Around the Institute

Florida Seaside Village Hosts Aspen Oceans Event

April 22, 2013

This spring, the Aspen Institute presented an Oceans Symposium at the seaside village of Windsor, Florida, generously hosted by Windsor founders Mr. and Mrs. Galen Weston. 

The Oceans Symposium, convened by the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program, delved into the current state of the oceans, great innovations in the field, and what we can do as a global community to protect these rich resources.


The symposium addressed how our planet’s vast oceans have supported human communities and livelihoods throughout history. These issues were discussed in the context of the world’s population growth and development, which have put pressure on ocean resources, and threatened fish species, coral reefs, and marine ecosystems around the world.

Notable speakers included Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, environmentalist and adventurer David de Rothschild, CBS News contributor and Lead Scientist for the Nature Conservancy Dr. M. Sanjayan, head of Environmental Stewardship at the Clinton Global Initiative Dr. Caroline Hermans, Bamboo Sushi Founder and CEO Kristofor Lofgren, and Founder of National Geographic’s Lindblad Expeditions Sven Lindblad.

Sanjayan kicked off the Symposium with an exploration of how humans engage with the oceans. Subsequent panels included a discussion of what conservation groups, businesses, and governments are doing to protect marine wildlife and the challenges ahead.

Lofgren guided participants through a sustainable seafood lunch and shared his unique approach to starting one of the most innovative seafood businesses today, while de Rothschild conducted a multimedia journey into how nature inspires and challenges us.

The forum took place on the barrier island town of Windsor, located between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean in Vero Beach. Recently featured in the Wall Street Journal, Windsor was built with respect for the beautiful nature in which it rests.

Canadian businessman W. Galen Weston and his wife, Hilary M. Weston, former lieutenant governor of Ontario, founded Windsor as a village that promotes sustainable, connected communities. With the help of the Aspen Institute, the symposium provided Windsor a unique opportunity to share with its members the greatest marine challenges of our day.

Click here to view photos from the event