New Speakers Announced
Nainoa Thompson, President of Polynesian Voyaging Society
Explorer, PWO navigator, cultural revivalist, educator, storyteller: Nainoa Thompson has led the rediscovery and revival of the ancient Polynesian art of navigation. Through his voyaging, teaching and engagement, he has opened a global, multigenerational dialogue on the importance of sustaining ocean resources and maritime heritage. Nainoa has dedicated his life to exploring the ocean, maintaining the health of the planet and ensuring that the ancient marine heritage and culture of Polynesia remain vibrant into the future.
A Native Hawaiian, Thompson’s impact reaches beyond voyaging. The non-instrument navigation system Nainoa developed – blending traditional principles and modern scientific knowledge – is taught in schools throughout Hawai'i and the Pacific. This shared knowledge and his broader work with the next generation of ocean stewards is done with a hope that they will protect and continue the connection between the ocean past and future.
Nainoa will be participating in an open conversation with Oscar award-winning filmmaker Craig Foster to open the Communicating COP26 event. They will discuss their relationships with nature and how indigenous knowledge can be key to maintaining healthy ecosystems.
Bevis Watts, Chief Executive of Triodos Bank UK
Bevis has spent over 20 years working in sustainability in public, private and voluntary sectors, including ten years in the recycling industry, where he created WRAP’s Financial Mechanisms Programme which leveraged tens of millions of private sector investment into recycling in the early 2000s. During his time leading Triodos Bank UK, the bank has delivered strong growth, launched a personal current account and a crowdfunding platform, as well as transitioned to a new legal identity as a subsidiary in preparation for Brexit. Triodos Bank UK Ltd was established in May 2019. The bank also has an active ‘change finance’ agenda and has founded numerous UK and international initiatives aimed at promoting greater environmental and social accountability within the finance sector.
Bevis has always worked for values-led organisations and was previously chief executive of Avon Wildlife Trust. He has held numerous Directorships and Trusteeships and was a Board member of Bristol 2015, the delivery company for Bristol European Green Capital 2015, inaugural Chair of the West of England Nature Partnership, and elected to represent Local Nature Partnerships at a national level on the ESI Funds National Growth Board (2013-2015). Advisory roles have included the steering committees for the Banking Futures project and the UK government’s taskforce on Impact Investing, the forerunner to the Impact Investing Institute.
Bevis will be joining Ray Dhirani and Adam Sweidan on a panel session to discuss the role of finance in building a more sustainable world.
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