Ep. 25: Congressman Seth Moulton – Massachusetts Sixth District ||

On episode 25 we welcome Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts 6th District.  Since taking office in 2015, Rep. Moulton has been introducing innovative policy and ideas to benefit those he represents, and the region he’s from.  Probably best known on a national level for his voice of resource in addressing gun violence and just ownership laws, to many of his constituents North of Boston – he’s well known as a jobs creator and champion of a modern fishery.


I first connected with Moulton’s team a few years back when they hosted Monica Jain and the Fish2.0 Northeast Hub near their offices in Salem, MA. Since then, Seth Moulton has taken his commitment to responsible fisheries and regenerative ocean farming back to DC with the introduction of the 2017 “The Young Fisherman’s Development Act”.  This bi-partisan bill co-authored with Republican Don Young of Alaska looks to empower those working on waterfronts and oceans of tomorrow. You see, too often folks look at US fisheries, especially in the Northeast, as an oppressed and declining industry.  Congressman Moulton and his team have a different perspective. One that views a modern responsible fishery and the entire seafood industry as an innovation economy with potential for persistent jobs creation for the region he represents.  Moulton seeks to find common-ground (water)  amongst necessary regulation/quota restriction, and an industry with linage older than our independence.  On a shrinking planet with increasingly depleted and contaminated Oceans the approach we’ve instituted in the Northeast United States, one now being bolstered by representative Moulton, has unique potential to cast a long shadow as intellectual property which can be scaled to teach more of 3 billion reliant of sea protein how to properly manage the bounty of the sea for generations to come.


In our 30 minute conversation we evaluate the capacity of including fisherman and ocean farmers in future US Farm bills.  For clarity, 80% of the resources of the proposed 2018 Farm bill will be allocated to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) aka. food stamps. This national program of a 1/2 of trillion dollars which arises every five years is in fact our shared domestic food plan, and it drastically under represents our population densities in coastal cities. The inclusion of fisheries & seafood not only adds a voice to the food plan for our largest populations, and guarantees more high-quality food for more in need of SNAP, but it gives our fisherman the same war chest to deal with impending environmental change as we currently employ with many terrestrial food producers. Effectively,  we discuss how this pragmatic approach to introduce multiple returns to diverse stakeholders seems realistic under new and future leadership.


The Clean Cold Waters of the protected North Atlantic provides some of the best and healthiest food in the world. Our well regarded fisherman and ocean farmers who manage these waters deserve to be celebrated for their craft and unique stewardship of these natural resources. With these natural gifts bestowed upon us, and our approach in managing our Marine Ecosystem over the last 50 years – we provide diverse offerings, and the knowledge of how to interject an innovation economy into a longstanding but stagnant industry to meet a changing environmental and consumer landscape.

If you’d like to know who’s on deck for leading us in 2024, or maybe even as early as 2020 – have a listen to what this highly decorated champion of the Northeast has to offer.





photo source: Politico (header)  


Ep. 20: Robyn Hannigan, Founding Dean – School of the Environment at UMass Boston & Micheal Tlusty, Prof. of Sustainability & Food Solutions at UMass Boston ||

There’s been a citizens awakening to Ocean Health.  It’s a macro trend in the US, much instigated by an awareness of a younger generation to the problems we have on a shrinking planet.  On Episode 20 we welcome Drs Hannigan and Tlusty of the UMass Boston School for the Environment to discuss in detail.


