EarthPeople, Kiss the Ocean, Mission Blue and Sakana Film Productions Selected to Present at SXSW Eco 2013

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Expert Panelists to Offer Innovative Ideas and Technologies for Conserving Oceans

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Conservation behavior calls for more than an ‘environmental’ response. It demands that we also explore our human potential and learn skills to enhance creativity, technology, commercialization and engagement.

SXSW Eco, a conference for professionals working to solve the complex challenges facing civil society, the economy and the natural world, will be held October 7 - 9, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center. A group of Texas-based ocean advocates announced today that they have been selected to present a panel discussion on “Ocean Conservation through Social Innovation” to the international audience of thought leaders and decision makers. Speaking from their unique vantage point as social entrepreneurs, the panelists will explore opportunities to connect with and protect the ocean through media & communication, consumer choices, eco-tourism, advocacy and education.

The panelists share the belief that oceans - the source of 70% of the world’s oxygen and the main source of protein for 2 billion people – require immediate attention on a variety of fronts. Presently, half of fish species are imperiled by climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification and toxic pollution. Addressing human behavior and innovation in conservation, the panel will touch on key areas of interest for the third-annual event, including themes of education, technology, health, business, climate change, energy, food, water, policy and activism.

“Conservation behavior calls for more than an ‘environmental’ response," says panel organizer Anna Clark. “It demands that we also explore our human potential and learn skills to enhance creativity, technology, commercialization and engagement - tactics that fall within the domain of the social innovator.”

Clark added, “While the necessity for ocean conservation has become more prominent, we need more than one-dimensional pollution control. We need answers to the essential questions: What roles can change agents can play in ocean conservation? Where are the needs and opportunities? What are the emerging technologies for fostering action and change?”

Representing the diversity of practices and passion involved in ocean conservation, the panelists include:

  •     Anna Clark, author and president of EarthPeople, a specialized communications firm and independent publisher of books and media on culture, sustainability and social innovation. Her clients include clean-tech startups, municipalities, Fortune 500 corporations, and sustainable development organizations including International Finance Corporation, a division of The World Bank. Anna is a Public Voices Fellow at The OpEd Project and a featured columnist for She also serves as the Texas chair of Shark Stewards, a San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to conserving our oceans through the protection of sharks.
  •     Mark S Hall, an award-winning filmmaker based in Austin. His latest feature-length documentary project “Sushi: The Global Catch” premiered in 2011 at the Seattle International Film Festival where it won a special jury prize. “Sushi” examines the traditions, global growth and potential environmental consequences of a popular cuisine in a rapidly globalizing world. The film has been screened in theaters and festivals in over 40 countries around the world.
  •     Mark McWilliams, a professional photographer, scuba Instructor and owner of Kiss The Ocean, a Dallas-based eco-tourism business specializing in travel throughout the bio-diverse corridor of Central America and Costa Rica. Since the late 90’s, Mark has had the opportunity to guide specialty groups and expedition crews that promote science and exploration, including IMAX films, Howard Hall Productions and BBC. Mark continues to promote aquatic conservation through commercial photography, dive instruction, teaching, speaking and guiding eco-tourists to Costa Rica and throughout the Central Atlantic and Pacific.
  •     Charlotte Vick, strategic partnership director of the Sylvia Earle Alliance/Mission Blue and curator of “Explore the Ocean” in Google Earth. As the partnership director for Mission Blue, Charlotte works with over 350 ocean partners in civil society, government, research, exploration, education and media. This collaboration with Google has produced over 3,000 stories about marine life, science and exploration, ocean and atmosphere, ecosystems, marine protected areas and human connection in Google Earth.

About SXSW Eco
SXSW Eco, taking place October 7 - 9, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, drives the conversation of sustainability beyond rhetoric and towards solutions by hosting an international audience of innovators and executive level decision makers from the public and private sectors as well as academia. SXSW Eco offers a unique opportunity for discovery, cutting-edge discussion, competitions, multimedia presentations and networking opportunities with experienced, passionate and pragmatic professionals. More information can be found at

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