Author Archives: Comms

Can we achieve ocean sustainability in 10 years? Experts hope so

two women looking out at the ocean


The message from experts is clear: we need to act fast to reverse the damage done to our oceans. We’ve lost 40% of life in the ocean in the last 40 years and the situation is escalating. Biodiversity loss, pollution, urban waste water, overfishing, and climate change, are all part of the problem. But there is hope.


Business for Peace convened leading ocean experts in Norway to determine the state of the industry. High on the list of talking points was what action the private sector in particular is doing to protect nature’s most important system. Panelists Vidar Helgesen, Christine Spiten, and Nina Jensen are all heavily involved in pushing the industry forward. 


As the blue economy booms, businesses need to collaborate on minimising their ocean impact and addressing climate change. Whatever action that is taken needs to be aggressive and collective. We are all aware that time is not on our side. Who has responsibility for this implementation, though, and how we get there, is increasingly being acknowledged and pushed forward by the private sector.


Mesh event view of the crowd

The event was part of a monthly #FutureOf series, presented with start-up hub MESH in Oslo. 

Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.


Bring in the experts

The panellists acknowledged the interplay of problems. Norway’s Special Representative for the Ocean, Vidar Helgesen, sees incentives for innovation as part of the solution: “Part of the fundamental problem is that plastic is too cheap. This is an innovation problem. In Europe there are a lot of exciting new initiatives coming out.” Where you live also determines who should be held responsible, and goes on to claim that “if you are in the US, I would look to business rather than the government.” 


Christine Spiten, Senior Corporate Advisor for Plastic & Circular Economy at WWF Norway, acknowledges that there are risks involved when trying to make innovation profitable, but advocating for teamwork: “Here in Norway we are afraid of testing something out that is not perfect because we are afraid of losing face. We need to be bold and come up with those crazy ideas and support them.” This teamwork and openness is crucial in having any hope of recovering the status of the oceans, as “very few people know how to manage the ocean and most of them do not do that in a sustainable way.”


Our final panelist, CEO of Rev Ocean and marine biologist Nina Jensen, also sees that the most potential lies “in business. Where there are large problems there are also huge business opportunities.” Of course, this is easier said than done. It is extremely difficult to persuade those in power on ideas. “Part of the solution,” she suggests, “is to scale up infrastructure. Those producing the plastic have plenty of money and they should be held accountable. They should be solving the problems that they have created.”

Panel of three policy and industry experts

Our panel. From left: Christine Spiten, Vidar Helgesen, and Nina Jensen.        Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.


Making waves

The ocean protects us in ways we can barely fathom. It absorbs about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans. To put that into perspective, the ocean covers 99% of the total living space on Earth by volume. It’s a lot to take in for the average land-dweller. 


“There has been a free-for-all approach to managing the ocean,” said Heglesen. Jensen added: “I’m an optimist and believe that technology can help us with a lot of things, but it’s also a way of keeping us from doing the right things. We simply cannot open any new oil fields. It is keeping us from making the right choices.” 


When making the right choices, then, it is “equally important to make sure what happens is not just creating another problem. Technology is not going to solve anything unless you put it in the hands of good people,” as Spiten pointed out. 


So what is the future of the ocean?

“I do think that we’re on the cusp of some really important and critical discussions,” Helgesen said. “More has happened in banking and investment in the past few months than has happened in the past few years. Today we know better. We are in a transformation. The oil issue is a transformational question. We need to get away from fossil fuels. Divestment from oil is really catching on.” Governments need to provide that holistic planning framework for such activities to take place. Industry working in ocean solutions can achieve ⅕ of what we need in order to achieve our targets. A lot of this requires regulations put in place by governments in combination with technological innovation. 


Keeping businesses accountable is a key piece to the puzzle for Jensen. “There are a lot of great initiatives out there that could benefit from funding. Part of the solution is to scale up waste management in the countries that are missing this.” According to her, funding should come from those who produce the plastic. It’s the responsibility of governments to put regulations in place, to use the data that we have to our disposal. 


Spiten pointed out that there is a need for more cross collaboration. Research is being done without the connection to business, and this lack of shared ideas and research is hurting progress. “Let’s put more scientists into startups,” she says. It is through this collaboration where we meet around the challenges.


The solutions don’t have to be complex in order to be effective. The start-up ARC Marine has transformed, for instance, a simple brick block. The brick is used on off-shore wind turbine field construction, where the bricks have simultaneous purpose: doing its job while at the same time creating artificial reefs for threatened animals. In this way, Spiten says, what nature needs is “often what we need as well.”


Panel discussing in front of a live audience ocean innovations

Our panel. From left: Christine Spiten, Vidar Helgesen, and Nina Jensen.           Photo: Trym Schade Warloe


Sea of Possibilities

The panellists left us with feelings of hope – hope that concrete technologies and solutions will be put to use in the hands of those who really can make a difference already in 2020. This includes individual efforts as well. Does it really matter if we eat less meat and recycle? If we ask the panelists, of course it does. “We might not all be Greta Thunberg but we can all make an impact,” says Jensen. We can all act like Greta in whatever way that we can. It’s the little things that everyone does that add up. “All of a sudden, you can have a huge impact.” 


