“Our aspiration is to go to dive shops all around the world and say, “Look, there’s a lot of really easy things you can do to improve your business. It’s going to save you money in the long-run, it’s better for our ocean and it’s a great way for you to position yourself as a better company” ~ Graham Casden
You may not know him, but Graham Casden was a driving force behind some of PADI’s “green” initiatives. Graham will give us a bit of history about where we are and where we need to go. He’s qualified to do that because his company is on the leading edge of sustainable dive retailing and doing his bit to save the ocean. If you want to run a dive business that meets the needs of the changing business environment, listen to Graham’s interview.
How to Improve the Dive Experience
All the projects Graham has undertaken aim to improve the customer’s experience while teaching them to preserve the one resource that the industry—and the world—relies on. In other words, to turn scuba divers into sustainable divers. Graham’s motivation to create Ocean First was and remains clear because it comes directly from his own experience, when he realized at the end of the dive certification process “that there was no marine science at all in any of the open water curriculum, and essentially the dive industry was turning out thousands and thousands of scuba divers without any understanding of what they were going to see underwater and no appreciation of the marine environment.”
Born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Graham moved to California as a child and quickly developed an insatiable love for the water. After 18 years living beside the ocean, Graham moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado. He is an alumnus from the Leeds School of Business, an accomplished aquanaut, and underwater photographer with hundreds of logged dives around the world.
Graham created Oocean First Divers to address the plight of the world’s oceans
In 2005, Graham planted the seed for Ocean First Divers, an environmentally charged dive operation created to address the plight of the world’s oceans and to establish an industry precedent for accountability and preservation. As the business progressed, Graham realized there was a tremendous need to improve the science in marine education amongst divers, teenagers, and working professionals, which lead to the founding of Ocean Classrooms.
Graham is a Scuba Schools International (SSI) Advanced Instructor and has spent the last several years designing highly engaging, innovative ways to teach core disciplines in the context of scuba diving and underwater exploration. Graham’s love for traveling and the ocean have led him to dive destinations all over the world. His favorites include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Cocos Island, and the Red Sea.
If you find Graham’s experiences informative and you want to become an Ocean Change-maker you can join Graham by becoming a Blue Ocean Member and see all of Graham Casden’s interview at the Summit 2015: Graham Casden. You can visit Graham at Ocean First Divers or find out more about Graham’s educational initiatives at Ocean Classrooms.
Graham Casden ‘s article has given us some real tips on running a sustainable business with a strong template of sustainable practices to guide us. Another Blue Ocean Summit speaker John Thet can give you an behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it takes to run a Diving Publishing Empire and still not loose sight of the necessity of including a strong, sustainable Blue Ocean message. To read more about John and what he is accomplishing in Asia go to: Ocean Profiles: John Thet.