Leg 1: Tonga

Overview

eXXpedition’s virtual voyages are designed to take crew on a transformative journey, on land, as we continue our route around the world. They’re designed to give guest crew an in-depth understanding of the true impact of the plastics issue, forge and deepen relationships within our eXXpedition global community, develop solutions-based thinking and result in an action plan to apply crew superpowers to solve the problem.

On this voyage, Watch 5 takes us to The Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of around 170 islands, 36 of which are inhabited. In 2009, eXXpedition Director and co-founder Emily Penn spent 6 months living on this tiny island nation, working with locals to organise one of the biggest community-led clean-ups ever. A local representative will lead this session exploring how plastic use and management has evolved in Tonga over the last decade.

Meet the team

Mission Leader

Sally Earthrowl

Sally Earthrowl

United Kingdom

SALLY is a keen environmentalist, adventurer and ocean advocate. When living in Bali, she saw first-hand the devastating impact and upstream issues around plastic pollution in a developing country. This propelled her to take action, working closely with the local community to educate and raise awareness to bring about change in local waste management systems and behaviours. In 2018, Sally sailed through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on eXXpedition North Pacific gaining first-hand experience of the extent of plastic in our oceans and contributing to ‘science at sea’.

Prior to joining the eXXpedition team, Sally had a 12-year career as a Geography teacher, Head of Department and whole-school Teaching and Learning Coordinator. Sally values the importance and power of education as a key contributor to the sustainable management of global issues. As a teacher, Sally has always been student-focused; nurturing a creative learning environment allowing students to flourish and succeed. Under her charge students have achieved impressive levels of academic progress but most importantly to Sally, they have developed a passion for the planet they call home and a confidence to take action to protect it.

Swapping her classroom for S.V.TravelEdge and the school environment for the planet, Sally is excited about the opportunity to learn and raise awareness amongst crew and in the communities we will visit.

Yvonne C. Neth

Yvonne C. Neth

Micronesia

Artist

Yvonne is an Artist from Micronesia with a Degree in Anthropology and a Commercial Pilot’s License. She is an animated soul with an enthusiasm for projects involving cultural preservation, environmental conservation, women’s rights and education. Yvonne is ecstatic to be joining a leg of the eXXpedition 2019 World tour; believing that her participation in the joint endeavor to collect base data is essential toward the positive progress of environmental conservation. She is a child of the islands, sailing on Pacific waters is one close to her heart.

Yvonne is sponsored by:

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Jackie Nuñez

Jackie Nuñez

United States of America

Founder of The Last Plastic Straw

Jackie created the No Plastic Straws movement when she founded The Last Plastic Straw in 2011 as a volunteer project for Save Our Shores. The Last Plastic Straw has been a project of Plastic Pollution Coalition since 2016.

She is a part time kayak guide, full time activist, and lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she teaches people of all ages how to speak truth to plastic and be an agent for change in their communities. She has advised on more than 20 local ordinances limiting single-use food ware including plastic straws, and on the historic Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020.

Jackie has a BS in Health and a AS in Horticulture, and has a passion for travel, ocean sports, design, gardening, the environment, and community service. Jackie is a frequent speaker at international conferences, in the press, and was featured in the award-winning documentary Straws.

Jackie is sponsored by:

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Susanna Mitterer

Susanna Mitterer

Austria

Business Owner / Management Consultant

Susanna is Management Consultant and Executive Coach with over 20 years of experience, working primarily in the manufacturing sector. Many of her clients are Polymer Processors and she is keen to use her experience on eXXpedition / Leg 16 to help inform upstream solutions to reduce the level of plastic content, packaging and improve the closed loop recycling practices.

Susanna has had a lifelong interest in marine life & biology and environmental sciences. Although she has limited offshore sailing experience, she is looking forward to exploring the Indian Ocean Gyre and using her first-hand experience to influence her professional and personal network to find solutions to make the world as plastic free as possible.

Susanna wishes to thank all her personal friends who supported her so generously on her crowd funding page and her Consulting Colleagues at Syngroup GmbH for sponsoring her on this journey!

Susanna is sponsored by:

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Amélie Marchand

Amélie Marchand

Canada

Sailor & Photographer

Amélie Marchand’s life is a joyful mess but it would make far less interesting stories if it was any other way! After a few years working in the music industry, as the musician who can play any instrument you put in her hands, her desire to make the world a more sustainable place pushed her to study environmental sciences. Growing up in a family of travellers and professional mariners, her grandfather tales of gigantic waves and seafaring adventures inspired her wandering spirit and her profound respect of the ocean. She discovered traditional sailing when she was 22 years old and it is now her favourite way to wander around. Between her fight against her evil enemy, plastic pollution, her salty travels and her university life, she still manages to be a freelance photographer, has learnt how to speak 4 languages, volunteers at a handful of local organisations and practices violin. In case you haven’t guessed, her biggest fear is to be bored.

Learn more about Amélie's journey here:

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Catherine Cieczko

Catherine Cieczko

Belgium

Journalist and Public Affairs Consultant

Catherine trained as a journalist and is experienced in research & innovation, transport, energy and environment sectors. She works on improving stakeholders relations and ensuring visibility to EU Programmes within the EU community and beyond, through a large network of contacts.

Catherine offers a combination of counsel in public affairs and policies, with an experience in managing communications campaigns, including media relations, events, digital & print communication, social media and corporate branding. Working with passion to support the construction of Europe, she has embraced the challenge of the EU Green Deal to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent.

Catherine is a keen amateur sailor and through her sailing voyages she has become increasingly aware of the plastic polluting the oceans. Joining the eXXpedition journey is a way for her to explore further and come up with solutions as a citizen and policy influencer.