From the air we breathe to the water we drink, sustaining life on our blue planet depends on the oceans. We are living in a historic time, and it’s time we have discussions and actions that make an impact.


For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


sign with hashtag #businessworthy

Photo: Trym Schade Warloe.

Past Event: The Future of the Ocean

two women looking out at the ocean

Future of the Ocean Graphic long-min

Update: this is a past event, and we encourage you to watch the footage here.

One of the most unique aspects of the Earth is its oceans. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, sustaining life on our blue planet depends on them. Even so, marine plastic waste is rapidly increasing, over 90% of greenhouse gases are now stored in the sea, and there is growing demand for ocean resources.


As the blue economy booms, businesses need to collaborate on minimising their ocean impact and addressing climate change. What collective action is being taken to protect nature’s most important system and what more needs to be done for ocean sustainability?

Join us January 28 at this free event to hear from business leaders, ocean policy experts, and civil society, including speakers:

  • Nina Jensen, CEO of REV Ocean. She has served as Secretary-General in WWF Norway since 2012. She also holds a Master’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Fishery Science in Tromsø.

  • Christine Spiten, Senior Corporate Advisor, Plastic & Circular Economy at WWF. She co-founded Blueye Robotics in 2015, has been awarded by Forbes Magazine as one of “30 under 30 most important Tech Founders” in addition to Top 10 Norwegian Female Tech-Entrepreneurs 2018. 

  • Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Special Representative for the Ocean at Utenriksdepartementet (Norge) and Former Minister of Climate and the Environment. He also served as Minister of Climate and the Environment (2015-2018), and Minister of EEA and EU Affairs (2013-2015) and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

    Can’t make it in person? Watch via our livestream here.

    It’s the first event in our 2020 edition of the #FutureOf talk series presented by Business for Peace and MESH.


17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled

18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion

19:00-late Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


Past Event: The Future of Food

Future of Food Graphic-min


Can’t make it? Follow along with our livestream here

Everybody’s talking about food. It nourishes us, brings people together, and makes us happy. But we can’t keep producing and eating the way we are now.

Today’s global food systems threaten the health of our planet and can’t sustainably continue. With links to biodiversity loss, high greenhouse gas emissions, and rising obesity in some areas with food scarcity in others, the production, distribution and consumption of food is negatively impacting people at every level of the supply chain. New solutions are needed but can we really produce food for 7.5 billions people in a way that is healthy both for us and the planet? How are businesses at different levels of the food landscape contributing to a better system?

Come hear our panel of business and civil society experts delve deep into the gaps in the food system- from production to distribution to consumption and waste. We’ll be joined by:

  • Olav Kjørven, Chief Strategy Officer of EAT Foundation

  •  Bendik Walderhaug, Head of Sales at Too Good To Go

  • Annabelle Lefébure-Henriksen, CEO/Daglig Leder of Fairtrade Norway

  • Dyveke Elset, Sustainability Communications Adviser at Norgesgruppen


17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled

18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion

19:00-late Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.


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Bendik Walderhaug has worked in various NGOs with fundraising, communication and team management. He joined the small startup company Too Good To Go back in summer 2017 and is now Head of Sales in Too Good To Go Norway, while continuing to drive the movement agenda within the company.







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Dyveke Elset is NorgesGruppen’s Sustainability Communications Adviser. NorgesGruppen is Norway’s largest grocery wholesaling group, and seeks to reduce their environmental footprint, improve public health and ensure a responsible value chain. Elset believes businesses are vital vehicles driving the transition into a sustainable economy. She holds an MA in International Political Economy from the Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent, and has previously worked for international organisations on issues such as renewable energy, economic cooperation and innovation.


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Olav Kjørven is Chief Strategic Officer at the EAT Foundation. In this role Olav is part of EAT’s Senior Leadership team and provides strategic oversight to EAT’s policy work, leads engagement on global policy arenas, and guides EAT’s science and knowledge initiatives for maximum impact on food systems policies and practices. Olav’s career spans political leadership roles for Norwegian development cooperation and several senior leadership posts at the United Nations. He led the Bureau for Development Policy of the United Nations Development Program for almost seven years, overseeing an international staff of some 360, with policy priorities ranging from democratic governance to climate change.


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Annabelle Lefébure-Henriksen is CEO of Fairtrade Norway. Before joining Fairtrade she worked in Varner for 12 years where she held different positions. From 2011 to 2013 she established and led a subsidiary company of Varner in New Delhi, India, and became Sustainability Manager in 2014. She is member of the Board of Directors in Stiftelsen Miljømerking and sat for many years on the Board of Directors of Ethical Trade Norway. Annabelle has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from NHH and a master degree in International Relations from Paris.


Open Position: Marketing Coordinator, Business for Peace




** Note: this position has been filled**

Business for Peace is looking for a Marketing Coordinator. The Marketing Coordinator will be responsible for working with the Communications Director to promote the Foundation and the businessworthy concept globally and executing communications activities related to the annual Award Ceremony, other events, the businessworthy pledge, and more.


