A collaboration of islanders: the Virtual Island Summit 2022

The world is getting smaller. A cliché, I know – but since the “COVID era” we have been able to communicate, share knowledge, engage in heated arguments, socialise, plan and launch projects and more – all in the virtual sphere. All around the world, there have been lively discussions among students, business people, NGO leaders, academics, “distinguished panelists,” and more on almost every topic under the sun.

James Ellsmoor and his vibrant young team at Island Innovation are doing it again with their ambitious (free) event that aims to bring together island people and island issues and concerns. Last year, some 10,000 participants from 500 islands met up virtually; more are expected this year. Virtual Island Summit (VIS) 2022 takes off on September 26 (ending on October 2, 2022) under the theme: Sharing Knowledge for Resilient, Sustainable and Prosperous Islands Worldwide. You can register here. In fact, VIS has been sticking pretty close to this theme since its inception in 2019; but innovation and new developments are emerging every moment. There is always a great deal to catch up on. And by the way, it’s a zero-carbon meeting.

This year there are several core themes, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework: Climate Action and Adaptation; Renewable Energy and Clean Energy Transition; Blue Economy, Conservation, and the Ocean; Agriculture and Food Security; Health, Education, Diversity, and Inclusion; Circular Economy; Sustainable Tourism; and Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. These topics will emerge in a variety of formats and VIS 2022 will be broadcast live; recorded sessions will be available later.

Critically, there will be the opportunity for networking – always an important part of any conference, on or offline. The goal is to create a real sense of community online. Participants will be able to wander from one virtual room to another, absorbing information and meeting new people (and in my case, probably learning for the first time about an island somewhere that I had never heard of before!) Here are examples of the speakers you may listen to and meet virtually, among many others… based in Guadeloupe, the Seychelles, Jersey, and Niue (OK, I had to look the last one up: it’s a small island off the coast of New Zealand and the world’s largest raised coral atoll!)

So… sign up today for this incredible learning opportunity, and join the global island community! It’s refreshing and absorbing. We have more in common than we may think…

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