Over 70% of our planet is blue.  Unfortunately, these oceans have become a trash receptacle over the past 50 years, and it appears we’re running out of never-never-land to throw-out our growing waste stream.  You see, in that same half century time period – human population has skyrocketed from 3.5 billion to 7 billion.  Single-use non-biodegradable plastics are now everywhere; even forming its own landmass!  And, that’s just the beginning…


During our discussion I learn about what’s going on at the new state of the art UMass School of the Environment campus on Boston Harbor.  Hannigan & Tlusty share how this New School Ocean Campus was “created out of a series of modified environmentally Ocean focused programs that we specifically designed to solve a Marine or Ocean health problem.”  Michael discusses his innovative background and past initiatives with the New England Aquarium, and now his goals within blue food economies. Robyn has great perspective on jobs creation throughout ecological & environmental markets.  We discuss solutions to funding, policy, practice, and awareness to problems local and abroad.





photo source: 


Ep. 17 Monica Jain: Fish2.o founder & Executive Director ||

Today on Sourcing Matters we explore the oceans with an expert and innovator redefining how we’ll manage this essential regenerative natural resource.  Architected out of an online business competition, Monica Jain founded and is Executive Director of Fish2.0, an ecosystem “where seafood businesses & investors meet”.  Perpetually coaching and facilitating founders amongst her wide net, Jain evaluates a diverse spectrum of concepts ranging from supply chain transparency & traceability – to- next gen gear tech – to- smart and biomimetic fish meal for aquaculture – to – big data efficiencies reducing waste and deadloss.  Now, traveling the globe to instigate innovation throughout future fisheries, Jain uses regional think-tanks and gatherings of industry experts with entrepreneurs to foster growth in a stagnant and often detrimental industry. Culminating with an annual onsite business competition at Stanford – Fish2.0 has quickly become the hub of innovation economies for the best-of-the-best in global fisheries, ocean farming and aquaculture.


With three billion people around the world reliant on sea protein for their main caloric intake, and over 90% global fisheries currently stressed or overstressed – Monica Jain works diligently to draft a new model for transformative change in arena teeming with catastrophic problems set to plague humanity and the planet.  It’s estimated that by 2025 China will be consuming nearly 40% of all seafood. In that same time horizon the South China Sea is expected to be fished out, and exhausted of much of its biodiversity. During our discussion Jain shares a multi-pronged approach which will use free-markets, policy, NGOs, and ingenuity to reevaluate this problem through deeper understanding of natural systems and health to manage this essential food supply.  Through a nimble team Jain has established a framework to positively impact the stability of a shrinking  planet.


You must have a listen to what this change agent has to say.




Chris Sherman: Island Creek Oysters President ||

On episode 7 of Sourcing Matters we welcome Chris Sherman, President of Island Creek Oysters (ICO) , and 2018 Eisenhower Fellow.  For the past 25 years Island Creek Oysters has been building a brand now known for global excellence.  Focused on promoting the many values of shellfish to humans, the Oceans and the planet – Chris and his team at ICO continue to push the envelop in regenerative farming of the sea. Through the vertical integration of their thriving Oyster farms, a successful distribution company and world-renowned retail outlets – these “New American Farmers” have developed a sustainable model of sustenance and jobs for their community in Massachusetts, and the North Atlantic.  Levering these ocean smarts to do greater good, Chris also curates the Island Creek Oyster Foundation, a non-profit which has codified a replicable model of aquaculture for the developing world.

Building off their many successes in advancing ocean farming, Chris was recently awarded an opportunity to do more. Later this year Sherman is headed to Spain and Columbia as part of an Eisenhower Fellowship program focused on evolving the process of stitching biomimetic farming of fish & shellfish into responsible fisheries throughout coastal communities on a shrinking planet.

Listen to what this change-agent has to say…

The ICO Foundation


 John Della Volpe

  • Founder at SocialSphere
  • Eisenhower Fellow
  • Director of Polling at Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics  


Full bio: John Della Volpe is the Director of Polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, where he has led the institute’s polling initiatives on understanding American youth since 2000.  The Washington Post referred to John as one of the world’s leading authorities on global sentiment, opinion and influence especially among Millennials and in the age of digital and social media.  In 2008, he received an Eisenhower Fellowship for which he traveled extensively throughout China, Hong Kong, and Korea (including a supervised day in North Korea) studying Millennials; in 2011, he was appointed to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission on Media.  John is also founder of SocialSphere, a Cambridge based public opinion and analytics company.  He serves on the Board of Trustees of iCatholic Media, the Ad Club of Boston and is a member of the Global Alumni Council for Eisenhower Fellowships.  John appears regularly on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and his insights on the Millennial generation are found in national media outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

episode 4:

