Call for submissions


The Greenwich Maritime Centre (GMC) in partnership with Royal Museums Greenwich and supported by the Marine Social Network, Thames Estuary Partnership and the Coastal Partnership Network is pleased to announce its third biennial conference titled Society and Sea 2020: The Values of the Ocean and Coasts for Sustainable Development to run 9 - 11 September 2020. The ocean is in crisis and solutions to the many challenges require collaboration and contribution from science, industry, governments and communities. This conference will bring together a diverse international audience to explore the importance of the ocean and how to achieve ocean sustainability. 


As part of exploring the values of the ocean and coasts for sustainable development from multi-disciplinary and multi-sector perspectives the conference is looking for contributions around the following themes:

  • Blue Economy: What are the opportunities and barriers to develop the blue economy, the sustainable use of the ocean for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs. Papers in this theme could address a wide range of topics including fisheries, leisure and tourism, maritime transport, renewable energy, ship building and repair, marine biotechnology etc.
  • Coastal Communities: Coastal communities encounter many opportunities and challenges ranging from physical threats (including sea level rise, flooding, storm damage, coastal erosion etc) to socio-economic challenges such as unemployment and deprivation. However, there are also many positive health and wellbeing benefits from coastal living. This theme will explore these diverse challenges and opportunities. 
  • Migration: Human migration is constantly at the top to global news headlines, with the displacement of people now at unprecedented levels. This theme will explore multiple links between the ocean and human mobility including sea-level rise, marine bio-diversity and livelihoods and the displacement of people.    
  • Gender and diversity: Gender, diversity and inclusion must be at the heart of ocean sustainability. This theme will explore how women are engaged with the ocean, the issues faced and opportunities for the future.  
  • Environment and Conservation: Conservation and protection of the ocean is now at the top of the global agenda for sustainable development. This theme may include issues such as: management of biodiversity, pollution, flooding, climate change, ocean acidification etc.  
  • Health and Wellbeing: The health of the ocean is closely connected to human health and wellbeing. Whether living by the sea, visiting the sea or working on / in the sea, the ocean can have a fundamental role to play for human health and wellbeing. This theme encourages submissions around diverse topics such as environmental risk, recreation, maritime safety, therapeutic benefits, etc.
  • Fisheries: Globally marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people yet many crucial fish stocks are near the point of collapse. Coastal communities all around the world depend on the sea for livelihood and food security. This theme encourages presentations exploring the sustainability of fisheries and their importance for coastal communities.
  • Maritime Governance: What political and governance issues threaten the sustainable and equitable use of the ocean and seas, and what are the potential solutions? Issues include power and politics, explorations of negotiations, conflicts, and consensus building in maritime spaces; examples of maritime spatial planning, global / trans-national maritime issues, trade etc.

We encourage broad multi-disciplinary / multi-sector engagement with contributions from diverse stakeholders including government, NGOS, communities and academia (including for instance the arts and humanities, natural sciences and social sciences) to help understand the multiple ways our rivers, oceans and coasts are important for sustainable development.


Information on a second call for papers will be available here shortly.

Contact Details

Telephone: +44(0)20 8331 7688