Douglas is the Founder and Managing Director of Ocean Recovery Alliance, a non-profit organization which was established in 2010, and is which is focused on bringing together innovative solutions, technology, collaborations and policy to create positive improvements for the health of the ocean. Two of our global programs were launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010, including the Global Alert platform for reporting trash hotspots around the world, and the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP). He was recently was awarded the 2018 Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy from Prince Albert of Monaco, which was awarded this year to Mr. Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever. He is a United Nations Environment (UNEP) Climate Hero, and Google Earth Hero for his efforts, and has been on the advisory board of the XPrize, and The Economist’s World Oceans Summit. In 2011, he co-authored the UNEP Yearbook chapter on the danger of plastic in the ocean, and Ocean Recovery Alliance is one of the first NGOs in the world to be working with both UNEP and the World Bank on plastic pollution and ocean issues. He is the founder of the Plasticity Forum which focuses on plastic innovation, design, materials recycling and solutions, without the waste footprint, and is on the Advisory Committee of Wharton’s Institute for Global Environmental Leadership.
Mr. Woodring has worked in Asia for over 25 years, including four years in the asset management industry, where at Merrill Lynch Asset Management Hong Kong in 1998, he proposed the company’s first global environmental technology fund. He has been nominated three times as World Open Water Swimmer of the Year for his innovative contributions to the sport, and was recently named as one of the top 50 “watermen” in the world.
Born in Northern California, Mr. Woodring has a dual master’s degree from The Wharton School (MBA) and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Environmental Economics. He has BA from the University of California at Berkeley.
I have worked for over 10 years at building programs and awareness related to improving the health of the ocean. This includes overfishing, sustainable seafood, renewable energy, seaforestation, ecosystem improvements, the blue economy, and mainly, plastic pollution issues. I speak at events around the world on the topic of plastic pollution, and how to solve it at the source, before it gets to the ocean itself.
All of our work is built around creating new ideas, programs and opportunities for people to become engaged in an issue, whether via education and youth, or at the corporate and government level. We are constantly designing new programs that can replicate and scale.
As an ocean athlete (still competing in open water swimming and outrigger paddling), and event organizer, I know the importance of teams, and also the touch that athletes have to the environment, which can turn them into ambassadors for the cause, and the waters they like to recreate, train and compete in - but many don't think about it, or know how to do it, and we help to build that association and power of collaboration and messaging.