Henk Ovink – Special Envoy International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands

On Sourcing Matters episode 4 we welcome World Water Czar, Henk Ovink.  Appointed by President Obama to become the special envoy to Water for the United States, Ovink was responsible for launching the HUD and Rockefeller funded program “Rebuild by Design” – a crowdsourcing initiative which pooled top ideas of the best designers & planners throughout the World to rebuild New York City after Super Storm Sandy.

QUICK GUIDE – this episode covers the following subjects:

  • water is the essence of life – let’s learn from it
  • to sustain a stable future we must “embrace” and not fight water
  • contamination and scarcity of drinking water are problems of today
  • how to keep freshwater in, and saltwater out
  • proven solutions for climate change, sea level rise, floods, drought, famine
  • creation of design competitions pooling the best minds in building resilience
  • lessons from Super Storm Sandy clean-up are now changing the world
  • water is leverage to change mind-sets

Sourcing Matters.show episode 4 recap:

90% of natural disasters in the world are water related. Currently, 2 Billion people around the globe drink contaminated water regularly, and there are 5,000 deaths a day related to poor water quality happening in Africa alone.  As you’ll learn in this podcast discussion – we’ve pushed off the inevitable long enough. The longterm war may be about climate change, but as we speak there are thousands of concurrent battles focused on water.

In our 35 minute conversation with World Water Czar Henk Ovink we learn about the many intensifying issues that need to be addressed with fresh and sea water.  More importantly, we learn not just of the problems but of the solutions found today that will scale to build resilience and stability by “embracing” our realities of water.  From Climate and water refugees in the developing world, and Social & Political unrest in the developed – our actions have forced this staple of life to wage war on a new world order that will inevitably disrupt a shrinking world of 7 Billion.  


“Climate change is like a magnifying glass.  The extremes become more extreme, while becoming a new normal.  Flood, drought, raising temperatures, severe weather events,  and sea level rise are the ways of the future.”


As Ovink has come to realize over decades of his work – water is leverage.  And, to properly enact change with this leverage point we need to promote the solutions to these problems first.  Ovink explains “Mankind needs disasters to Learn”.  With 80% of the globes population expected to migrate to city densities, most often coastal cities, as more severe weather events and rising waters over the next few decades impact more – we must embrace these realities with a proactive approach.   If not, what will be the impact on global economies?  On human & Public health?  On environmental stability?  Henk shares how his initiatives to invest in system resilience have spurred change into action. 

As Henk concisely describes it – resiliency is the ability to bounce-back.  With the future being a little more grim than the present we must now embrace these intensifying natural disasters to adopt change in practice and mind-sets.  It’s too expensive to wait.  By engaging diverse stakeholders, Ovink has developed an arsenal of solutions that will those who use them to withstand the next storm, the next disaster, and most importantly, withstand fear and uncertainty.


Our chat begins with discussion of “Day Zero” quickly approaching in Cape Town, South Africa.  A city of 3.8 million is down to 10% of water reserves.  Even with rationing water – they’re set to run out by April 12th.  As Ovink explains – this is not unique to much of the world.  But, in a vibrant metropolitan city full of culture and innovation – it’s a bit shocking we’ve ended up here.  What’s really interesting is the reason why this is so shocking. Henk explains that we saw this coming.  With Cape Town’s high consumption and no broad reaching policy nor plan to restrict or reuse water the supply is running dry – leaving leadership and constituents to pray for rain.  From Bangkok – to – New Delhi – to – Los Angeles, this is a situation to to learn from.


