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United Nations Ocean Conference, June 2022

Key details


  • 14 July 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 1 minute

The conference focused on Sustainable Development Goal 14 – conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources. The delegation in Lisbon also aligned with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), which aims to mobilise the scientific community, policy makers, industry and civil society to better understand and improve ocean health through engaging a range of stakeholders with ocean science, in an initiative led by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Asking how design can help to meet these goals, Dr Choi and Dr Ferrarello explored ways that design-led innovation can stimulate co-design and collaborative frameworks engaging scientists, LDC (Least Developed Countries), SIDS (Small Island Developing States), local communities, policy makers and the financial sector in exchanging knowledge and strengthening collaboration between stakeholders.

The visit builds on the RCA’s New Economic Model for the Oceans (NEMO) framework, which is a research project concerning fostering transformations for generating more sustainable and resilient ocean economies within the School of Design. Since developing the framework in 2019, a number of initiatives have seen RCA staff and students working towards solutions to challenges affecting the oceans and global water supplies.

United Nations Ocean Conference, June 2022

For the 2021/22 edition of the Grand Challenge – the world’s biggest single-institution postgraduate design project which brings together students across the School of Design to tackle key global challenges through collaboration – RCA students devised creative solutions to issues affecting oceans and marine ecosystems. In 2021, the RCA also partnered with Extreme E to capture data about the world’s oceans, and in 2022 became a founding member of Design for Good – a global non-profit alliance focused on delivering direct, urgent and measurable impact towards the UN SDGs, which for 2022 focuses on Goal 6: clean water and sanitation.

Dr Choi and Dr Ferrarello met with other delegates from a range of backgrounds at the conference and will use their findings to inform the School of Design’s Design for Resilience framework – a long-term goal for the School to develop further training and research that not only provides solutions but responds proactively to global challenges.

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Grand Challenge 2020 materials workshop