The ideal candidate is a skilled storyteller that can produce content for and manage social media channels and also has an interest in data-driven marketing strategies. This role involves project management and requires attention to detail. It’s a small team so the Coordinator gets to be hands-on in many aspects of the marketing strategy.


In 2020, Business for Peace is building a new website and starting with a new CRM, so this role will be central to coordinating those projects. The organisation will also be increasing its in-house content publishing as well as launching events in cities outside of Oslo. It’s an exciting time to join the Foundation as it grows!


This is a full-time position based in Oslo. The start date is January 6, 2020.


Essential Job Functions:

  • Daily management of social media accounts – planning and creating content, posting, interacting, reporting

  • Social media advertising

  • Website content creation (ie. writing blog posts) and updates (using Word Press or similar)

  • Build the Foundation’s newsletters and report on analytics

  • Project coordination for print materials and other graphic design projects

  • Report on Google Analytics

  • Media research and tracking

  • Work with freelance designers, video producers, publicists, and other collaborators to achieve marketing goals

  • Support the Communications Director in implementing the Foundation’s communications strategy to broaden awareness globally and increase attendance locally


Qualifications and Capabilities:

  • Higher education in marketing, communications, or a related field

  • Minimum 1-2 years’ experience in relevant international marketing or communications work

  • Excellent English skills, oral and written

  • Good understanding of Norwegian is an asset but not required

  • Exceptional communication skills with an ability to develop and present strong narratives

  • Understanding of digital platforms and professional experience with social media channels

  • Good collaboration skills, ability to think strategically and innovatively

  • Understanding of international business and the sustainability landscape is an advantage

  • Basic design or video production skills are an asset but not required

  • Knowledge of web-based editing systems like WordPress preferable

  • Self-motivated with an ability to manage deadlines and good prioritisation skills

  • Good project management and problem solving skills


How to Apply:

Send a CV and letter of interest to by end of day on November 20, 2019. If possible, please include links to writing samples (for example: a social media account you manage, a website you write content for, a blog post, a news article). We thank all candidates for their interest and will contact those selected for an interview.

Past Event: The Future of Capitalism

The Future of Capitalism MESH-min

The Future of Capitalism MESH-min

If you look at measures like GDP growth and lifespan, life is better for more people around the world than ever before. Yet inequality is rising, natural resources are running low, and many people are questioning the capitalist systems that led us here.What’s at stake if we continue with the status quo? Should we be seeking to make small adjustments or is a total system overhaul the way forward? What is the future role of businesses in a system that needs to be about more than maximising financial profits?

Join us October 29 to hear from business leaders, policy experts, and researchers. The full guest speaker line-up will be announced soon. It’s the latest #FutureOf talk series presented by Business for Peace and MESH. The event is free to attend, but please RSVP to let us know you’ll be joining us.


Speakers include:

– Idar Kreutzer, Administrative Director of Finans Norge

– Mathilde Fasting, Historian and Economist at Civita

– Kalle Moene, Professor and economist at University of Oslo

– Marianne Stigset, Senior Vice President of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainability at Aker


17:30-18:00 Doors open, come mingle and get settled

18:00-19:00 Talk and discussion

19:00-late Stick around and continue the conversation

For updates on the latest events, sign up for the Business for Peace newsletter here.




Idar-KreutzerIdar Kreutzer has been CEO of Finance Norway since 2012. From 2000 to 2012 he was the CEO of Storebrand ASA. In January 2013 he was appointed member of the Strategy Council for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. He has been a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and has co-chaired their Vision 2050. He is a member of the Board of the University of Oslo and a member of the Advisory Board of NHH Norwegian School of Economics. Kreutzer holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the NHH Norwegian School of Economics.





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Mathilde Fasting has a Master of Economics and Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). Fasting also has a bachelor and a masters degree in the History of Ideas from the University of Oslo, and a PhD written about Torkel Aschehoug. She has previously worked at Orkla and Storebrand with strategy and business development and managed her own real estate and commercial businesses. She now works at the liberal think tank Civita and has published several books, papers and reports. Photo by CF-Wesenberg




kalle moene-min


Karl Ove “Kalle” Moene is an economist and professor at the Institute of Economics at the University of Oslo. His primary field of work involves distribution and comparison of economic institutions, especially in the labour market. He is known as a pointed writer and original thinker in his field, and often writes for Dagens Næringsliv. Moene has been associated with the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the Department of Peace Research and is leading a research project to analyze the relationships between social organization, economic development, inequality and the Nordic Model.





Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 13.19.37Marianne Stigset has over two decades of international communication and investor relations experience. She began her career at the World Bank in Washington D.C. working on social protection, public sector reform and communications, and then worked as a journalist for Bloomberg News, the BBC and the Daily Star in Lebanon, the UK, France and Norway. She joined Aker in 2012 as director of investor relations and now serves as SVP of communications, public affairs and sustainability, project managing the World Ocean Headquarters initiative, a global knowledge hub generating solutions for a sustainable and profitable ocean economy. She holds an MA in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).



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