing) So I come to MIT Media Lab Space Enabled Group from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Where I was a creative strategist for six years designing, helping imagine our future for space in a variety of different ways. One of those ways was the NASA travel posters, have any of you saw those awhile ago. (applauding and cheering) I illustrated two of those. Thank you. And this one specifically was Europa so we’re talking a lot about Earth’s oceans today but my focus primarily in the past was on ocean worlds like all over the solar system.So I’m stoked to be here doing some Earth stuff today. So yeah and so a part of it was storytelling. It was really important in terms of helping young children and everybody just imagine our future in outer space, particularly Europa. So Europa is this big, icy world, it’s a big, icy moon of Jupiter for those of you who don’t know.In the middle it’s really, really hot and what happens when you get ice and heat is water, right, and so the middle of this moon is all an ocean, it’s like this giant ocean. And so there’s gonna be some missions later on to Europa, the Europa Clipper in 2024 that will be trying to look for life or signs of life on Europa. And yeah and so it’s really great to be able to be here and explore our future in the ocean with everyone here.So thank you. (applauding) Hello, my name is Miles Lipson, I’m also a graduate student with the Space Enabled Research Group in the MIT Media Lab. And I’m here to talk to you about a proposal for a museum experience that our group has put together with the goal of increasing the public sense of awareness and sense of stewardship over Antarctica and the southern oceans. And the idea of this project grew out of the Here Be Dragons event earlier this year at the Media Lab and since then I’ve been working with my colleague Liz who you just heard from as well as some other members of the group to ask how can we achieve this. And the concept we have is for a set of programming that combines two elements. An immersive, in-museum exhibit that has a multi-sensory immersive experience that draws on various earth science and other data sets to tell a compelling narrative about Antarctica arranged around three themes of space, life, and ice.And then also a citizen science component as a follow on using a low-cost water monitoring sensor that our lab has developed which could be used as part of programming either at the museum or in local schools. And the thesis of this work that we want to actually demonstrate and hopefully prove is that by combining these two elements together, we have longer lasting and stronger effects towards our objective than either of these elements in isolation or even both elements if they are done in an uncoordinated manner. And so at this point we have a concept but we’re looking for others to work with to potentially actually test this out as well as make sure that we can build a productive use for the data that we’d be gathering from this so if you think this is an interesting project, please approach me or Liz or someone else from the group and we would love to work with you to take this forward and see what kind of results we get.Thank you. (applauding) Hi, my name’s Rebecca. I am an artist working in painting, installation, let’s see, there we go. Painting, installation, public art, and sculpture. And I was invited out to sea four years ago, I’ve had an interest in oceanography, in geology, in microbiology, and I was invited out to sea four years ago first on the Nautilus and then on the Falcor. And that experience really changed my life and from that point on I knew I wanted to just focus on sort of exploring the ocean, creating work that sheds light on these places and these processes that are hidden from view. And so this is a piece actually, this is just open last week at the Georgia Museum of Art. I’m working with the scientist Mandy Joy who was supposed to be here and she’s sorry she couldn’t be here but I was working with video footage of (speaking in foreign language) and we programmed the lights in the piece to mimic the movements of the (speaking in foreign language) and the bioluminescent patterns.It’s triggered by somebody walking by the piece so there’s this interactive component and I’m really looking forward to doing more of that kind of thing, sort of multi-sensorial kinds of experiences ’cause I feel like through that connection with the public and with the viewer, we can, connecting them with this sublime place we can sort of forge a dialogue about climate change and about environmental stewardship. I’m also going with her next week on an expedition if we get the visas but supposed to go down in Alvin which I also had the wonderful opportunity of doing two weeks ago and it was life-altering.So if you wanna talk about bioluminescence, I can tell you about it, it was amazing. Thank you so much. (applauding) Hi everyone, my name is Megan Liebetkan and I am a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My research is in submarine vulcanism but today I wanna talk to you a little bit about my event series that I launched last month called Synergist.A synergist is somebody who cooperates to create impact that is greater than they could do alone. The mission of Synergist is to expand community engagement in the sciences and the arts by creating space for artists and scientists to showcase their work and inspire one another and celebrate their explorations. So each event or volume has a theme. That theme is abstract so it leaves room for many different participants across disciplines. Volume one, our first event, occurred on October 28th so last month, last week. Our theme was (speaking in foreign language).That is a genus species of a rarely-encountered deep ocean undulating jellyfish. It’s this purple orb in the middle of the screen here. So we had a multitude of explorers from STEM disciplines, art backgrounds, painters, designers, experimental musicians, all sorts of different things. And the idea is to keep this open to the public, it will always be free. We are not located in museums or formal institutions. Based in sort of music venues and bar settings. And although it’s open to all, our target audience is young people 20s to 40s that don’t typically engage in STEM. So people that aren’t necessarily self-described STEM enthusiasts we’re trying to pull them to experience the wonderful world of science and immersion. So thank you so much, if you wanna check us out, Instagram, synergist.ball, or email me. Thank you. (applauding) Ah. This painting depicts a story, and that story is that the ocean is the source of all life and we are born from it.Each and every one of us can draw on the inspirations from this story experience to imagine and create a beautiful world that sustains life. But for many this message needs to be renewed. So we build our inspirations and imaginations to share with the world in art, stories, technology, science. But what happens before we build that? First we were quiet, we were listening, and the inspirations came through. So how can we allow, how can we invite more people into this process of receiving these inspirations from the ocean? My name is Jonatha Giddons. I am a National Geographic fellow with the Exploration Technology Lab. And we are working on a global biodiversity assessment of the deep ocean, using deep ocean drop cams. And the goal is to establish a base line of deep ocean health. So my vision with the drop cam program is to share our findings not only in data but also in stories and in art.So more than just data, each place, more than just a number on a map, each place will have a picture story that comes about from quiet contemplation and the inspirations of that place and each place will have a narrative story that comes about, that’s crafted by carefully listening to that place, distilling a message, and sharing it with the world. So this is my vision to be able to share the wonders of the deep sea not just with data, but also with these stories and so I’m seeking ways to bring these two forward as we move forward into the future. Thank you. (applauding) Marine flora and fauna have been the