Dr. Sylvia Earle — Protecting the Real World Bank

Listen To On Leading

Photo Credit: Mission Blue

Photo Credit: Mission Blue

Dr. Sylvia Earle is a literal “living legend” according to the Library of Congress. She is a woman of firsts, including the first female chief scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first Time Magazine Hero for the Planet, and the first - and still only - human being to dive solo to a depth of over half a mile.

“We need leaders who get the big picture, who are looking beyond their own time.”

Called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Dr. Earle is a world-renowned marine ecosystem researcher who has led more than a hundred expeditions, including the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970, and she has logged more than 7,000 hours underwater.

Sylvia is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the Advisory Councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth. As the story goes, she is the reason Google Earth remembered to include the oceans. In addition, Sylvia is the recipient of more than a hundred national and international honors.

In this interview, Sylvia teaches us about the restorative leadership principle of taking the long view by encouraging us to realize that we have the power to do what no other creature on Earth can: look far into the past and anticipate the future with what we now know. Surprisingly, she offers what may be the most important accounting lesson of our time as she inspires us to leverage our collective intelligence to protect the real world bank and ensure that life on Earth goes on.

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Protect The Treasure Of Our Oceans

A lyrical ode to the ocean, Blue Hope expresses Sylvia Earle's passionate message: Life depends on the ocean, and to save it we must love it. In seven essays, she recounts the milestones of a life spent pioneering and protecting the ocean. Supporting facts and maps bolster this book's clear and hopeful message: We can all play a role in keeping the heart of our planet alive.


The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceans Are One ties-in to National Geographic's ambitious 5-year ocean initiative—focusing on overfishing. It is written in National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle's accessible yet hard-hitting voice. Through compelling personal stories she puts the current and future peril of the ocean and the life it supports in perspective for a wide public audience.


Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots—special places that are vital to the health of the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. The organization draws inspiration from the vision of founder Dr. Sylvia Earle to unite a global coalition of partners to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas.