Sea-Space Initiative

Ad Mare | Ad Astra

We organize a global series of workshops for thought leaders in a variety of ocean- and space-related fields and industries. These are powerful networking and educational opportunities within a truly unique peer group.

The Sea-Space Summits


  • 25-50 invited participants per event
  • Leaders in exploration, research, entrepreneurship, innovation, education, training, communication, collaboration
  • Representatives from government, nonprofit, for-profit … and all nations


2-day workshops with unique discussion format


To build a global community dedicated to sea-space connections


2012 Silicon Valley USA [participants] [materials]
2013 Washington, DC USA [participants] [materials]
2014 Vienna Austria    
2015 Doha Qatar    
2016 Sentosa Island Singapore    
2017 Sydney Australia    
2018 Buenos Aires Argentina    
2019 Cape Town South Africa    

*Exact dates and venues TBD. Please contact us to receive updates.

About the Initiative

The Sea-Space Initiative was created to promote the synergies between the worlds of “outer” and “inner” space.

Our focus areas cover a wide range of topics, including:
  • Exploration & Research
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Education & Training
  • Communication & Collaboration

Founded in 2011, the Sea-Space Initiative is a global project of the Opus Novum Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization based in California, USA.

Board of Directors – Opus Novum Foundation
  • Dr. Khalid Al-Ali
  • Ms. April Bucksbaum
  • Ms. Shana Dale
  • Mr. Jeffrey Karan
  • Mr. Yorgos Stylianos
Leadership Team – Sea-Space Initiative
  • [bio] Mr. Guillermo Söhnlein, Founder & Chairman
  • [bio] Mr. Florian Selch, Managing Director
Organizing Committee – 2012 Sea-Space Summit (Silicon Valley)
  • [bio] Ms. Jenifer Austin, Google
  • [bio] Ms. April Bucksbaum, The Baum Foundation
  • [bio] Mr. Bill Corso, Universities Space Research Association
  • [bio] Ms. Jelena Jovanovic, Nixie Labs
  • [bio] Dr. Erika Wagner, Blue Origin
Organizing Committee – 2013 Sea-Space Summit (Washington, DC)
  • [bio] Mr. Bill Corso, Universities Space Research Association
  • [bio] Dr. Armin Ellis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • [bio] Ms. Karen Kohanowich, NOAA
Organizing Committee – 2014 Sea-Space Summit (Vienna, Austria)
  • [bio] Mr. Chad Anderson, Space Angels Network
  • [bio] Ms. April Bucksbaum, The Baum Foundation
  • [bio] Dr. Armin Ellis, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • [bio] Mr. Ariel Fuchs, SeaOrbiter
  • [bio] Dr. Gernot Groemer, Austrian Space Forum
  • [bio] Ms. Brienna Henwood, NASTAR Center
  • [bio] Ms. Christina Reed, Independent Journalist

  • What is the Sea-Space Initiative?

    In early 2011, a small group of individuals began brainstorming ideas around a simple question: given unlimited resources to build a long-term global program leveraging the synergies between the “oceans world” and the “space world” (“inner” and “outer” space), what kind of program would we build? These discussions eventually led to the creation of the Sea-Space Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specifically focused on crafting such a long-term global program and implementing it.
  • What is a Sea-Space Summit?

    As part of our long-term mission, we want to foster relationships, discussions, and collaborations. Toward that end, we periodically invite a small number of carefully selected industry experts to come together for two days of discussions. These are powerful networking and education opportunities, but they also result in tangible projects and milestones. We call is “Actionable Dialogue”.
  • Who attends the Summits?

    A variety of experts with deep experience working in one or both of our target frontiers. They represent a wide cross-section of fields, such as exploration, research, entrepreneurship, finance, technology development, education, media, law, and public policy. They also come from government agencies, for-profit companies, and nonprofit organizations. Participants get access to the password-protected bio site, so they can learn more about each other and connect with each other.
  • How can I get an invitation or recommend someone for one?

    We will eventually open attendance to the general public, but for the first few workshops we are trying to maximize efficiency and effectiveness by focusing on individuals specifically selected by the Organizing Committee. However, we are always open to inviting new participants who have expertise in one or more subject area AND who appreciate the synergies between “inner” and “outer” space AND who have a passion for doing something about it. If you or someone you know wants to actively help us shape the long-term vision of this global initiative, please contact us via email at info (at) or via the form on this site. We look forward to hearing from you!
  • Is this the same as the Sea-Space Symposium?

    No, but they complement each other. The Sea-Space Summit is a series of invitation-only workshops specifically created to help draft a long-term global plan for the Sea-Space Initiative. The Sea-Space Symposium is a membership organization that helps astronauts and aquanauts connect with each other and share valuable experiences. Some members of the Sea-Space Symposium are also invited participants of the Sea-Space Summit, because the Sea-Space Initiative can help take established Sea-Space Symposium conversations one step closer to action and broaden the engaged community.
  • Is this the same as the Link Project?

    No, but they complement each other. The Link Project—which was conducted in 2000 as a joint initiative between NOAA and NASA—specifically focused on exploration, research, and technology development within the United States’ two federal government agencies. The Sea-Space Summit is a global (i.e., not just U.S.) effort that brings together experts from a variety of fields (i.e., not just exploration, research, and technology) and from a variety of organizations (i.e., not just federal government). Some members of the Link Project leadership are also invited participants of the Sea-Space Summit, because the Sea-Space Initiative can help foster and expand support for its original activities. For more information about the Link Project, please review this summary report:
  • What is the format of these events?

    The Summits are a blended model of “traditional” conference talks, “unconference” breakout sessions, and opportunities for networking and informal conversations. A complete agenda is emailed to confirmed participants prior to the event.
  • What is an "unconference" session?

    An “unconference” session removes the traditional hierarchy of speaker and audience, and creates an atmosphere where everyone actively participates on equal footing. Everyone is asked to not only attend, but teach, talk, and participate. The program for these portions of the event will be emergent, with everyone encouraged to lead a discussion on one topic about which they are passionate. (Note, we didn’t say “the most knowledgeable person in the room.” A great unconference session can be kicked off by a question!) See e.g.,
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the unconference portion of this event?

    Come willing to lead a short (10-15 minute) presentation or discussion on an area you think will be of interest to the other participants. This can be as simple as a provocative question, or as complex as a demonstration you’d like to share. We will craft the parallel “agendas” for these sessions together in real-time to reflect the interests in the room. See e.g.,
  • Can you give me an example of an unconference topic?

    Anything that you think might be of interest to a subset of the attendees is fair game! Some topics we’ve thought about including:

    • Google Ocean demo
    • Open data standards
    • How do we find the next Cousteau or Sagan?
    • Suborbital research: getting beyond tourism
    • How to host a Google Hangout from your frontier
    • Using satellite and in situ observatories to monitor Marine Protected Areas
    • Developing a Sea-Space Incubator and Venture Fund
  • What is "the law of two feet?"

    An unconference session is only as successful as its participants. During these discussions, if you’re not learning or contributing where you are, please use your two feet to find a place where you can!


The Sea-Space Initiative thanks our sponsors for their support!
BME Google Jones Day

Morawa OceanGate Opus Novum


The Sea-Space Initiative is the leader of influential partnerships dedicated to building a global community centering around sea-space connections.
The Baum Foundation OEWF

USRA X Prize Foundation

Contact Us

Contact us to learn more about the organization and to receive updates about the Summits.

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