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What Is the Marine CoLABoration?

The Marine CoLABoration is a collaboration of marine and related NGOs who, over the last 6 years, have worked together to put value at the heart of shaping solutions for our ocean. The CoLAB aims to increase collaborative action and explore how to communicate why the ocean matters more effectively.

CoLAB projects are referred to as ‘experiments’, as they encompass new ways of conceiving, designing, and delivering for all those involved in the process. So much has been learnt along the way, through projects such as:

  • The #OneLess campaign (seeking to reduce use of single use plastic water bottles in London.

  • Agents of Change - facilitating deep public engagement around Marine Protected Areas.

  • We Are Ocean – building a new ocean literacy network.

  • World Ocean Day for Schools - engaging and inspiring ocean advocates from childhood.


Marine CoLABoration Community of Practice, a supportive space for practitioners who have been involved in, or are interested in, applying the CoLAB’s approaches.

The Compass Course

As part of the Marine CoLABoration, we have been applying systems change approaches and using a values-based approach to communications to make our work more effective and impactful. Supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, through the Compass course, the CoLAB are sharing the approaches they've been developing and testing over the past six years with the wider coastal and marine community - yourselves!

After the success of the live Compass cohort, we developed the assets into a self-paced course, to fit around busy schedules. This modular programme, composed of bite-sized videos and exercises, introduces coastal and marine professionals to values and systems based approaches and how to apply them within their own work.

Find out more by visiting the Compass website

The Marine CoLABoration: An Introduction to Our Approach

We’re delighted to share the Marine CoLAB’s introductory guide, which was produced, thanks to funding through the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to codify and share CoLAB learning. The guide aims to provide you with the foundations behind the CoLAB’s four key concepts – values, governance, systems and collaboration. 


Six years of insight has gone into producing the guide – check it out in our resources section to learn how the CoLAB applied values and systems approaches to increase the impact of work for our coasts and ocean.


If you're interested in the CoLAB's work, the Compass course or the Community of Practice, we'd love to hear from you. 

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In autumn/winter 2021, we held the first online Compass course – a learning journey for coastal and marine professionals exploring values-based and systems approaches. This was designed and delivered alongside Forum for the Future, the Marine Conservation Society and Communications INC. Our cohort of 30 Compass participants gave fantastic feedback, and are already starting to practically imbed their learning and use the tools and approaches explored in their daily work.

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