The Baltic Sea is one of the planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems. It is an almost entirely enclosed system surrounded by a huge drainage area four times as large as the sea itself. It is inhabited by 85 million people in a highly industrialized landscape dominated by intense agriculture and forestry. Despite some progress, eutrophication into the Baltic Sea by wastewaters, agriculture, pollution from factories and airborne deposits remains a challenge. A combination of technical and policy innovation as well as financial and economic incentives are needed to transform ocean-related sectors, both sea-based and land-based. Presently, while there are a handful of relevant initiatives, these are limited in their sectoral scope.


The workshop aims at producing tangible cross-sectoral prototype interventions that can be taken forward and further developed as impact projects within the broader umbrella of “Missions” for oceans. 

The mission: “A Baltic Sea unaffected by pollution”

In line with HELCOM’s goal for the region, the mission addressed in this workshop is of a Baltic Sea unaffected by pollution to respond to the grand challenge as formulated by the EU on “healthy oceans, coasts and inland water”. We start from the conviction that to achieve the mission, linear models of use and dispose are insufficient. Instead, interventions that reduce-reuse-recycle-recover are fundamental to closing the loop, limit the total input of nutrients and pollutants into watersheds and the ocean, and at the same time address emissions from the extraction of raw materials.           

The task

During the workshop, you will be tasked with finding solutions that bring us closer to achieving the overarching mission and its targets: shaping circular solutions that reduce the pressure on the Baltic Sea. You will be divided into working streams to design concrete interventions for the Baltic Sea Region.

Expected outcomes and impact

  • Tangible roadmaps to take forward and develop into full-fledged impact projects aimed at achieving SDG 14 and the grand challenge of attaining “healthy oceans, coasts and inland water”.
  • Operationalization of a mission-oriented process that can be replicated for other missions.
  • Feedback and peer review from an expert panel of funders and policy makers, industry and civil society on critical flows and pathways.
  • Fostering a dedicated network of decision makers, designers and scientists who can steer the mission forward and secure resources to realize the designs.

The programme

Please follow this link to the BONUS RETURN website to see a detailed plan for the event.

Registration details

Registration is now closed.