The Explorers Club and United Nations, New York
June 4 – 8, 2018



Parley honored World Oceans Week 2018 at The Explorers Club and United Nations Headquarters in New York earlier this summer with a marathon of talks, film screenings, panels and workshops focused on the protection of the oceans, solutions to major threats and the strategy that can end marine plastic pollution: Parley AIR. The talks centered on three key topics: high seas crimes and overfishing, plastic pollution and the Material Revolution, and the exploration and conservation of deep space.

World Oceans Week was a celebration of our life-giving ecosystem and a rallying cry to step up, take action and actively participate in its protection. It will take a Material Revolution to create a better future. We are calling on everyone, from every industry, to own this challenge and develop a new culture of creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation.




June 4, 2018 – World Oceans Week kicked off with a talk and screening of Chasing the Thunder, a documentary which tells the story of the heroic and record-breaking 110-day, 10,000-mile pursuit of a notorious poaching vessel by two Sea Shepherd ships. Following the film, New York Times investigative journalist Ian Urbina joined Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson, producers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, and Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch in a panel moderated by EarthxFilm founder Michael Cain. The conversation explored how illegal fishing is threatening both individual species and entire ocean ecosystems, what can be done to stop it, and the power of film as a “weapon of instruction.”




June 6, 2018 – Material innovators, pioneers of biofabrication, designers, marine scientists, technology experts, select members of the media and creatives from the fashion industry gathered to discuss the harmful materials that shape our lives and economy in a panel led by big wave surfer turned-activist Greg Long. The participants highlighted the role and responsibility of fashion in creating the next big super trend — one of survival-inspired eco-innovation —  and agreed on the need for a mutual strategy to move beyond plastics and into the future of materials.

Prior to the live-streamed talks, a private workshop was held in collaboration with the Plastic Soup Foundation, in which scientists and experts met to discuss the state of microplastics and synthetic microfiber pollution, and explore ways to boost and scale solutions.

Plastic is a design failure. It will take a Material Revolution to fix it. Each participant in the week’s workshop brought a unique perspective to the issue, demonstrating the importance and strength of collaboration. The challenge ahead lies in turning awareness into action. Parley and our growing network of partners, collaborators and supporters find our answer and guide in Parley AIR: Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. Everyone is invited to implement it.




June 7, 2018 – Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only three have been to the deepest known point in the ocean. Even there, in the Mariana Trench, there is plastic pollution. The oceans house 99 percent of the biosphere and cover seven-tenths of the Earth. The marine ecosystem allows for our survival, but the vast majority of this living realm remains unseen by human eyes.

The Parley Deep Space Agency was launched to change the narrative by merging leading minds from ocean conservation, art, space and STEM in projects that change the ways we explore, understand and ultimately protect the oceans.

Speakers included Janey Whiteside, EVP and GM of Global Charge Products, Benefits, and Services at American Express (announcing our new partnership with Amex to “Keep it Blue”); Dr. Sylvia Earle, legendary ocean explorer, Founder of Mission Blue and Chief Science Officer on Parley Deep Space projects; Iain Kerr, Chief Science Officer of Parley SnotBot expeditions using drone tech to boost whale research; Jeremy Snyder, Director of Business Development at Tesla; Liz Taylor, expert in ROV/submersible technology and Co-founder and President of DOER Marine; and Doug Aitken, artist and Parley collaborator behind Underwater Pavilions.




On the eve of World Oceans Day, we celebrated the Porter x Parley collaboration on the Summer Escape issue of Porter Magazine with the Incredible Oceans Gala. Held on the rooftop of Dumbo House in Brooklyn, the event brought together leading voices from fashion, conservation, music and the arts to stress the urgency of action to end major ocean threats and launch our global Parley AIR campaign to reduce plastics in the fashion industry and beyond. Porter x Parley are calling on individuals to make a pledge to ban one plastic item and challenge others to do the same on social media using #PlasticNotFantastic and #ParleyAIR. Learn more here.




June 8, 2018 – The week culminated in a celebration and call to action at the United Nations Headquarters, where Parley presented the global launch of “Albatross”, a film by Chris Jordan, along with a special reveal of Parley AIR, our strategy to end marine plastic pollution by reducing plastic use, recovering and recycling existing waste, and reinventing the materials and thinking that caused and perpetuate the problem.

To demonstrate the power of the individual, directly after the standing ovation in response to “Albatross,” Parley invited speakers and collaborators to take the stage and make a personal Parley AIR commitment to avoid single-use plastics and inspire the audience to do the same.




World Oceans Day marked the start of the 2018 adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans, a global display of unity and action to protect our life-giving ecosystem, empower the future and end marine plastic pollution. The movement kicked off with a run in Los Angeles, the first in a series held to rally communities in major cities all over the globe and set the tone for the digital run accessible to runners everywhere on Runtastic and JoyRun (in China) from June 8 to July 8.

Together, we met the Run for the Oceans 2018 goal of 1 million kms to raise $1 million for Parley Ocean School youth education initiatives within the first three days of the run. By the end of the month, over a million runners worldwide had logged over 12 million kms. This is the power of collaboration around a common cause. 


Thank you to all of our World Oceans Week Parley AIR pledgers, ambassadors and speakers:

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue

Ian Thorpe, Olympian and activist

Gary Bencheghib, Activist

Jeremy Snyder, Director of Business Development, Tesla

Maria Westerbos, Plastic Soup Foundation

Lucy Yeomans, Porter Magazine

Emily Penn, Activist

Iain Kerr, Parley SnotBot

Liz Taylor, DOER Marine

Fabien Cousteau, Explorer

Cyrill Gutsch, Parley Founder

Ian Urbina, New York Times

Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd

Mark Benjamin, Director

Marc Levin, Director

Chris Jordan, Filmmaker

Greg Long, Big wave surfer

Yuly Fuentes Medel, Scientist

Suzanne Lee, Biofabricate

Jenna Jambeck, Scientist

Michael Klug, Whitewall Magazine

Simon Rasmussen, Office Magazine

Mario Sorrenti, Photographer

Anja Rubik, Model and Activist

Anna Bader, Cliff Diver

Greg Chait, Designer

Lucy Yeomans, Porter Magazine

Janey Whiteside, EVP and GM, American Express 

Doug Aitken, Artist

Dava Newman, MIT Scientist



We can end the threats to the oceans. But only if we turn awareness into action. Creativity and collaboration are key.
Parley AIR is the strategy. Get involved, make your pledge and take action today: