Activities

Stakeholder Discussions

Listening to: Marine experts / Medical experts / Policy makers / Public / Stakeholders

This activity is listening to a broad mix of people, from different backgrounds and disciplines across Europe, to define future oceans and human health research priorities.

Identifying the research needed to maximise the health and wellbeing benefits of marine and coastal environments is a complex issue. It affects numerous people and organisations, and no one person or group is fully in charge.

Yet every person in Europe has a stake in promoting and protecting the benefits to health and wellbeing provided by the marine environment, whether it is high on their agenda or not.

The SOPHIE stakeholder discussions are ensuring that all voices are heard, identifying key societal and citizen stakeholders, their current behaviours, and their connections with oceans and human health (OHH) systems.

These conversations are using Collective Intelligence, a methodology that specialises in facilitating group discussion and consensus building around problems and solutions.

Over 800 expert stakeholders from marine and public health sectors around the world were invited to our online conversations and asked to identify their top priorities for OHH. 673 priorities were identified, falling into 26 key priority areas This started the first multi-actor, cross-country dialogue to discuss, debate and map the dynamics at work in relation to OHH.

People discuss around tables with notes and posters

Lively oceans and human health discussions take place.

Following our online conversations, we brought together 32 experts at a series of workshops in Dublin in February 2019 to map the dynamics between these priorities. This gathering of ocean minds included a diverse mix from clinical, medical and planetary health backgrounds, marine conservation and activism, marine policy and planning, research, tourism, education, and more.

Calls to action were identified, on topics such as ‘health benefits from the ocean’, ‘OHH governance’, ‘OHH awareness’, ‘preventing pollution’, and ‘mitigating climate change.’

Read our summary report from these workshops

In an online, pan-European survey, citizens in 14 European countries have also contributed their top priorities for OHH. Over 700 of these have been categorised into 24 areas with ‘preventing pollution’ and ‘protection of the marine environment’ among the key topics.

In November 2019, 16 citizens from across Europe will be invited to take part in a workshop to continue to build consensus around these priorities and solutions.

Together, our expert stakeholder and citizen generated priorities provide a more nuanced and sophisticated OHH understanding and a highly participatory space for everyone to actively build collective leadership capacity, vision and commitment.

The ultimate outcomes of this stakeholder engagement process will be to determine priority areas of research, alongside a final report with specific recommendations for oceans and human health research.

Project partners involved

National University of Ireland, Galway

National University of Ireland, Galway

Easkey Britton

Easkey Britton

Marine Social Scientist

Christine Domegan

Christine Domegan

Behavioural Change Expert

Patricia McHugh

Patricia McHugh

Behavioural Change Expert

Related content

Resources: Reports

SOPHIE Conversations Report

This interim report describes the key findings from stakeholder workshops and conversations which took place in Ireland in February 2019.

  • Blog
  • 30 May 2018

Expert workshop #1

SOPHIE members gathered in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland in April, to take part in the first of two expert workshops.

Activities

Citizen Science Program

This project will create awareness of Oceans and Human Health issues in the tourism industry.

Activities

SOPHIE Survey

This pan-European survey will improve our understanding of the European public’s beliefs about how marine issues affect human health and wellbeing.