Who are we?

The Marine CoLABoration was initiated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2015 to increase collaborative action and explore how to communicate the value of the ocean more effectively.

Updated CoLAB logos- July 17

We are a collaboration of nine organisations: ClientEarth, Fauna and Flora International, Forum for the Future, Funding FishInstitute for European Environmental Policy, International Programme on the State of the Ocean, Marine Conservation Society, New Economics Foundation, Thames Estuary Partnership and the Zoological Society of London.

Find out more about our story here

What do we do?

We want to build a more ocean friendly society. The current dominant narrative around the ocean is based on economic values. 

We believe that by developing a shared appreciation of the value of the ocean, in all its forms, will deliver better outcomes for people and the planet


We hypothesise that:

If we expand how we value the ocean by incorporating a wider range of values we can activate a wider range of human values that enables them to see the wider of the ocean above economic.”

You can find a summary of the Marine CoLABoration here.

We collaborate

We meet to think together, exchange views and discuss projects with regular communication between our bi-monthly workshops.

  • We are ambitious and are aiming for transformational change, although we understand that there are no route maps and that we need to experiment through our work.
  • Our motivation is systemic impact
  • Our fundamental organising principle is action learning and taking the time, individually and collectively to reflect on what we are learning and what this means for how we are creating change.
  • We share our insights widely and encourage others to join us in taking an experimental approach to creating change.
  • We believe that the tools for creating system-wide change probably exist, but they are distributed across multiple-organisations and between many people.
  • We believe that meaningful and purpose driven collaboration is vital to future success. In services of this, we operate transparently and in an environment where we respect each other and seek to create trust.
  • We operate free of individual and organisational ego- ‘no egos, no logos’.
  • We have fun.

We take a values based approach

In the Marine CoLABoration we have come together around common ground – a shared recognition of the multifaceted value of the ocean and the potential for driving change through a values based approach.

The word ‘value’ is laden with meaning. In the Marine CoLAB, we use the word to refer to two different but interconnected things:

  •  The value of the ocean
  • Human values

Find out more about the Marine CoLAB’s values based approach here

We experiment

Adopting an experimental approach allows us to explore valuing the ocean from different perspectives and using a range of methods from events to games, systems mapping to storytelling.

Our ‘real life’ experiments are conducted outside of artificial, controlled conditions with systems change, changing perceptions and public engagement identified as priority challenges.

Find out more about our live experiments and experiments in development.