Rethinking the Blue Economy: Socio-Ecological Impacts and Opportunities (RethinkBlue)

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23-24 April 2024.

In just over a decade since its introduction at the Rio+20 conference in 2012, the Blue Economy has become a popular policy paradigm in Europe and beyond. However, the frequent use of the concept and its adoption in different contexts (national and international politics, private sector, academic community) has led to diverse and often competing discourses and frameworks. In its most general and value-neutral form, Blue Economy refers to all economic activities related to the oceans. However, conceptually and empirically, Blue Economy can be engaged in more complex ways. In this way, it becomes a platform to explore multiple societal, environmental and economic aspects of the uses of the sea, from benefits to conflicts/challenges. Blue Economy can also become a way to critically review the impacts of ocean exploitation and resource extraction on local communities in line with the concept of Blue Justice.

In line with the focus of the “RethinkBlue” COST Action CA22122, the goal of the conference is to create a forum for scholars who are seeking to rethink what Blue Economy stands for today, from a social perspective. To initiate this process, the conference aims to explore potential and existing contradictions, conflicts, and synergies linked to it.