Applications for the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2023 are now open (Fully-funded to Panama)

Deadline: November 23, 2022

Applications for the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2023 are now open. The sixth Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit is an integral part of the Our Ocean Conference, which will take place in Panama on February 27 – March 1, 2023. Sustainable Ocean Alliance is proud to co-host the Summit, in cooperation with Our Ocean Conference organizers.

This event is an opportunity to inspire, inform, and empower youth participants to build holistic solutions that better balance the needs of society, industry, and the ocean environment. In 2023, the Summit will be fully integrated into the main conference for the very first time, and will embody the overall theme – Our Ocean, Our Connection.

The goals of the Summit are to:

  • Engage young leaders as a key driver for change
  • Develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet
  • Foster intergenerational cooperation

Impact Areas

The Summit will be a traditional hackathon-style event, where 100 young ocean leaders will convene in small teams. With the guidance of expert mentors, they will work to solve key ocean challenges across 6 impact areas:

  • Climate change
  • Marine pollution
  • Maritime security
  • Marine protected areas (MPAs)
  • Sustainable blue economy
  • Sustainable fisheries

Over the course of the event, these youth leaders will be provided with opportunities for experiential learning, skill building, and networking. Programming will be delivered in English, with simultaneous translation in Spanish.


  • Participants will not pay for their flights. Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) and Our Ocean Conference organizers will work with a travel agency to book flights on your behalf. The flights will be booked directly and you will not have to pay and then get reimbursed. Selected participants will receive an email from Our Ocean Conference organizers on 22 December, 2022 with travel details required to book their flights.
  • Participants will not pay for their accommodation and will stay in the same hotel in twin or triple rooms between February 27, 2023 to March 4, 2023.
  • If you require a visa to travel to Panama, they will be able to provide a visa letter. However, they will not cover any visa-related costs.


  • Applicants must be problem-solvers, sustainability champions, students, or young professionals, and 18 to 35 years old.
  • Applicants must have an interest in sustainability and contributing to solving the planet's greatest challenges: ocean acidification, marine pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing to name a few.
  • Applicants from all countries are eligible.

Evaluation Criteria

Participants will fill in an online application form and be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Background  – the extent to which an applicant's area of focus professionally or academically is relevant to the conference themes.
  • Impact  – the extent to which the applicant's idea solves a real problem in the ocean sector and would provide overall benefits to society.
  • Feasibility  – how realistic is the proposed commitment/idea/solution.
  • Scalability  – how can the idea be scaled to new markets and/ or new industries.
  • Enthusiasm  – how much passion and enthusiasm is shown in the application.
  • Vision  – the extent to which the commitment aligns with the goals and values of Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) and Our Ocean Conference. Additionally, how forward-thinking is the proposed commitment/idea/solution?
  • English proficiency  – applicant's capacity to articulate an idea in English
  • Leadership  – applicant demonstrates strong communication skills and potential for leadership.
  • Ocean Impact  – the level of interest and engagement in sustainability as it pertains to ocean health.


Applications close on November 23 at 11:59 PM PST, and selected participants will be notified by December 21.

Click here to apply

For more information, see FAQ and visit Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit.

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