Programme A (*restricted numbers) - Ocean Literacy Workshop - The plastic debate as a catalyst to Ocean Literacy - Ned Dwyer (Eurocean) et al
With marine plastics everywhere in the news, online and social media, it is time to ask if the role of communicators is simply to create hype. Is our job done when everybody is talking about plastics or when effective solutions were implemented? Do we work merely for likes and followers or are we to commit to real changes? On the other hand, there is a feeling that the plastics hype is unheard of in terms of scale. Did we ever have so many people talking and so many events about any other environmental problem? Hence, how can we use the plastics wave to raise awareness to other less popular issues and take ocean literacy to the next level?

This World Café Method workshop will run for two hours and consist of three tables each dedicated to a specific triggering question. There will be three rounds and participants will rotate from table to table after each round. The facilitator will launch the question at the beginning of each round and the participants will present and debate actions to tackle that question. After the final round, each facilitator will prepare a voting panel with all the actions suggested for their triggering question. The most voted actions will be used to identify the Ten Commandments on how the plastic debate can serve as a catalyst to ocean literacy.


What else do communicators need to do to open up the debate from marine plastics to circular economy and ocean literacy?
What goals should communicators target to promote change instead of simply creating hypes?

What success stories can be used to increase people’s awareness of the effects they have on the ocean and inspire them to change about plastics?
What communication actions are more efficient to motivate people to change old habits about plastics?

How should the communicators segment their audiences to effectively communicate plastics issues?
What is more effective in terms of marine plastic communication: a strategy for each target group or one single recipe for all?

Apart from the triggering questions on each table, there will be a question on a dashboard on what the results of this workshop should be converted into as a follow-up action. We will provide a few examples and allow the participants to add other options. The participants will vote on their favourite follow-up action. The most voted format will be used to promote the Ten Commandments actions emerging from the World Café.

*This session is restricted to 30 participants. Places will be allocated to the first 30 delegates registering their intention to attend the session.

Programme B - Public Affairs: A Practical Perspective, Dr Stuart Thomson (CIPR)
The presentation looks at what public affairs is and why it can be useful to all communications professionals. 

It will provide a broad insight into the skills required for lobbying and political communication, dispelling myths and explaining the benefits of engagement.

The presentation will use: a mix of case studies and practical examples and top tips and key dos and don'ts. Stuart will explain: what public affairs is and is not!, the machinery of government, policy and decision-making, the role that media relations and consultation can play in public affairs campaigns, how to engage with politicians.

Programme C - Creative Communications:

The art of animating science, Bart De Smet (VLIZ)
Why use animations to communicate and promote science? Animations give science communicators more creative freedom and make it a lot easier to present a concept or a viewpoint. Animations provide us with things both kids and adults can relate to and they have become more and more realistic. At the Flemish Marine Institute (VLIZ), news items including animations are extremely effective and beneficial since they are among the most viewed posts and yield the highest interaction with the public.

Collaborative and immersive visualization of environmental data: demonstrating the benefits of Virtual Reality for exploring coral 3D models, Arnaud Le Breton (visualiz)
Recent advances in the field of immersive technologies allow us to (almost) travel through space and time. This empowers us to visualize complex systems and data sets in novel, intuitive and accessible ways. Using an existing project based on a ROV subsea video survey, we demonstrate how to create a “digital twin” of a coral structure and interact remotely and collaboratively in virtual reality.