Learn more about Catherine's journey here:

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Esther Lee

Esther Lee

United States of America

Writer and Designer

Hailing from the American South, Esther lives and writes on a 35’ sailboat named Hope with her artist husband, Michael, and their cat, Bowie. A former assistant professor in creative writing with over 20 years of experience in education, she is the author of the chapbook, Blank Missives, and two poetry collections titled Spit and Sacrificial Metal. Along with working with The Green Boater TV and the National Wildlife Federation, she has contributed her skills to schools and organizations (i.e. Emory University, Basecamp, Designlab) and recently collaborated with Sierra Club to develop their first plastic reduction toolkit, which offers a step-by-step guide for enacting plastic reduction ordinances in local communities. 

When she’s not involved in creative pursuits or boat projects, she is learning to become a more confident sailor! Esther is particularly excited to join eXXpedition’s community and to work alongside a multidisciplinary crew of amazing women working towards solving plastic pollution.

Learn more about Esther's journey here:

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Helena W Óladóttir

Helena W Óladóttir

Iceland

Sustainability Manager

Helena is enthusiastic about almost everything to do with environment and education, and somehow most of her professional and personal steps have been related to the same journey. She has 15 years experience working as a sustainability educator and facilitator, in schools and kindergartens, at the Univeristy and at the municipality level, and in various businesses and organizations. Currently, Helena works as an environment and quality specialist at the Icelandic Medicines Agency – talking about increasing environmental awareness in a broad field.

Helena holds a Masters degree in Environmental management and is a board member of the Icelandic Nature Society. She doesn’t have much sailing experience but is an experienced outdoor person that thrives in challenging situations.

Learn more about Helena's journey here:

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Phoebe Smith

Phoebe Smith

United Kingdom

Student

During Phoebe’s first year of A-levels in 2017, David Attenborough highlighted the issue of plastic pollution in Blue Planet 2, and the plastic she has been seeing along the Bristol Channel her whole life acquired a new significance. In school, Phoebe and her peers were nominated for the Green Heart Hero Awards after she began an Environmental Committee and lead it through its first year organising projects, such as a sustainable fashion show, and partnering with the InterClimate Network.

Phoebe is now heading on from having completed an Extended Project Qualification at school, in which she explored the issue of marine plastic pollution. Her interest in research will be continued at the University of St Andrews where, from September 2020, she will be studying Geography. She looks forward to exploring the human and physical elements of the planet in more detail, understanding more about how we interact with our earth and the effect this has on the world throughout time.

Ultimately however, having grown up by the water, sailing on the water and spending time in the water, Phoebe is thrilled to be boarding S.V. TravelEdge with eXXpedition. She longs to see restoration of this planet, which is currently damaged by issues, such as plastic pollution, and so she looks forward to the on-board research and discussion that she hopes will help her to better understand this complex environmental problem.

Phoebe is sponsored by:

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Pallavi Davé

Pallavi Davé

United Kingdom

Designer/Maker

Pallavi is a designer/maker based in London and the founder of Inkwell Studios, a multi-disciplinary creative studio with a focus on innovation and sustainability.

Having created numerous physical sets and models for film, theatre and animation, she became aware that most of the things she was making would end up in landfill after the production was over. With a long-standing passion for nature and the environment, she needed to find a new, low-waste way of working.

Now at the helm of her own business, Pallavi works at the intersection of creativity and tech, developing new ways of producing creative work, looking at alternative, innovative methods and materials, including virtual reality and compostable 3D printing.

Pallavi’s overall aim is to find solutions to reduce the negative environmental impact of the creative and entertainment industries.

Learn more about Pallavi's journey here:

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Eugenie Biraben

Eugenie Biraben

Switzerland

Project Manager

After working 5 years in the world of digital startups and communication in Paris, Eugenie got animated by a strong desire to have more positive impact, both in HER personal and professional life.Throughout this shift, she had the opportunity to live a collective experience around shared governance, cooperation and societal engagement. Now, Eugenie is currently moving back to Brittany (closer to the sea!) and wants to contribute to more sobriety, resilience and reconnection with nature in society. She also wants to play a part in projects around ecological transition by allowing everyone, in their own way, to be an actor in this transition.

Learn more about Eugenie's journey here:

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About Virtual Voyages

Six-Part Journey

eXXpedition Virtual Voyages will give guest crew an in-depth understanding of the true impact of the plastics issue, forge and deepen relationships within our eXXpedition global community, develop solutions-based thinking and result in a plan for how each participant can apply their superpower to solve the problem.

The Virtual Voyages will include many of the best parts of eXXpedition’s  at-sea missions and on-shore workshops, giving the crew onboard an unique opportunity to network with talented women from across sectors and gain the knowledge and expertise to speak with authority on the issue of plastic pollution and its solutions.

We will also be delivering the sessions on a watch schedule to allow us to loop together our multinational crew, giving us a broader perspective and understanding about the issue which needs to be solved at a global level.

Partners & Sponsors

Thank You

eXXpedition Virtual Voyages are possible with the support of our generous sponsors.

Virtual Voyage Watch

2 Week Schedule

  • 22nd January 2021
    Watch One: Meeting your Multidisciplinary Crew
    Day 1
  • Citizen Science Project over the weekend. Data to be submitted by 12:00 GMT on Monday 25th January 2021.
  • 25th January 2021
    Watch Two: Understanding the Problem
    Day 5
  • 28th January 2021
    Watch Three: Navigating the Solutions
    Day 7
  • 30th January 2021
    Watch Four: Finding your Superpower
    Day 9
  • 1st February 2021
    Watch Five: Global to Local
    Day 12
  • 4th February 2021
    Watch Six: Taking Action
    Day 14