Virtual Island Summit 2019 Roundup

The first-ever Virtual Island Summit hosted by Island Innovation was held, remotely, between October 6th and 11th and included almost 4,000 participants from over 250 island communities participating from places as diverse as the Caribbean, Pacific, Arctic, Patagonia, Europe, Asia, the Indian Ocean and many more.

During the event, launched by James Ellsmoor, discussions ranged from digital connectivity in Tristan da Cunha (arguably the world’s remotest island), cultural preservation in South Carolina’s Sea Islands, journalism in Mauritius and innovative energy projects from Orkney to St Kitts. The full list of sessions and recordings is available here.

In the picture: A beautiful island in Thailand. Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were a key theme throughout Virtual Island Summit. The event was able to explore public participation experiences on different islands to inform SDGs-related policies, strategies, and legislation. During the Summit, it was very clear that reaching SDGs will be crucial for the survival of the communities on the islands.

Similar conferences often fail to offer equal opportunities to all interested parties and individuals but in this case, the interaction between attendees and speakers was at the core of the Summit.


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In most of the sessions, attendees were able to raise their questions to the panel of experts. All the sessions featured live polls where attendees could participate and provide relevant demographic information, and the chatbox allowed communication among attendees. The free access and a simple registration process allowed a simple and quick manner to sign up for all the sessions of the Summit.

In the picture: A screen image from the Virtual Island Summit. Photo Credit: Island Innovation

In Guadeloupe an in-person event screening of several sessions was organized by the Regional Council, allowing for a locally-based discussion on the island. Island Innovation hopes that in the future a similar format could be applied in other islands around the world.

In the picture: An island in the Pacific Ocean. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Island Innovation believes that continuity of the conversations is important for turning talk into action as the sessions of the summit covered some relevant issues for communities living on islands around the world.

Therefore, Island Innovation is will be active on social media as well as organizing other virtual online meetings before the next Island summit. If you wish to watch again all the summit, it is all available here.

In the cover picture: Hilton Head Island Photo Credit: Wikimedia

EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

About the Author /

Alessandro is the General Manager of ImpakterUP and the Tech Editor of Impakter. He joined Impakter in 2016 after working in the field of privacy law. Alessandro is a Law (Italy) and Political Science graduate (USA) and has always been interested in tech solutions that could help the environment.

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