Founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Daniela Fernandez is the founder and CEO of Sustainable Ocean Alliance and an award-winning social entrepreneur, thought leader and international speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset, ocean innovation and technology, youth empowerment, and sustainability.

At the age of 19, Daniela founded Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) as a college-room idea at Georgetown University. Over the following six years, she built SOA into a global organization that is cultivating and accelerating innovative solutions to protect and sustain the health of the ocean. With phenomenal speed, SOA created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders — establishing a presence in over 165 countries and successfully launching the world’s first Ocean Solutions Accelerator to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.

How can we cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation? What are the leading technologies that can be implemented to help address the challenges facing our environment? How can established companies harness the power of young people? What trends are we seeing in Gen Z and Millennials as consumers, employees, and future business leaders? Daniela is answering these critical questions that will influence the new wave of entrepreneurs and redefine the relationship between emerging technologies, mitigating climate change, restoring ocean health and social good.

Career highlights:

  • Work recognized by President Bill Clinton & former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Work recognized by EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella
  • Named a member of the Friends of Ocean Action, a select group of leaders coming together to fast-track solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean.
  • 2021 California League of Conservation Voters Badass in Green Award winner
  • 2020 Blue Friend of the Year Award winner
  • 2020 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award winner
  • Awarded the 2020 ‘Rising Star’ Visionary Award by Silicon
  • Valley Forum
  • Named a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur
  • Named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year
  • Listed as Zula’s Top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016
  • Received the Peter Benchley Ocean Award and Bustle Upstart Award
  • Recognized as a sought-out keynote speaker at high-level events including The Economist World Ocean Summit, the Global Climate Summit, The Global Convening of Mayors, The United Nations, U.S. Capitol Hill Ocean Week, Cleantech Forum, Grounded Summit, SXSW, The Aspen Institute, etc.