World Ocean Initiative (WOI) Ocean Changemakers Challenge 2021

Deadline: February 5, 2021

Applications are open for the World Ocean Initiative (WOI) Ocean Changemakers Challenge 2021. The Ocean Changemakers Challenge aims to showcase innovators working to develop business solutions to ocean-related sustainability challenges. It is aimed at early-career researchers or professionals.

Three finalists will be invited to present their business idea and vision for a blue economy during a special ocean changemakers session at the World Ocean Summit Virtual Week in March 2021. By “blue economy” they mean a sustainable ocean economy that harnesses marine ocean resources for long-term economic development and social prosperity while protecting the environment in perpetuity.


The judges will select three winning applicants, each of whom will receive:

  • An opportunity to present the innovation to the World Ocean Summit Virtual Week audience during a dedicated session.
  • Mentoring from a high-profile ocean mentor, who will work with them over a 12-month period to help refine their ideas and shape their leadership skills.


  • Open to researchers, early-career professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators with solutions to tackle some of the ocean’s greatest challenges, including for example marine pollution, overfishing and overexploitation of marine resources, unsustainable aquaculture, marine engineering and oil drilling, and destruction of ocean habitats.
  • Individuals who have been recognised by local communities but not yet by the international ocean community can apply.
  • Individuals who are driving change locally and have innovative solutions we could learn from to scale ocean solutions rapidly.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be judged according to how well their ideas meet the following criteria:

  • Impact on blue economy: clear link with sustainable development of the ocean.
  • Innovative: original idea—or clear improvement on existing idea—focused on progress.
  • Viable: should be feasible in the medium to long-term.
  • Scalable: can be scaled up and applied in different contexts.
  • Investable: offers opportunities for growth.


  • Applicants need to submit a short video of no longer than 1 minute in which they address the following question: “How are you contributing to the sustainable development of the ocean economy? How would you benefit from an ocean leader as a mentor?”
  • The video should highlight how your work or academic study is creating innovative, viable, scalable and action-oriented business solutions to sustainable blue-economy challenges.
  • The video should be sent as an unlisted video link on YouTube or Vimeo, or uploaded in a common video format, such as AVCHD, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, WEBM or WMV.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit World Ocean Initiative.