catalyst of innovative advanced medical research treating the human body from sickness and disease. As we study the similarities between marine life and the human body, it is equally important to recognize that the water itself has healing properties that are beneficial to the body being that we are 70% water.As a marine scientist, a Master’s of marine science and a licensed massage therapist, I have merged my disciplines to focus on water therapy as a form of facilitating healing. Through osmosis of the skin which is the largest organ on the body, I help exchange stagnant toxic water within my clients while exchanging with highly living waters or free forming waters around the world that are collected by clients of mine. And in this exchange, we are trying to make the hydrogens of the body that are very toxic to be replaced with these living waters.Another type of therapy that I also do is water art therapy which is a psychological approach to treating emotional imbalances through adults as well as children. Over here we have someone who had a very tumultuous breakup. The one in the middle is me changing and merging my careers. The two on the sides are children dealing with the loss of a parent. The goal is paying attention to the quality of water because the water quality also impacts as much as the species they inhabitat. Excuse me. Excuse me. (chuckles) The water quality is very important because it affects the physical as well as the psychological ways of healing the human body. I am the owner of Healing Waters Mobile Massage, The Stork’s Next Womb Care Massage, and I get waters from all over the world to treat people. Thank you. (applauding) Hey everyone. I’m Kyle Sorenson and I am an animator and songwriter from Montana and along with my colleague who’s not here right now, Emily Narrow, who has more of a biology background, we produced the first episode of a new children’s web series called Deep Sea Singalong.And in a nutshell the idea for this series came to us when we realized that watching videos of ugly fish turned us into 10 year olds. (laughing) Emily is a crew member on the NOAA ship Oceanus Explorer. She’s actually out on the ocean right now which is why she’s not here. And during expeditions they regularly discover and capture footage of never before seen lifeforms so if you’re into making videos about brand new ugly fish, she’s a good person to know. Truly though we think that many of these ugly, awkward, sometimes eerie deep sea creatures are brimming with an undeniable if slightly macabre brand of charisma. Making humorous educational videos about deep sea fish has the potential to inspire children with curiosity about ocean science as well as to promote an inclusive moral message that encourages children to form sympathetic attachments with animals that aren’t as conventionally attractive or impressive. So catch me at some point if you’d like to watch the video, it’s also on YouTube, and thanks.(applauding) Hi, I’m Nadia, I’m a freelance writer and conservation communicator from Malaysia. I write stories, local stories, narrated by local voices. And I would like to showcase stories which have the ocean as a conduit to moments of beauty in our everyday lives. So for the first picture, why the story was really important was that is a female green turtle rescued by local fisherman from a retention pond as a power plant and why this story was important was because local fishermen are still killing turtles that are accidentally caught in fishing gear and this was a really important story to share with the community. And the house you see at the bottom is a 50 year old house built by two local women from the east coast of eastern Malaysia and is currently being repaired and restored by a woman’s group who are working on coastal conservation and it shows their resilience, independence, and also just the communal spirit of the community there.And that lady is preparing a really delicious snack called (speaks in foreign language). Which is a fish parcel made of sardine, coconut, and excellent local ingredients and flavors, and she is part of an NGO that uses food and culinary heritage as an entry point to talk about wetlands and coastal conservation and the stick that she’s using is from the mangroves and the ingredients show the link that we have with our natural environment. And the last photo you’ll see is the national heroine, a title conferred to this lady from Ache, Indonesia, which is called (speaking in foreign language). She lived in the last part of the 16th century. She’s the first female admiral in Indonesia’s recorded history and some say in more than history and for me this story is really personal. I am researching about it right now because it’s showing representation, faces from Malay archipelago who have the maritime heritage, the naval knowledge, and just skills to navigate the ocean and for people like me I want to see more faces like her in the mainstream media.Thank you. (applauding) Hi, I’m Julie Jacobowski and I live in two ocean communities. One is the ocean science community as a graduate researcher for the MIT Woods Hole joint program where I study physical oceanography. And the other one is as a surfer who lives on the New Hampshire sea coast and surfs every day. A while ago this year I posted an article I had written for the Woods Hole Oceanus Magazine about the ocean research I had done at the Galapagos Islands and I honestly didn’t think people would be that interested because most of my Facebook group is not ocean science people. The reaction I got was much greater than I thought so I started wondering how interested is the broader ocean community in ocean science? And one of the things I did was I wrote a survey, I posted on Facebook and Instagram asking two questions.What do you want to know about the ocean that you don’t? If you could ask a scientist to study anything about the ocean, what would it bed? And I thought maybe I’d get like 20 responses. Within five minutes I had 20 responses. By the end of the day I had hundreds. And what this showed me was that the ocean, the broader ocean community which consisted of surfers, fishermen, commercial boat captains, vacationers, people who just walk by the beach and a lot of people who live at the beach really desperately want to know about ocean science. And these questions were super inspiring. I was almost in tears reading it because they were well thought out, it covered everything you could think of about the ocean from coastal issues to questions like how do stark fish reproduce. And they had no way of finding the answers. And then I found out when I started going to the beach people were approaching me and saying hey, we really want to know the answers to these things and so the broader ocean community that interacts with the ocean every day and impacts the ocean every day really, truly wants to know what ocean scientists know.And the only way for them to find it out is Google it so I tried it and I Googled some of the questioned they had and there are some questions that had resources on the internet that you could send to answer their questions but most of their questions were things I had to go into peer reviewed science journals, download, understand the journal, and then I could answer their question. And that’s not something that the general public can do. It costs a lot of money and it takes a lot of specialized training.And so I found out that it’s not the ocean community that’s interested in the ocean sciences. They really truly are and they’re the ones impacting the ocean on a daily basis. In order to make good decisions about how they impact the ocean, they need to know what scientists know. So my question for everyone here and I think it’s a reason a lot of people are here is what are we gonna do about that? How are we gonna fix the situation? Thank you. (applauding) Hi everyone, I’m Sam Mitchell, I’m a researcher at University of Hawaii in deep sea vulcanism. But I’m not going to talk to you about that today. Instead I’m gonna introduce to you a new and growing community mainly through Instagram called the sci community. Now what we are is we are a group of