The Big Think, in essence, is a summit of curated experts, innovators, and investors that combines the collective intelligence of public, private, and civil society leaders to create and launch an open innovation program. It serves as a problem- solving catalyst, connecting existing dots in new ways to unlock innovative answers.

In November 2015, the Oceans Big Think gathered 40 experts and leaders from science, innovation, conservation and policy at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to both identify a set of Grand Challenges for oceans and commit to actions to solve them. 

The ten most pressing Grand Challenges were identified in a detailed working document as:

  • A Blue Revolution for Oceans: Reengineering Aquaculture for Sustainability
  • Ending and Recovering from Marine Debris
  • Transparency and Traceability from Sea to Shore:  Ending Overfishing
  • Protecting Critical Ocean Habitats: New Tools for Marine Protection
  • Engineering Ecological Resilience in Near Shore and Coastal Areas
  • Reducing the Ecological Footprint of Fishing through Smarter Gear
  • Arresting the Alien Invasion: Combating Invasive Species
  • Combatting the Effects of Ocean Acidification
  • Ending Marine Wildlife Trafficking
  • Reviving Dead Zones: Combating Ocean Deoxygenationand Nutrient Runoff


This gathering was the first step in rethinking potential solutions and building an oceans innovation pipeline through Oceans X Labs. It served as a platform to develop and move forward with the first challenge