The 12 days of Mindfully Wired: 2023
In a year that saw Mindfully Wired turn 10, we had sled-loads more than just a birthday to celebrate! The start of the year saw the return of our wonderful Director, Katrina, following the end of her maternity leave. And it wasn’t a minute too soon to help steer us through a bumper year for the team with a flurry of exciting new projects, lovely new clients and talented new team members. We’ve certainly had quite the glow-up over the last 10 years!
Get yourself all cosy by the fire with a hot brew and Christmas biscuit in hand, as we take a journey back through all the year’s adventures from our Events, Creative, and Sci-Pol teams.
Advocacy from all angles
As well as continuing to come up with creative, outside-the-box ways of securing a future for tuna with the Global Tuna Alliance (this year featuring a fortune-telling tuna fish(!)), we’ve also expanded our collection of advocacy-related projects, working with the Seafood Ethics Action Alliance to combat human rights abuse in global seafood supply chains. We’re also working away on a secret new project for the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST).
Seafood for all!
From producing meme reels and a series of vox pops, to coordinating influencer collaborations for Discover Seafood, we’re inspiring more young people to buy, cook and eat local seafood. But it’s not all about the young folk! We worked with the Shellfish Association of Great Britain to deliver a Facebook campaign inspiring 40-75-year-olds to eat local shellfish, with our ads reaching over 9.5 million! We also returned to Northern Ireland to research and build six more family-fun Seafood Trails across the coast, for a total of 16.
The Surfers Against Sewage Ocean Activists are an incredible crew of go-getters, community-builders and all-round inspiring environmentalists. This year, MWC helped bring together these wonderful people, supporting the running of the Ocean Activist Conference in South Wales and the glitzy Plastic Free Awards ceremony in the prestigious Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (pictured); our most celebratory events yet, teeming with positive action for the ocean.
Cutting edge science
Continuing to deliver conferences at the cutting edge of marine science, the Events Team have travelled all over the UK this year (with the occasional foray across the continent). Packed full of talks, panels, bespoke workshops and as much creativity as possible, our hybrid events have broached topics from seagrass restoration at scale to ocean literacy, from minimising bycatch across 13 European countries, to the integration of diverse values in UK marine policy.
Supporting a sea change in fisheries management
Demystifying the fisheries management landscape has taken centre stage this year. Through our work on Future of Our Inshore Fisheries, we’ve delivered a regular pulse of information to better enable fishers to engage in decision-making, and as part of SEAwise, we’re paving the way for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in Europe by developing an innovative decision-support tool. Meanwhile, our advocacy campaigns for the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group have made waves all over the world, championing the unified voice of the marketplace for sustainable seafood.
From the innovative to the practical: community is key
We continued to expand our activities with fishermen, scientists, policymakers, NGOs and tech companies on bycatch-tackling projects Insight360 and CIBBRiNA, alongside commissions like our Wildlife ID Guides for Clean Catch UK, which will help fishermen to identify bycatch quickly while at sea. From the innovative to the practical, we couldn’t do what we do without the expertise of people who fish.
Giving fishing a future
Continuing to hold a close place in our hearts are projects aimed at supporting British fishermen. We’ve continued to work with the CFPO to produce another series of commercial fishing podcast Fathom; supported Fishing into the Future to deliver their first in-person co-management event since the pandemic; and earned a Gold MarCom award recognising our latest film for the long-standing partnership with the safety-at-sea campaign Home & Dry.
Team Creative have been cracking out new websites left, right and centre this year! We built the Less Plastic Vietnam website and transformed the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie River Trust website, bringing it into 2023 by embracing nature through warm, earthy colours and river lines. We’ve also got several websites launching in the new year, from a ‘Beyond Net Zero’ initiative to Young Sea Changers Scotland.
Diving deep into secretariat work, 2023 has been a year of strategic collaboration. From writing reports for the National Marine Parks Strategic Working Group, which is exploring principles for new national parks in our seas, to bringing together members of the UK Blue Carbon Forum to discuss the latest research and news shaping the blue carbon landscape, we’ve been at the heart of decision-making and big-thinking in marine policy.
Back to school for events
This year, our Events Team sailed into a series of impactful projects to support the expansion of offshore wind. We brought together stakeholders to discuss management measures for underwater noise, facilitated a workshop on environmental standards, and explored the ecological impacts of offshore wind as part of the ECOWind Annual Impact Meeting.
Shining a light on interdisciplinary research
Long-term favourites SMMR and ECOWind saw us join forces with our Events Team to deliver two fantastic conferences exploring interdisciplinary approaches to marine management in the UK. Meanwhile, the Healthy Adaptations Hub presented a new challenge to combine our creative flair with a zest for research to create this one-stop-shop resource that brings health and wellbeing to the forefront of flood planning; and our colouring pencils came out in force as we developed an infographic for the MSPACE project that explores climate-smart management of UK seas.
Facilitating new policy
We’ve had another bumper year as the Secretariat for the APPG on Fisheries, hosting four cross-party meetings delving into topics of crucial interest to the fishing industry with high-profile attendees. Dipping our toes into the world of shellfish, we’ve been thrilled to support the Filling the Gap: Crustacean FISP project, which saw us connect industry with policymakers and provide evidence for the development of Fisheries Management Plans.
And what’s this…
We wanted to give a special shout-out to several fresh faces who have joined the MWC family this year. In the Creative Team, we welcomed project manager-in-chief Sophie, copywriting maestro Emily and film-editing extraordinaire, Madison. In Team Sci-Pol, press-writing, community-first advocate, Lia joined the ranks, along with professional project wrangler, Emily. With a niche for newsletters, we also welcomed Jack and tying everything together for Sci-Pol is project co-ordinator, Ben. As for Events? Well, they’ve been doing a stellar job of keeping the show going with their original line-up from the start of the year!