scientists, educators, communicators, artists, and our primary aim is to bring science to the young through of course the growing social media forums which are being used more and more on a daily basis by young people.So part of this, say we have our Instagram which is mainly where we are centered. We have only started back in January and already at this point now we have around 11,000 followers and we continue to grow. We’re made up of over 100 scientists and one of the things we pride ourselves on is representing diversity among science both we are collaborate with groups for women in science, for LGBT representation in science, for ethnic minorities in science, and we really pride ourselves on that inclusivity and bringing everyone together.And what we do is we basically profile scientists every other day or so and bring a new face to people they talk about either to research or new ways that they communicate science and it just gives everybody a chance to get out there and also apply to their own base. We are also on Twitter and we are starting to grow on YouTube as well where people are doing longer videos where they can talk about their research or ways that they communicate to people. But the reason why I’m talking about this to you today is I’m looking for more representation from ocean science community. We do need a few more. I’m a geologist background and there’s only a few of us anyway but it’d be great to see some more people within oceanography or anyone who has a passion for communicating ocean science to bring this to our community and to really help impact how we perceive ocean science and communication for people of a young age, particularly through high school and undergraduate college level.Thank you. (applauding) Thank you for this opportunity, I am Beno from Fabla, Peru and I am coming from the Amazon Rainforest. I don’t know if maybe how many of you have been in the Amazon Rainforest. Not too much but I would love to invite you to be there. We are developing a floating flat lab that will navigate the Amazon River and tributaries. For people that don’t know about the Amazon Rainforest it’s an amazing biolab where almost everything around you you can eat almost everything around you (laughing) but also anything around you can eat you so it’s a (laughing) very challenging place but it is a place where you can really learn about nature, the connection with a global scale and also we face many different challenge.Of course global warming, deforestation, species extinction, massive extinction of species. So that’s the reason why we are developing this platform. That will navigate the river connecting global communities as you know with local communities to develop solution for many different problem. For example, water quality. We are 3D printing fishes that have biosensors to detect heavy metals, oil, urban waste, et cetera. Also even if this is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world we have 90% child malnutrition so we are exploring superfoods to print vitamins for kids especially, et cetera.So we are developing many different projects as a global community, not only with countries around the Amazon Rainforest, it’s an invitation for everybody so I would be happy to join you of course in this sense, thank you so much. (applauding) Hi everybody. My name is Shanise Stanitsky, I’m a complex systems scientist focusing on marine systems and an experiential artist and now a mother of submarines. (laughing) Oh no it’s blurry! So I’m here to talk about the community submersibles project. We are basically indulging in this concept of exploration where exploration by submersibles is in the popular imagination the sort of metaphorical journey into the most remote corners of the human experience.And it’s in a lot of ways analogous to space travel except that it’s absolutely full of life and not just life, I mean, it’s full of these guys. (laughs) And they’re magical and they’re glowing and they’re just completely wondrous. They have nothing in common, well, they have little in common with so many of the organisms that most people see in their lives and it’s impossible to explain to people what the visceral experience of being confronted by such extreme novelty on your own planet feels like.And so the purpose of this project is to sort of live inside the question, what if anyone could do it, what if anyone could go? And so (laughs) you can’t see but I adapted two submersibles. The one on the top that’s all blurry with all the people gathered around it, that’s Fangtooth and this one down below is Noctaluca. And in service of this access issue, two sort of imperatives emerged and they are destroy the transactional financial model that (laughs) where entities pay absolutely astronomical amounts of money to go on dives, and the other is to show people what happens to you down there.And so we’ve sort of started building this culture and community around this experience with the intent of softening the kind of hypertechnical way that the ocean exploration is portrayed because there’s a psychological accessibility issue as well. And so we’re kind of acknowledging that this is an exercise of the human spirit, exploration is. And so… I forgot what I was gonna say. Doesn’t matter! (laughing) So what we’re doing is we are trying to engage makers, builders, dreamers, fabricators, engineers, artists in particular to sort of help communicate the psycho, emotional, and aesthetic qualities of this extremely profound act of exploring the deep. And so we’re having our artists that are on our crew are repainting the subs to be beautiful inside and out. We are shooting a music video inside of Noctaluca with a scrolling underwater scene handpainted that scrolls past the view port with it on land. We’re taking it to festivals like you can see on top and just generally creating this joyful and expressive community around it and then once we have people feeling like this concept is approachable and they’re engaged then we’re like actually, now you’re gonna become a mechanic and now you’re gonna become an engineer and now you’re gonna be a pilot.And we’re doing it and you can too. (laughing) And so this metaphorical act of, these like internal acts of bravery in confronting the inaccessible and really investigating what that means in an internal way, this is mirrored perfectly by the outward experience of journeying into the unknown. And so I just wanna leave you with that thought and I hope you’ll join us and I have stickers and come talk to me, there are lots of practical aspects of this, it’s a really big vision I just wanted to give you a little slice of it and that’s it, thanks. (applauding) Thank, let’s give another round of applause for all of our lightning talkers. Great job everybody. (applauding) So just a couple of logistical things before we break up into workshops right now. So we have five workshops this afternoon. Everyone will go to two of them. The one at the top, transmedia storytelling, everyone will go to at some point this afternoon and so half of the room here will go to transmedia storytelling which will be just outside where we had lunch, and for the first session everyone else will break up amongst the other four.Future aquarium will be on the fifth floor, aqua games is in a room on the fourth floor, the -493 means it’s on the fourth floor. Shared exploration is in 240 on the second floor and then the Lego workshop will be at the MIT sailing pavilion which is across the street. So go down to the lobby and a group will go across the street. This is the schedule so we are a little bit behind so right now as soon as we break just go straight to your location so we can start promptly at 1:45, we’ll have an hour and a half and then between 3:15 to 3:30 that’ll be the chance to move to your next workshop location.Another hour and a half, and then we’ll come back here for the wrap up. If you haven’t noticed, look at the back of your name tag. That will show you where you’re going. It has your workshop assignment, the times, and the locations on the back of your name tag. What if I don’t have workshops on the back of my name tag? You ask. Go take a look at the descriptions either