NEKTON ADVISORY BOARD
GIGI BRISSON is the Founder and CEO of the Ocean Elders, a collective of leaders working with partners to protect, value, and celebrate the ocean and its wildlife. The Elders include Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Sylvia Earle, Jean Michel Cousteau, Queen Noor of Jordan, Jackson Brown, Don Walsh, James Cameron, Jose-Maria Figueres, E.O. Wilson and Fredrik Paulsen. The Ocean Elders are a Partner of Nekton.
STEVE BROOKS is a principal in the Boultbee Foundation, a charitable foundation which is proud to support a number of organisations committed to the improvement of health, education, employment, wellbeing and social advancement where it is most needed. An avid explorer and helicopter pilot who has set new records, in 2004 Steve became the first person to fly a helicopter from pole to pole. Earlier, in 2001, he designed and drove the world's first land based vehicle across the Bering Strait from America to Russia.
JAMIE BUCHANAN-DUNLOP is the founder and director of Encounter Edu, one of the UK's pre-eminent educational organisations providing world-class global science, geographic and citizenship learning through creating unique collaborations between scientists, explorers, teachers and pupils. Encounter Edu are Nekton’s educational partner, and have created Nekton’s educational programme 'Submarine STEM'.
PARAG KHANNA is a leading global strategist, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is a Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality, a geostrategic advisory firm, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. He is author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilizations, How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011) and other best sellers.
PATRICK LAHEY is the President and Founder of Triton Submarines. As one of the most experienced submersible operators globally, he's worked with James Cameron on 'Aliens of the Deep’ and Deepsea Challenger, the search for wreckage of NASA’s Challenger, and the successful filming of a Giant Squid. Triton are a Strategic Partner of Nekton and Patrick was the Chief Pilot on Nekton’s first Mission.
DAN LAFFOLEY: Marine Vice Chair, IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas and Senior Advisor Marine Science and Conservation, IUCN's Global Marine and Polar Programme, Dan is also advisor or board member of Sylvia Earle Alliance, Ocean Elders, Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X Prize and High Seas Alliance.
MIRELLA VON LINDENFELS: An award-winning communications expert and founder of Communications Inc., Mirella co-founded The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), advises Ocean Unite, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and has held senior positions with Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
MIKE METCALF is a Consultant and non-executive director of numerous UK luxury and retail businesses including Fortnum & Masons. Formerly CFO of Thorn EMI, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the Burberry Group and Chief Executive of Fitness First.
JO ROYLE is a Founder of Common Seas, spearheading the development of the Spindrift Foundation, and formerly a Director of Pew’s Global Ocean Legacy Project. Jo is also one of Europe's leading female ocean sailing skippers and skippered the Plastiki, drawing the attention of global media to plastic pollution in the ocean.
TORSTEN THIELE is Founder of the Global Ocean Trust, and focuses on marine conservation, technology and governance. Previously Torsten structured complex international project financing with JP Morgan, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Investec.
JEFF WILLNER is the Founder and CEO of TravelEdge a $1 billion collection of North America travel companies and previously a partner with McKinsey. Jeff is an avid explorer and adventurer, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club and undertaken many expeditions globally including driving twice around the world in his trusty Land Rover. Kensington Tours, part of the TravelEdge group are Nekton’s Launch Partner for Mission II: Indian Ocean.
DR ASHA DE VOS is an internationally recognized and awarded marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan grown non-profit, Oceanswell. Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization is home to the well-known ‘Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project’ the first long-term study on blue whales in the region. Asha’s work has led to many key research publications, that are used to inform policy at the local and global level. Her work has also been showcased internationally by Channel 7 Australia, the BBC, the New York Times, CNN, WIRED UK, the New Scientist, TED, Grist, GOOD, Nature and National Geographic. Asha is the first and only Sri Lankan to have a PhD in Marine Mammal research, the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation from Sri Lanka and also the first National Geographic Explorer from her small island nation. Asha is also a TED Senior fellow, an Ocean Conservation Fellow at the New England Aquarium, a Duke Global Fellow in Marine Conservation, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. In 2018 Asha was recognized with a prestigious WingsWorldQuest Woman of Discovery at Sea award, was a global winner for the UK Alumni Awards in the Professional Achievement category that recognizes alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession, a Woman in Management Inspirational Woman of the Year Award, an Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Year Emerging Global Scientist Award, named one of Asia’s sustainability superwomen, listed on the BBC 100 Women 2018 list of most inspiring and influential women from around the world and named Lanka Monthly Digest’s Sri Lankan of the Year. Asha’s life work is to change the current marine conservation model, protect this unique population of blue whales and inspire the next generation of diverse ocean heroes.
MICHAEL DA COSTA BABB works in the creative and innovation industries. He is a hands-on strategic advisor for various businesses, investment funds & accelerators across all sectors including Marketing Town (UK), Generic Robotics (UK), Films Angel (UK/ France), FreedomEE (Pt) and Fabrica do Futuro (Brazil). He is also a Tech London Advocate and a lecturer at INSEEC. In addition Michael is a mentor of CV Labs AG, Switzerland, MIT Portugal and a founder jury member of the European Commission @Diversity Culture Technology competition. Michael clients include PlayStation, Nike, X Box, MTV, Diageo, Cockspur Rum, Interbrew, BMW, Coca Cola, SONAR, Red Bull, Nokia, Vice and the ICA.
WILL LEE is the head of digital entertainment at Meredith Corp, where he oversees digital, video, and streaming for the People and Entertainment Weekly brands. Over the past two decades, Will has built, grown, and led digital businesses, products and experiences at Time Inc, TMZ, The Hollywood Reporter, Penske Media, and for many consumer products brands, with hundreds of millions of monthly users and engagements.