Evolution of Ocean Optimism

From small beginnings on a front porch in Monterey, to an online movement spanning the globe.

Find out more

2000 – A growing need for optimism for our oceans

2000 – A growing need for optimism for our oceans

Environmental narratives are too focused on “doom and gloom” stories – people are losing hope.

Read more

2005 – Dr. Elin Kelsey collaborates with Dr. Richard Kool

2005 – Dr. Elin Kelsey collaborates with Dr. Richard Kool

Dr. Elin Kelsey collaborates with Dr. Richard Kool on a paper analysing the environmental education research literature. “Words like hope, grief, mourning, sadness, despair or anger rarely appear in our…

Read more

2008 – Dr. Elin Kelsey hosts a workshop

2008 – Dr. Elin Kelsey hosts a workshop

Dr. Elin Kelsey hosts a workshop at the Tunza International Childrens Conference on the Environment. She discovers a widespread feeling of hopelessness with kids between the ages of 10-14 years from dozens…

Read more

2009 – Beyond the Obituaries

2009 – Beyond the Obituaries

Prof. Nancy Knowlton recognised that it was not effective to depress her students about the state of the ocean or to train them to write ‘ever more refined obituaries of nature’….

Read more

2009 – Collaboration begins

2009 – Collaboration begins

Elin hears about Nancy’s work, calls her on the phone and invites her to help her imagine a joint initiative. This would raise awareness about the need to shift the environmental…

Read more

2010 – Addressing the challenges

2010 – Addressing the challenges

Elin uses her work as an environmental writer to engage scientists, kids and a range of broader audiences with the issue. Not Your Typical Book about the Environment is published, and…

Read more

2011 – Widespread pessimism prevails

2011 – Widespread pessimism prevails

Heather Koldewey of the Zoological Society London’s “desire to source and share hopeful marine solutions arose from her concern about the tendency for scientists to publish problem analyses rather than…

Read more

2012 – The International Aquarium Congress

2012 – The International Aquarium Congress

Elin gives a keynote speech on hope and the environment for the International Aquarium Congress.  Heather Koldewey introduces herself and they begin exploring ways to collaborate. Torrents of Hope: Why…

Read more

2013 – Monterey Workshop

2013 – Monterey Workshop

Elin invites Heather and Nancy to join her in Monterey California for a weekend workshop to plan collaborative steps forward. Cynthia Vernon (now the Chief Operating Officer of the Monterey…

Read more

2014 – Circumnavigating Hope

2014 – Circumnavigating Hope

Elin, Heather and Nancy work with Elisabeth Whitebread to host a 48 hour workshop with a group of conservationists and communicators in London. The goal was to create and pilot…

Read more

8 June 2014 – #OceanOptimism goes viral

8 June 2014 – #OceanOptimism goes viral

The hashtag, #OceanOptimism, is launched on World Oceans Day 2014 and immediately goes viral.  

Read more

Stories of success flood the online community

Stories of success flood the online community

The hashtag ignited a Twitter storm of hope, reaching over 1.7 million unique Twitter accounts and flooding the online world with positive stories.

Read more

2015 – Turning the Tide

2015 – Turning the Tide

The #OceanOptimism hashtag continues to spread far and wide, reaching 20 million unique Twitter users on World Oceans Day 2015.

Read more

Igniting a Twitter storm

Igniting a Twitter storm

Ocean Optimism spreads like a wave through the online community, reaching over 60 million unique Twitter users.

Read more

2016 – Website created

2016 – Website created

Marianne Teoh, Natasha Hill and Chester Lewis developed this website dedicated to sharing Ocean Optimism online.

Read more

This website is a hub for all things positive, and aims to spread hope and solutions for ocean conservation. We hope you enjoy exploring our site!

Read more