in the program or on the wall just outside this room and go to whichever one you wish.If you have an assignment, please go to where you’re assigned because the rooms we have are very limited in terms of space so we can’t just have everybody going to wherever they want. One final note is that we do have an online opportunity for all of our online viewers to participate in transmedia storytelling for the first session. So this is the link, it’s also on the forum agenda page so go there. Philip from the MIT Media Lab Learning Initiative will be running that concurrently with the storytelling workshop so please go check that out and everybody here let’s break and go enjoy your workshops. Thank you so much everyone, it seemed like it was sort of milling around, seemed like workshops went really well and since we’re running a little bit behind I’m just gonna turn it straight over to Catherine Havasi with shared exploration beyond the screen. (applauding) I need the clicker. It’s on the table? Oh it is on the table, that’s fantastic.Hi everybody. So my workshop was shared exploration beyond the screen and we focused on immersive experiences for the ocean with the idea that we could help bring the ocean into environments and to populations that would normally have the idea, the ability to work with it through immersive experiences. So I guess the next question that you probably have if you weren’t in the workshop is, and maybe even if you were, what is an immersive experience? And that can be very broad. The idea that we’re going to bring our senses into it, that we’re going to put people into an environment where they can use a combination between art and science to really have great visuals and great experiences that bring them inside a situation like the ocean. And there’s quite a range of immersive experiences out there right now, probably a bunch of you have gone to escape rooms or you’ve seen something like this or you’ve been at an immersive theater show.And so that’s one end of the equation and there’s been a lot of work in museums as well in bringing these experiences to life. And if you think about it it’s kind of always been true. I grew up in Pittsburgh, I remember going to the Carnegie Museum of Science and going down in that little elevator to the center of the earth in like the ’80s, I don’t know if anybody remembers that or if anyone’s from Pittsburgh, that’s also an immersive experience. Thank you. (laughing) Literally everyone who’s from Pittsburgh immediately lights up when you say that and you tell that story so it really shows the power of these things. And we talked about that. So how many people here have been to an immersive experience? Awesome. How many people here have created an immersive experience? Even more awesome. Okay so our workshop came up with some ideas and we talked about big themes.A big idea of how to use immersion was really to work with scale. The idea that there’s so much in the ocean that is small, that is vast and exciting, to be able to work to bring the vastness down to be accessible or to bring the small up to be something that understandable was a big theme that many of the groups in my workshop worked on. Everything like immersive microscopes to be able to take a look at all the tiny stuff that’s going on inside a handful of ocean water down to 360 degree domes to really understand what’s going on in the sentiment in the ocean floor. A lot of people talked about burrowing animals actually and understanding what it’s like underneath the floor of the sea and the colonies that are down there and also the ocean has a giant vertical scale.Could we move that to a horizontal scale and be able to work and build an environment for that kind of thing? And the other side would be really to build living connections, you know, in an environment where for any number of reasons the ocean isn’t accessible, can we find ways to connect people with the ocean via livestreams, via sensory data. Both with researchers who are out there actively doing work right this second but also with environments.Particularly interesting idea was can we build something like one of those tunnels that goes underneath a railway or a road. Where the tunnel is continually evolving as the environment and it’s echoing a marine environment so as you walk through it you can kinda hear and maybe even see art or something what was going on there. The big idea there is can we merge the street with the ocean, can we make it something that people experience every day so they don’t need to go out and they don’t need to say hey, today I’m gonna go experience the ocean. It becomes part of their life. And with all of that. We came up with some themes. The number one theme that we ended up talking about a lot was accessibility. And that’s something that whenever you talk about immersive experiences, you end up talking about scalability, one person with a VR headset is not very scalable. And plus scalable content creation. One person with a VR headset and a story that takes a team of 10 people to write is also not very accessible cost wise for people like schools, high schools, underfunded museums, all that kind of stuff.How do we build up the economy of scale here to be able to make this actually work? As well as focusing on inclusive design, bringing in underrepresented groups and indigenous groups and really making the design accessible to them. We talked already about reaching folks in landlocked communities and I think the consensus is one size doesn’t fit all and really within our discussions we talked a lot about the need for diversity and building these experiences, both with regards to everybody involved in the, everybody in the people who are bringing to the table but also in bringing artists and scientists together. To really understand what people, what each other was doing. And in some ways that’s how museums and aquariums are evolving so we wanna help people to rediscover aquariums and museums. And go there for reasons that are different than what they expected.And we talked about the concept of art as emotional priming to really get people excited about things and being ready to learn, being ready to engage. And there was a lot of bring an artist to work day, how can we bridge this boundary, right? And there was a lot of very practical discussions about what’s going on in aquariums right now and the sort of barriers that keep them from being able to go do that but I think an important point was you know aquariums and zoos really know how to reach underserved populations? And that we need to really activate and work with those teams within the groups.And finally a little bit of a cautioning note here which is that there’s a lot of really great, exciting visual stuff happening in immersive experiences right now and then there’s a lot of science happening and people, a certain population will go to the science and they’ll check out, and a certain population will go to the shiny stuff and they’ll be very excited about it but they won’t open their mind to learning so how do you bring the two together and build something that’s really able to bring a message home and cause people to learn, cause people to open up and bring home more than just that was a really cool thing that I got to see. And that was sort of the big quandary question that we really took out of it.Okay. Thank you guys. (applauding) I have no slides, hooray. Hello, I’m Novi San, I led the aqua games workshop. If you were in my workshop, raise your hand. (cheering) Those are my game designers, yeah! You guys did an amazing job. If you work for say a theme park company or someone that builds water parks, there’s a lot of really smart game designers out there, you should go find them because some of the stuff they came up with was amazing. So I’m just gonna give you a quick breakdown.The game, the prompt was to try to create experiences in the water, above the water, with the water in some way. That can bring the ocean where it isn’t and that gets people more engaged with the ocean whether there or not. And all of these have met that prompt. A big theme was obstacle courses. There seems to be a giant desire to have the