Sea Champion and Founder of Common Seas
Sea Champion with over 10 years experience spearheading global marine programmes through identifying critical marine issues, aligning senior experts, generating income and, engineering solutions to reduce human impact on the sea. Transforms big visions into innovative, practical and deliverable strategies. Diverse skills in leading resilient teams and creating policies including navigating South Georgia, inventing fisheries conservation strategies and reducing plastic pollution.
Jo spent over a decade in her first career clocking up around a hundred thousand sea miles as a sponsored ocean racing and expedition skipper. Witnessing first-hand the build-up of plastic on the world’s most remote beaches, such as those in the Antarctic, fuelled her to move ashore to deliver solutions towards maintaining productive oceans.
Jo was part of the small team that designed and built world’s first ‘closed loop’ trans-ocean sailing vessel – the Plastiki. This United Nations recognised, global solutions-driven, awareness campaign on ocean plastic reached millions of people. She skippered the crew of five as they proved the material properties of the vessel by surviving hurricane force winds while sailing for three months from San Francisco to Sydney.
Subsequently, Jo led Pew Charitable Trusts' Global Ocean Legacy UK campaign to secure the Government's commitment to designate the world's largest fully protected marine reserve, the Pitcairn Islands.
She holds a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Society from University College London. She has worked with brands including Nike, L'Oreal, and Inmarsat to improve their socio-ecological value and has featured on the BBC, National Geographic, Vogue, Time and TEDx. In 2012, she was awarded the Geddes Environmental Medal. Through a love of being hands on and a curious mind she supports system solutions to craft a world where people live in harmony with each other and the sea.
The Plastiki Voyage: Marine Debris Is Our Problem, The Huffington Post, 06.2010
My Story: Jo Royle, Harpers Bazaar 11.2010