Hub engagement and events at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference 

The Hub team has several reasons to await with anticipation the 2024 Ocean Decade conference in Barcelona. Alongside delivering two satellite events and a poster session, the Hub researchers will also team up with new partners and colleagues from the UN Ocean Literacy Dialogues to co-create activities that will engage participants in thinking about and caring for the ocean in transformative ways. These activities will contribute to breaking disciplinary siloes and academic barriers, and to promoting transdisciplinary research that is inclusive of the voices and ways of knowing the ocean of coastal communities. Hub researchers will share insights from five years of ocean knowledge co-development conducted together with local communities in Ghana, Namibia, Solomon Islands and South Africa.

The details of the Satellite events are as follows:

Satellite event dedicated to the Challenger 150 program

The Hub researchers from the University of Plymouth will hold a satellite event dedicated to the Challenger 150 program– an ongoing deep sea research program. They will also participate in several other events, including a keynote talk. More details, including the venues and the times, can be found here.

Presenting the Transdisciplinary Toolbox for Transformative Ocean Governance

The satellite event ‘Presenting the Transdisciplinary Toolbox for Transformative Ocean Governance’ will take place on 9 April 6 – 7.30pm (Barcelona time) at the World Trade Centre in Barcelona at Auditorium, Sala A1. The event is followed by an informal networking gathering with the participants. The Decade Conference will be the first occasion that the Hub presents its Transdisciplinary Toolbox for Transformative Ocean Governance, which the Hub is developing in its capacity as the Decade Implementing Partner. The three-tiered event will consist of: a panel on ocean knowledge integration; a live performance of the multi-award winning production Indlela Yokuphila by the Empatheatre collective, and a conversation on the Hub’s art-based ocean research. A dialogue forum lead by the Hub and the Marine Social Sciences Network (University of Cardiff) will conclude the event.

From the Hub, Elisa Morgera (University of Strathclyde, UK), Nina Rivers (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa/Strathclyde University, UK),  Bolanle Erinosho (University of Derby, UK/University of Cape Coast, Ghana), early-career researcher Elsemi Olwage (University of Namibia, Namibia), Dylan McGarry (Rhodes University, South Africa), Mpume Mthombeni (Empatheatre, South Africa), early-career researcher Lysa Wini (University of Strathclyde, UK) and early-career researcher Milica Prokic (University of Strathclyde, UK) will be delivering this event’s program.

The session will cover the themes of empathy, fluidity of knowledge, inclusivity of local traditional ways of knowing the ocean, the divine science of the coastal peoples, as well as transdisciplinary research as Indigenous wisdom. We will discuss the rigour needed for iterative co-research, and the importance of the call-and-response approach in ethically and respectfully co-researching with local people.

Poster Presentation

Weaving it all together: Inter and transdisciplinary co-design of ocean science for a sustainable and equitable future – a case study from Ghana.’

April 10,8.00 -8.45am (Barcelona time) CCIB– Convention Centre (Plaça de Willy Brandt, 11-14, 08019 Barcelona).

The poster presentation will be delivered by the Hub early-career researcher Nina Rivers, whose work focuses on knowledge integration across the Hub. The posters will be exhibited throughout the duration of the Conference (10 to 12 April 2024) and Nina Rivers and the Hub team will be present to answer questions and exchange ideas.

Ocean Literacy Dialogues events

With the Ocean Literacy Dialogues, the Hub will co-create additional ways for the conference attendees to engage with the ocean: A Social Sculpture focusing on empathy – an interactive session which will take place April 8, 2-2.30pm (Barcelona time), World Trade Centre, Atrium, room A2-A3.

Hub researcher and co-founder of the Empatheatre collective, Dylan McGarry, will deliver an interactive session “Empathy in the time of Ecological Apartheid: a collaborative imaginative social sculpture”.  The Ocean Literacy Innovation workshop is focused around the question of What do we need to innovate for? What is the obstacle/constraint that brought you to your need for innovation and what possibilities has your innovation proposal created?

Screening the short film ‘Mapping for Justice’ as part of the ‘Integrating DEI values in Ocean Literacy Workshop

8 April,4-5.30pm (Barcelona time), World Trade Centre, Atrium, room A2-A3.

As part of the workshops a short film ‘Mapping for Justice’ produced by the Hub will be screened. Based on research by the Hub Deputy Director Philile Mbatha in collaboration with the local communities from the Kosi Bay area in South Africa, the film showcases the Hub’s transdisciplinary practices that brought about changes in ocean governance and decision-making.

Innovating Ocean Literacy Workshop  

9 April,2-3.30pm (Barcelona time), World Trade Centre, Atrium, room A2-A3.

As part of the Innovating Ocean Literacy Workshop, Dylan McGarry will present a project (co-authored with Anna James) ‘Adjusting the weave of Ocean Literacy to Ocean Fluency in South Africa’.

All the events are open and free for anyone to attend (note that you don’t need to be registered for the Conference to attend the Satellite events). We would be thrilled if you got in touch beforehand to let us know why you are interested in our events, by emailing

Related SDGs:

  • Quality education
  • Reduced inequality
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water