sort of Tough Mudder Spartan Sprint kind of things in the water so lots of amazing, one is sort of more of a meow wolf sized aquatic environment that sort of maps the entire earth and lets you go around and actually experience all the different types of oceans and the things on the bottom and sort of like rock climbing under the water, going past geothermal vents, things like that. Another one is called Fish Run which is a very similar idea that you’ve got lots of tag team and relay type things that go between land and water so you’re experiencing mangroves and then you’re up on the land and then you’re back into the different types of ecosystems. There’s lots of converted board games.So one we have Connect Sea Floor which is basically (laughing) a version where there is a coach or an adult that is throwing out Frisbees of different colors and teams have to go and grab the first one and then they have to ultimate Frisbee style til they get back to the grid and then actually dive down and strategically place the different checkers into the Connect Four and if you don’t do it in time everything explodes. (laughing) There’s also the inverted or what we call inverted type games called Flink, called Float and Sink. So if you imagine Jenga but you’re actually putting things that are more or less buoyant and the entire thing might tip over on you and there’s ways of, there’s actually an economy, the market where you can actually trade different types of blocks to more strategically place them.That one’s super fun. There’s one called H2Go which is kind of a combination of the big year that’s done in the birding community and the bio blitz so we were originally calling it pelagic Pokemon. This idea that you take a long time or a very long period to sort of collect different real species of aquatic animals and plants. We did a massive artwork so you had to go out with your team and find plastic in the ocean only of a certain color for your team and then when all the teams assembled they would actually place that plastic on a giant net so that it made a huge image, a huge painting on the ocean and then when you had a friend with a drone or perhaps a satellite they would come over and photograph the giant painting and then once that had happened your entire team, everyone involved, would grab the net, and remove that plastic from the ocean communally and put it into the recycling where it belongs.And then finally there’s blue Jell-O. (laughing) it was originally called blue Jell-O shots because we thought well maybe adults would only play it after they’ve had a few and kids were definitely just going to play this. But basically it’s the quick idea that you could do it even with a Nintendo Twitch. Basically it was a wearable kind of thing. You’d put on your turtle shell or you would put on your shark tail or you would put on a different species so that you would literally become one of the animals in the ocean and then by properly doing the right motion if you were a shark, that would actually propel you through the different environments and this could be an actual environment or it could be a simulated environment that was giving you ROV footage that you could then tag different types of animals that you were interested in eating if you were a shark or if you were a turtle, et cetera, et cetera, and that could also help tag machine learning and classifier sets.So again we had lots of themes to come together. We had a lot of fun, I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and the best thing I can say is I want to play all of these games. (laughing) So thanks. (applauding) Hey, hello. My name is Scott Penman, I’m a research associate at the Design Lab here at MIT. And I’m Billy Spitzer from the New England Aquarium. So we had a workshop called envisioning the future aquarium experience. For those of you that don’t know, the New England Aquarium is coming up on its 50th anniversary next year, so we’ve actually been working with them over the past year or so to try to envision what do the next 50 years look like? And that’s obviously a pretty tough question, it’s kind of impossible to imagine what anything looks like in 50 years, just imagine what things looked like 10 years ago.But one thing that we wanted to bring to bear on this workshop was the idea of conservation. Now instead of kind of leaving it as this big possibly scary term we wanted to break it down not into what will the aquarium do but what is the experience of conservation? So as a visitor to the aquarium, how do I actually understand what conservation is, what it means, and in doing that we talked about the values and the three kind of categories of awareness, guidance, and impact. So how can the future aquarium experience actually enhance awareness of current issues and problems facing the ocean world? How can it actually guide its visitors towards actionable steps that they can take, and then finally how can it really convey and show the impact that each person has on the conservation efforts? And we believe that the aquarium has an important role here. We believe that when you start to think about the changing cities and the changes and develops in technology, the aquarium really has an incredible potential to bring awareness to its visitors of these issues by immersing them in new sensory experiences.And we also wanted to focus not just on the aquarium within the aquarium walls but also start to talk about well what happens when that experience expands outside of the aquarium, starting at the home, going through the aquarium visit and then all the way into the city beyond. And again we really believe that the aquarium can provide a lot of guidance and really enhance the impact here through educational, empathetic takeaway. So this was all the kind of stuff that we gave our workshop participants, we kinda threw a lot of this at them and then let them kinda start to think about what possibilities might be and we encourage them to think okay, you have these three values of impact, awareness, and guidance, how do you start to come up with ideas not just in the aquarium but also in the city and also in the home? And the stuff they came up with was really amazing.So just to give you an idea of some of the themes that came up, one question that came up is that if an aquarium is really about looking at animals through a glass, it’s almost like having a screen and as screens get better and better, what’s the role of an aquarium with live fish? And one of the things that we were talking about a little bit is what’s happening with movies and what’s happening with restaurants. Fewer people are going to movie theaters because a lot of that media experience is available at home or on your mobile device and so on, but restaurants are doing great. Why are there so many restaurants, and so many people going to them? Because it’s not just about the food, right? And I think there’s an analogy to aquariums. It’s not just about looking through a glass, it’s about a social experience, it’s about interacting with other people, it’s about being in a civic space, it’s about multiple dimensions at the experience and one theme that came up around that was that to not sell short what entertainment is about.Entertainment is not just something that’s frivolous it’s also about making an emotional connection and emotion and learning and action and motivation are all intimately connected in our brains and so that’s something that’s really important. Another theme that came up is the fact that what’s happening out in nature we see a lot of changes, a lot of in some cases devastation yet what you see in aquariums tends to be much more pristine and how can we bridge that gap? So some of the ideas that came up were around creating experiences more virtual or more simulated that could help people see those environmental changes.So it could be a virtual tank or something like that that would enable people to see that and then there were some really interesting ideas about taking the aquarium outside the physical walls and really being more community oriented. There were examples that came up of pop up aquariums that could be mobile. The idea of kind of