4000 years of being forced innovators has uniquely suited the Dutch to educate the world on keeping freshwater in and seawater out.  In the podcast discussion Henk Ovink explains “Water is culture in the Netherlands”.  You see, the country is a delta, with 90% of GDP earned in flood prone areas.  Since the 12th century the Dutch have been orchestrating community efforts with shared common interests and goals focused on water.  Taxes taken to safeguard a democracy via the conduit of water is actually a 900 year old Dutch innovation.  Ovink goes on, “water has always been about connections for the Dutch people”.  Now, 21 regional authorities constructed around their river basins and shared natural resources have arisen to shepherd the Netherlands into the future.  Furthermore, this practice of collaboration around common interest has built intellectual property and scalable technologies that cast a large shadow for this small country of 17 million on a global stage. The Dutch are once again becoming superpowers in a World where business-as-usual that exercises water resources based on linear perspective fraught with waste and overuse just won’t cut it anymore.


As a member of the International Advisory Board for the City of Rotterdam, the Curator for the Rotterdam 2012 ‘Making a City’, and he initiated the research program Design and Politics – Ovink has long since been interested in innovating when it comes to water. Smart design practices that utilized basketball courts and sports fields at schools like French-drains to protect infrastructure and physical assets is in his blood, and is so very Dutch.  Canals, dikes, windmills and levees all used to protect prime agricultural lands around the reclaimed deltas have unpinned Henk’s focus on “embracing” water.


When it comes to Water usage in food and agriculture – there is a great deal of opportunity for innovation.  Currently, 70% of accessible freshwater throughout the global is used for agricultural irrigation.  Henk explains that 71% of the planet is covered in water.  But, 4% is sweet water, and only ½ % of that is available for our consumption.  Fresh water is scarce, and since we don’t value water as we should – our process for growing food with agriculture is concerning in a world running up against planetary boundaries.


Henk works throughout the world developing capacity for farmers through deeper education and better technologies.  From smarter planning, better mapping tech, and robust data analysis to reduce usage and present smarter planting criteria – his work with freshwater usage in raising our food is equally as important as his work in preventing  the catastrophes associated to sea level rise, storm surge and severe weather events.  In our chat Henk describes the practices he uses to reduce leakage in infrastructure, in promoting better practice that will reduce chemical run-off where water becomes the conduit of contamination and extensive unintended consequences of externalities.  As you’ll hear, he also works to advance more efficient practices in irrigation – like their “drop per crop” approach which promotes drip irrigation vs. traditional center-pivot.


In 2012 Henk Ovink was appointed by President Obama and the Secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, to become the special envoy of Water to the US.  He was directly responsible for launching the HUD & Rockefeller funded program Rebuild by Design – a global crowdsourcing initiative of top designers and planners to pool the best ideas which would rebuild NYC using federal resources after Super Storm Sandy.  The program was such a success it reformulated the approach the US government used for federal payouts on Natural disasters – and thus required a new cornerstone of “resilience” built into infrastructure re-builds.


As Ovink describes it, Rebuild by Design at its core was to establish capacity through a coalition of public and private stakeholders via an initiatives focused on solutions with common goals.  This is part of an inspirational future that Henk Ovink weaves for us all. Now, a new competition has launched in the Bay Area of California: Resilient by Design.  What’s different with this latest rev as compared to cleaning up after Super Storm Sandy, this new competition is working proactively; to strategically look at a shared future with common goals before a natural disaster hits.  That is a fundamental “change” disruptive to mankind.   As Ovink states – it’s innovation that is now the new normal.  And, as Ovink would tell you, that is fundamentally Dutch.


Currently, Henk Ovink travels the Globe armed with a tool chest of hope and potential.  He’s unique.   He comes in tow with a track record and clout to deliver on his promises.  His most recent project hits us all where it counts – now using water as leverage to change culture, society, politics and economies through both reactionary and proactive methods:  WaterasLeveage.org

We must listen to what this man has to say.