“All Blue Week” Launches UNCW’s Alliance for the Blue Economy, Nov. 2-6

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Acclaimed futurist and author Deborah Westphal will deliver the keynote address at the opening session of All Blue Week on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 8:30 a.m. at UNCW’s Lumina Theater. The session kicks off five days of seminars, workshops and recreational opportunities that will launch the Alliance for the Blue Economy (All Blue), a new initiative of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Westphal, author of the new book Convergence: Technology, Business and the Human-Centric Future, will offer keen insights on the themes of sustainability and human-centric convergence and how they resonate with and are embedded in the Blue Economy. She will also facilitate a workshop around the concept of the Blue Economy and what it means for southeastern North Carolina.
More than a dozen other events throughout the week will explain and explore the goals of the alliance, a multidisciplinary initiative to establish southeastern North Carolina as a national and global leader in the Blue Economy. The World Bank describes the Blue Economy as "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem."
“During All Blue Week, we are excited to be able to share our vision of growing a world-class economy that involves good-paying jobs, innovative businesses and a sustainable environment,” said Interim CIE Director Heather McWhorter. “When we look at the strengths of our region, we see a university that focuses on marine science as well as business and entrepreneurship; community colleges that are also focused on marine technology and biotech programs; an ideal infrastructure in place to support this initiative – a port, airport, rail, trucking, and logistics companies; and a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem that was recently ranked 81st in the world as a startup community by Startup Genome.”
Notable events during All Blue Week include:
  • A presentation and panel discussion led by Monica Jain, the founder of Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting, on the opportunities to bring innovation and sustainability to an old-school industry: commercial fishing. Wednesday, Nov. 3, 9-11:15 a.m. at the UNCW Center for Marine Science
  • A spectacular sunset cruise aboard the Blockade Runner Resort’s Carolina Runner. The cruise will also include an informal presentation by Blockade Runner staff on the practices and programs that have earned the Blockade Runner designations as an Ocean Friendly Establishment and recognition by the North Carolina GreenTravel Initiative. Wednesday, Nov. 3, 5-6:30 p.m. at the Blockade Runner marina
  • “Hack for a Blue Economy,” a virtual event that brings together technologists and subject matter experts in a hackathon to understand how data can help inform the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem. The hackathon is a joint event with Cape Fear Collective. Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. online
  • CMS Saturday, an open house at UNCW’s Center for Marine Science with one-hour tours of its shellfish research hatcheries and portions of the CMS and MARBIONC facilities that demonstrate CMS’s important role in marine science and education. Saturday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. with the final tour starting at 1 p.m. at the Center for Marine Science building
Other events include an exploration of living shorelines at Fort Caswell, a virtual presentation on the “oyster blueprint” project by the Coastal Federation and an insider’s tour of Cape Fear Community College’s marine technology and boat building programs.
Most events are free. The full list of events, with times, locations and price (if any) is available at and
The Alliance for the Blue Economy will support Blue Economy entrepreneurs and innovators, promote the region as a Blue Economy innovation hub, assist in the creation of Blue Economy-ready infrastructure and attract Blue Economy investment capital. To fulfill this vision, the alliance will work to obtain federal, state and regional grants with government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and private sector partners.
UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship works to identify and nurture high-growth, high-impact companies and to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in southeastern North Carolina. Its mission is to connect, leverage and ignite regional strengths and university expertise to create innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges in human health, education, coastal/marine environments and media production.