an aquarium trail instead of the Freedom Trail that really enabled you to experience things related to the ocean throughout the city. So I think that really those elements of the aquarium that are beyond the fish tank are really what popped up through this which was really pretty neat. Yep, that’s it, thank you. (applauding) Hi everybody, I’ll be quite brief since all of you or most of you participated in this but we had a lot of fun, we really worked on trying to develop a tool kit for how we can take the passion that you all have, the missions that you are serving, the research that you’re doing, and transition from that mission into a clear statement of your passion and that passion into a clear statement of narrative.We did a little exercise asking everybody to take their passion statement that they wrote for themselves, they shared it with each other, then they also had to do with the tweet or the elevator pitch version of that so because we know that challenges of too much information can sometimes get in our way for the stories that we need to tell to bring people closer to our passions. We also then moved into a narrative stage where everyone was asked to tell their passion through a story about a little girl named little Brianna and many people took that challenge and were able to form a narrative statement to tell their story. We also did take a few moments to just acknowledge some of the challenges of transitioning a fact-based stance into a narrative format and what some of the discomfort was with doing that. We also spent a little time talking about how to understand who your audience is so that you’re not just telling a story randomly but who is your primary audience, who are your second and third audience goals and eventually that will lead you to telling this story in a different way depending on who that audience is and in that category we talked about a philosophy of wading, swimming, or deep diving in your subject matter and in how you engage those different guests that you’re trying to reach with your story.And then as a wrap up we applied story to the Ayala challenge that Ayala posed this morning, can we use humor and story to solve some big problems? So we did a great little story workshop where everyone created stories, half the room created stories to solve the problems of overfishing and the other half did plastic in the ocean and I think there’s some excellent stories and some of those will get sent to Katy and hopefully circulated. So you could see what I learned today is that everybody in this room is creative and creative storytelling, it’s an iterative process and you all took a great first step today. (applauding) We have a prop. Woo! Hello everyone, I’m Harmfen Baak, I’m one of the Lego designers that worked on, the device here is just fresh out of the Charles River, it’s still a bit wet.(laughing) We just had a workshop where people could experience this so what is this? It is a Lego mine storms robot, it can go underwater and the idea is that actually– Only two feet. Yeah so it doesn’t go that deep. One of the many inputs that we got actually in should go deeper. The idea is actually that middle school and high school students can use this to do research in the ocean so we have done this this summer with some high school students, this was second time where we showed it to those people, now to the professionals. I was quite excited to see what they would think about this.Most of the input that we got actually was like okay, we need more sensors, we need this this this and this. Turbidity and a hydraphone would be amazing. (laughing) Cool so actually I guess that sort of tells us that in the bigger picture this people think this is a really good idea. That this is something that we can use actually to have kids experience the science of the oceans.So that’s really great to hear. I guess the key takeaway is was that okay so we have a really great tool here to do science. The price might be a little bit high in its current inclination, shouldn’t we think about maybe unrepresented communities. And there was really one great idea that we hadn’t really thought about what if this can be more in the form of a library. So you can actually borrow this one for say a semester or a couple months to do some research and then it goes through like a different community and that was really sort of eye opening, okay, this is actually a thing that we hadn’t thought about ’cause we were also very busy just keeping it water tight which was quite of a challenge. And again so after we had a second workshop, people came around and said yeah what about deep diving and the narrative and all that kind of stuff. The narrative. The narrative. So I don’t know how they got that idea but actually it was really important because we have a really great tool, it’s a very sort of science-y, data-driven, engineering, you can do programming and scratch and all that kind of stuff.But actually why are we doing this? Why am I learning this, why am I learning about the ocean? I think that really sort of sets the bar for us to come up with a really great narrative and a way to sort of get kids excited that are not just the nerdy kids that are into programming and so on. So it was a really great session so we’re hoping to continue with this thing and make a better version of it. Thank you. (applauding) Thanks. Let’s give a hand for all of our workshop leaders. (applauding) All of our unsung heroes, the (speaking in foreign language) who were taking notes.And to all of you for really diving in there, pun absolutely intended. And to all of the workshops so thank you very much. Now we’re gonna transition into a couple of short updates on some ongoing projects. Dominique Rizolo will kick us off with a little report back on the 2017 Ocean Exploration Forum. Which was focused on data. And then David McKinney from the NOAA office of Ocean Exploration and Research will give us an update on a series of workshops that have been going on in collaboration with XPRIZE called The Big Think. So Dom. Thanks Katy. I didn’t know I could change into my Chucks, that’s awesome.(laughing) Alright, we’re sticking around, we’re gonna wrap it up but we’ll bring up a slide here and transition into a little bit of an update since our forum last year. My name is Dominique Rizolo and I’m at the Qualcomm Institute at University of California San Diego, I’m a research scientist there and we like to say that Qualcomm Institute is sort of, I don’t know if I would say the Media Lab is the Qualcomm Institute of the east coast in some ways. On campus we’re the home of quirky, curiosity-driven research. And just a little quick story on curiosity. I’ll get some visuals going. So we all have our ocean stories, I just was reflecting on that earlier. Thinking about wow I didn’t grow up near the ocean but I was a water baby like many of you in the room and in the forest around where I lived it was filled with creeks and swamps and ponds. For some reason I felt that that was the place where I needed to go explore and I mean I remember these days as a kid getting old dive mask that I found at a garage sale and grab an fishing knife and jump into that water and exploring.Imagining that I was a deep sea explorer swimming down into the murky depths and hunting for treasure and sea creatures so I had a chance to go back to one of these childhood ponds not too long ago and I stood at the edge of this coffee-colored water, I’m like, really? Like, (laughs) what was I thinking? Right? But that’s the power of curiosity and that’s what drives so many of us.I mean taking us to places that, I don’t know, they just sort of push us to our limits. So I wanna talk a little bit about the forum. We’ll get going here on some, oh, here it is, oh, I got the clicker, awesome. I don’t have to do that. So. So the National Ocean Exploration Forum our focus last year was ocean exploration in a sea of data so we’ve demonstrated a certain ability to more effectively and more efficiently explore the world’s oceans. The real challenge to some of us is how do we explore ocean data? Such a huge quantity of data that we’ve collected through this whole enterprise