baby steps(Blue Ocean Network – June 6, 2014) — The final day of the Blue Ocean Business Summit on June 6, 2014 was a day of action featuring four industry experts who are dealing with big changes in game-changing ways. Day 5 culminated a weeklong gathering of industry stakeholders who are concerned about the future of their dive businesses and the ocean, and who connected with the experts who have been doing something about it.

On the final day, Emmy-award winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs showed participants how audacious we can be to capture the attention of the 98%. Director of Sustainability at Ocean First Divers, Sacha Belter introduced participants to a dive store model that engages great staff, attracts new customers and attracts the attention of the entire community.  Colorado Ocean Coalition’s Founder Vicki Goldstein clearly illustrated how landlocked ocean people can connect their businesses with their communities by being Ocean Ambassadors, and inspiring change over blue drinks!

Closing Keynote Speaker addresses saving the oceans
The day closed with keynote speaker Dr. Carl Safina, host of the PBS TV show “Saving the Oceans.” Dr. Safina did not hold back on the big issues we all face. But he reassured attendees that the answers are all there. But in order to activate these solutions, it meant we can no longer take a back seat, ignore the situation, expect business as usual or that it’s up to someone else to do it. We are all responsible for being the change and the impetus for change is coming from the ground up, not from traditional leadership.

Dr. Safina ‘very hopeful’ for the future.
Safina sees many people waking up, no longer afraid to look at these issues. They are demanding better responses and decisions from their elected representatives. They are making different conscious choices in business and their daily lives to effect change, and because of this, we have the potential to quickly shift to the better.

Safina reminded participants that in order to make the world and the oceans a better place, each of us must question our habits and how we make decisions. We must be ready to adopt new behaviours and be open to new perspectives. It really comes down to connecting to the little things we do each day to be a part of the solution.

“It’s all about taking baby steps, consistently, each day. Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s step by step.” said Safina.

Responding to the usual refrain that ‘one person can’t make a difference’, Dr. Safina said, “We are all just one person. But this is how change happens. It requires the action of individuals.”

About the Summit
The Blue Ocean Business Summit 2014 brought together 21 thought leaders, trailblazers and action-oriented business people from seven countries who generously shared their insights, best practices and hard-won knowledge with attendees during the week-long online gathering. Two hundred and sixty-four people attended the password-protected Summit, while 1425 people followed the daily highlights on FaceBook.

New Business Imperative
At the core of the event was the imperative for all businesses to embrace a sustainable business model, and understand its benefits that incorporate a triple bottom line, that supports the longterm viability of their business and the planet. The event also asked participants to connect with the reason why they got into the dive business in the first place, since at the heart of this “why” is the guidance and inspiration business owners now need to propel them forward, connect with their customers and ride the waves of change we are all experiencing.

Summit on a Mission
The goal of the Blue Ocean Business Summit was to inspire, inform and guide dive industry people to take action to “Blue their Business” and support ocean conservation as part of a financially sustainable business model.

The Summit Speakers included some of the dive and travel industry’s pioneers and trailblazers who are already embracing the new business realities and making advancements in game-changing ways.

Summit-To-Go
The Blue Ocean Business Summit was a free event to online attendees. For those who missed the event or want to take a deeper dive, the Summit offers a downloadable Summit Resource Guide  that contains valuable tools, checklists, background and reference material that can be referred to again and again.

Access to audio replays of all 21 speakers is included in the purchase of the Summit Resource Guide, along with written highlights of each of the 20 sessions.  The Blue Ocean Business Summit Resource Guide and audio replays are available for US$79.99 at BlueOceanBusinessSummit.com.

Partnering in Conservation
Seven dollars of each Summit Resource Guide (and accompanying audios) sold at the Blue Ocean Business Summit is being contributed to Dr. Syvlia Earle’s Mission Blue, to support the creation of Marine Protected Areas around the world.

To learn more about the Blue Ocean Business Summit, visit Blue Ocean Business Summit.com.