“A new roadmap for the Blue Economy in the making”

After a period of uncertainty and seemingly conflicting messages about the future direction of the Blue Economy, a meeting was arranged on June 21-22 in Frankfurt to try to reconcile differences and agree on a strategy forward. Participants were Gunter Pauli and Anders Wijkman – representing ZERI – and Stephan Breidenbach, Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann and Markus Haastert – representing Konvergenta and ZERI Germany. The outcome of the meeting was successful. It confirmed a strong will among the parties to settle past disputes and work closely together to help turn the Blue Economy principles into viable products and services in the market. While a few issues have to be discussed further, the parties reached broad agreement about the main principles that should guide cooperation in the future. The most important are: The main objective of the cooperation will be to galvanize the strategies to bring the BE principles to the market, through innovative business models and entrepreneurship. The working modalities will be characterized by transparency and openness and priority given to consultation within the wider ZERI and Blue Economy research networks. Any remaining comments of a negative nature in relation to the Blue Economy in the social media will be removed. The Blue Economy (BE) concept will be anchored in a set of criteria, mainly derived from the book by Gunter Pauli and complemented by a set of ethical principles, including financial. The Blue Economy concept will only be eligible for public use to parties who meet these criteria. The researchers and entrepreneurs who have provided the science and the business concepts to substantiate the Blue Economy in the book and the additional online cases are entitled to use and refer to the Blue Economy and its abbreviations for their activities related to the content of the cases. The BE core set of principles and its implementation will be decided by an International BE Foundation. The Board will be made up of Pauli, Wijkman, Breidenbach, Haastert and three members from the ZERI network. In case disputes would arise in relation to the use of the BE, the default option will be mediation. Legal action will only be used as a last resort. Trademark issues related to the ”Blue Economy” will be regularly discussed and resolved by the Foundation Board. As for now, all trademarks – but for the ”Blue Economy” - that have been registered will cease; exceptions to be applied will be argued case by case in the Board. The parties are unison in their objective to make the upcoming Blue Economy Summit a success. It was agreed that Gunter Pauli assumes the responsibility to choreograph content. It was also agreed that the participation of the ZERI network is guaranteed under optimal conditions.

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