of ocean exploration that maybe we’re in a position now where we can as a compliment to our more deductive approaches to marine science, sort of dabbling in more inductive approaches to marine science. How do we dive into these data really powered by a different community, one that we’re moving a little bit closer to now and that’s the data science community.And we convened, this is in October 2017 at the Qualcomm Institute on campus at UC San Diego. This was a large effort that was driven by David McKinney and Vicky Farini and Adrian Copeland so we had a great team of co-organizers and supporters to bring the fifth National Ocean Exploration to UC San Diego. So an important part of these forums is fellowship, right? And it’s not just about maintaining momentum but building momentum, building new kinds of momentum. So the fellowship part is very important, the time that we spend not only in this room but outside this hall, getting together and interacting with one another as a community and building new communities. But one of the things we felt was really exciting about this forum is to bring students into the forum in a capacity or in a way that hadn’t been done previously and pair these students with mentors in engineering, computer science and engineering, and data sciences to work together with ocean scientists and with other data science mentors to go after some of these research challenges. And it was wonderful to have them there as part of the forum not traditionally part of the ocean exploration community but exploring ocean data.So we did this through a number of different demos I should say they really were experiments. And they made use of a number of the data visualization labs on campus, we had a project that focused on sonification of ocean data, this is sonometer data that was Bob Ziak from PMEL and David McKinney as well working with Adrian Copeland and Sharoq Yatagari and Grady Kessler on the sonification data but also exploring the use of ambisonic recording to explore soundscapes underwater. A whole different kind of exploration. I think that was probably one of the more interesting experiments at the forum. We had some under ice data that was part of the Rosetta ice program in Antarctica so radar data that allowed us to look deep inside the ice in Antarctica, this was a collaboration with Nick Frearson, Aviv Petrovich, a graduate student at UC San Diego, revealing these data in ways that had never been revealed before through novel approaches to visualization. We explored a number of different immersive laboratories looking at bathymetry with Vicky Farini.This is John Delaney’s OOI experiment that he shared with us at the forum. Working with his team and then in our wave lab looking at the power of point based visual analytics for understanding core reef environments. And so our goal through our lab at Qualcomm Institute is to enable analytical reasoning through immersive and collaborative visualization. And that’s the important part too, this is not about putting an HMD on and looking at knee point clouds. This is about bringing together not only your colleagues but other stakeholders and having a conversation about those data, fully immersing yourself in those data in 3D and in a collaborative and interactive way.So since then we’ve been able to bring some of these data to other communities on campus, particularly through the new emerging undergraduate and graduate data science programs. So we have now projects up on the data science hub, we can build undergraduate teams of students who never though they would do anything having to do with the ocean on campus to explore these data with their faculty mentors and their domain experts, in this case Vicky Farini is an example of diving into more ocean floor data than most of us know what to do with so this has been a great thing for us to bring in those data science students, undergraduate and graduate students and get ’em excited about marine exploration. And sometimes this involves getting students out to sea. This is Antinella Willoughby who’s gonna be sharing with you tomorrow, one of the things that’s really powerful about these forums is that people get together, make connections, and in this case these are engineering students who through these connections made at the forum went out to sea for the first time.And this is Antinella and Jessica Sandoval on board Nautilus. And so we’re really excited that this forum was able to catalyze these kinds of collaborations getting students out into the field, turning wrenches, digging into the data, and discovering new and amazing things. Sharayas Kamat, another one of our students who would have never imagined that he would do anything having to do with marine sciences. Went out on the Tommy Thompson to collect thermal data which is a big project that we’re working on now to look at thermal fronts in the ocean and bringing together our electrical engineering computer science and engineering students and getting them exposed in a really sort of physical and visceral way to the world of ocean science.So thanks Katy and your team for bringing us here and thanks so much, appreciate it. Oh. (applauding) And just one last note, the report for those of you who are interested from last year’s forum is gonna be available at the reception. We have limited number of copies but please pick one up, thanks so much. (applauding) All-important clicker. (laughing) So. Great so as it turns out I get the last presentation of the day which is great after a really long day and also Jodica Vermani, many of you know her, she’s with XPRIZE. She is actually in Greece right now with round two of the XPRIZE, the autonomous underwater vehicle.So I’ll mention her in a second. So she’s not available and Jerry Schubel who worked with us on these workshops is also not available so it’s the last presentation and you’re getting the third string so I’ll do the best I can. (laughing) So this all started, again, a lot of you are familiar with XPRIZE whether it’s from space or from ocean stuff, they’re increasingly important in our world as a way to promote innovation, getting entrepreneurs involved. Sort of spinning off of what Dominique said, people who might not otherwise think of themselves as oceaneers are formed into teams to get some potentially interesting results.So the test here that Jodica is dealing with in Greece is for an autonomous underwater vehicle that can be launched from shore or from the air and at two depths, 2,000 meters and 4,000 meters, which is quite deep, do a number of things. Collect a photography, collect some high resolution bathymetry, and thanks to NOAA with a little add on follow a chemical signal to its source. So pretty amazing stuff and we’re hopeful that the XPRIZE process will result in great new instruments for ocean exploration. But as part of that, XPRIZE wisely carved out a chunk of money for a public engagement component and these are some of my favorite posters related to ocean exploration. I don’t know who did them but they’re beautiful and have great messages. One of the interesting things it says 95% of the ocean is unexplored, Neil Jacobs said 80%. It’s a really interesting number because you can have lots of debates about what it means to be explored. But for our purposes and for the public 95%’s a good number. So Jodica took an interesting approach in setting up these workshops. She wrote a paper, a very, very good paper that we’ll make available, right Katy? On the website afterwards as a resource for you.Ask the question how come space is so cool and how come everybody thinks NASA’s a great agency and how come everybody wants to go into outer space and explore Mars but the same isn’t true about the deep ocean? How could that be? And so rather than bemoan our fate as ocean people and be jealous of NASA and wish we had their money and all that kind of stuff, Jodica actually looked into some of the details and found some pretty interesting results. That only three of which I’m gonna highlight as examples and please go read that paper, it’s really good. So the first thing she found or proposed is that generally in news stories, in film, in anything else related to space, space is presented as being grand and infinite and wonderful and an amazing place that you want to think about.One of the presenters at the first XPRIZE workshop Bob Weiss who’s a film producer said, “Space offers an infinite number of panoramas “in which the mind can wander.” The oceans, well, not so much. You’re restricted to cold, dark, and maybe you’re looking through a porthole and it’s kind of claustrophobic. And so just as human beings we respond to those two scenarios in very different ways. The other thing is that space stories are almost universally positive and at the workshop the first one we had and I’ll talk about it in a second, we tried to think of negative things about space and we came up with space debris. Now there’s talk about militarizing space, that’s pretty bad. But other than that it’s kind of hard to think of something really negative about space. On the other hand, I really like the manta image today from Carlos, this one looks like it’s dying from hypoxia, the turtle probably should have plastic wrapped around its neck and then all that great debris in the water. A lot of our ocean stories are that way.And so while that may be the reality and regrettably it is and we can add to that list as we all know, when all the stories or typically the stories about the ocean are these negative stories it’s got an impact on the public’s imagination. And as a federal bureaucrat this is one of my favorite slides. (laughing) On the one side you’ve got I think I counted 18 private sector government agency and everything else involved in space. In the world. Okay, these are the national space agencies, you’ve got Virgin, you’ve got Blue Origin.And the Indians, the Canadians, everybody else. 18. I didn’t even try and count the other side, right? And what’s interesting is that the 18 have a fairly consistent message. If you’re reading something about the landing on the comet, was last year or 18 months ago, from the European space agency, that’s pretty aligned with what NASA’s doing and it’s pretty aligned with what everyone else is doing in space and it’s all a good story. There are that many different messages out there. About the ocean. All from a slightly different angle, all of them trying to distinguish themselves in some way from all the other ones out there so they can raise money or promote their agenda or convey a message that they think is important to the public and that too is part of the problem with space and ocean.So. With that small challenge in mind, and there’s more of that list so please again read the paper. With that challenge in mind, Jodica organized these Big Think sessions. And the first one was very interesting because what maybe 30 people and I believe there were four ocean exploration people involved. And I’m eternally grateful that my boss Alan Leonardi wasn’t able to go so I went in his place. Worked out pretty well from my perspective. But Jerry Schubel was there, Carly Weiner was there. And maybe one or two others from the ocean side. Everyone else they were filmmakers, public relations people, educators, journalists, fiction writers. Lots of different perspectives on how to influence the public were there so we got past the kind of typical conversation that ocean explorers usually have when they get together.You know, and we had a conversation much like we’re having here where we’ve got such a diversity of interests that we can actually get past the kind of normal descriptions of what ocean exploration is. So condensing it and I don’t expect you to read all of these but there were two parts to it after we had to identify our favorite space movie and our favorite ocean movie and guess what, there are a lot more space movies than there were ocean movies. These were the things that people found inspirational. And these are the things that people found memorable. And you can kind of, this is predictable in a way but it was kind of interesting to have this convergence among all the people about what inspires people and what makes something memorable.From storytelling perspectives, from journalism perspectives and from media perspectives. What’s not on this list is things that make me depressed or things that make me feel hopeless. And so going back to the slide with the gasping for oxygen manta or the ray. The theme then became so recognizing the problems that we have, what can we do about it to present in a different way to the public? How can we message differently so that people can start to care about the ocean and not just give up before they learn anything about it? Which leads us to Big Think 2 which was in September just a month and a half ago at Jerry Schubel’s Aquarium of the Pacific.So a lot of overlap, not complete overlap, but again very few ocean exploration people involved. Now. I don’t expect you to read this list but the task was so now that we know what inspires people and what makes people, what’s memorable about events for people, what can we do in concrete terms in different time horizons? So in less than two years, what can we do, two to five years, and in five to 10 years or more. And you can probably tell this is a brainstorm and you can tell there’s gonna be a report that will kind of polish this all up but interestingly, a lot of the ideas here are also ideas that you guys have come up with here, right? So small ROVs crowd driven with experts’ commenting, well that’s not too far away from Lego or open ROV or some of the other things that can be done. Science reality shows featuring XPRIZE competitors. That could work.But over here, we’re kind of joking that unifying #influencer campaign, all those like 800 little logos on the one side, getting all those people organized well that’s probably a dream but nevertheless we could try and maybe get a bit more organized. Other ideas, over two to five years. Again, similar things to what we’re talking about here. We’ll make these slides available afterwards as well. And one of my favorites here, I don’t have a pointer but we need to put Aquaman on the Oceanus Explorer.I have this vision of Aquaman holding on to a deep discoverer ROV coming out of the water and visiting the bridge. Someday maybe we’ll get that done. (laughing) But you know lots of more practical things as well. I would love to see Aquaman on the Oceanus Explorer, I think that’d be awesome. (laughing) But things really concrete that are worth pursuing like NOAA and NASA collaborating on an explorer’s day. So not an ocean exploration day but just an explorer’s day to kind of promote and spark the imagination. And then the group was either super optimistic about what could get done in this time period or ran out of ideas but in any case in the longer term it started to get, it seemed like a long time away and ideas were some of these here that you see.Certainly the idea of capitalizing on NASA’s ocean worlds campaign; Chris German in the audience is very active in that along with other famous ocean explorers who are making the linkage between NASA and NOAA on ocean worlds. There’s quite a bit that we could do here as well. So the upshot is that it’s not really about oceans versus space, it’s really about oceans and space. How can we leverage each other, how can we promote the ideas of ocean exploration, how can we take some of the positive messages that NASA’s so good at delivering and delivering them about the ocean while not neglecting the important work that needs to be done? So here Jodica and Jerry in Long Beach. They wish they were here, Jerry’ll be here tomorrow. Jodica sends her regards. Thank you very much. (applauding) Thank you David and Dom. And we’re actually running early and the bar is open.(cheering and laughing) So not for those of you under 21. So I’m going to just wrap it up for the evening, (clapping) it’s been a long day, you guys have put a lot of brain power into it so let’s call it early and go enjoy our reception. The art exhibit is still up so please if you didn’t have a chance to look at it during lunch, take a peek. Thank you and we’ll see you back here at 8:15 I think. (applauding) Something like that.(laughs) .


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