#AMA : Marine biologist turned entrepreneur, from academia to founder & CEO of a sustainable tourism consultancy!

Ally Dragozet
Mar 13, 2018

  • Want to learn how to be a sustainable traveler, or how to reduce your own plastic footprint?

  • Curious about how you promote sustainable tourism?

  • Or are you a tourism business that wants to #GoGreenForTheBigBlue?

Join in my #StartupAMA !

I'm the CEO of Sea Going Green, ask me anything about running an impact-driven startup, working in the tourism and sustainability industry, and bootstrapped & early stage startups! 

www.seagoingreen.org

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What personal qualities are important to success in this career?

Mar 17, 2:37PM EDT0
What was your view of sustainable and responsible tourism when you first started your professional career?
Mar 13, 2:10PM EDT0

When I first started I thought that Sustainable tourism was more about eco tourism such as diving for debris! 

Mar 16, 11:13AM EDT0
Three books linked to sustainability and tourism which you’d highly recommend?
Mar 13, 12:43PM EDT0

Overbooked by E. Becker

Taking Responsibility for Tourism by H.Goodwin

The practise of Sustainable tourism by M.hughes

Mar 16, 11:18AM EDT0
If you had to start your professional journey over again, what would you do differently?
Mar 13, 11:35AM EDT0

I am not sure I would do anything differently as it has brought me to the spot I am today which I am very proud of! Perhaps I would start volunteering at an earlier age to get more experience!

Mar 16, 11:13AM EDT0
As a marine biologist, do you become attached to any of the animals that you study?
Mar 13, 9:29AM EDT0

Haha I definitely love all the animals I work with!

Mar 16, 11:12AM EDT0
What is important to consider when planning a sustainable holiday?
Mar 13, 9:18AM EDT0

If you have to fly somewhere, always try to buy back your carbon emissions from the plane journey! Do some research on the companies you are travelling with and investigate their sustainability efforts. Pack yourself a little Sustainable traveller kit such as a resuable water bottle, reef safe suncreen (Stream2Sea is a great option 10% off with the coupon GOGREENFORTHEBIGBLUE) , and a tote bag to make it easy for yourself to reduce your plastic consumption while travelling.

Mar 16, 11:11AM EDT0

I would assume in order to impact "change" - there needs to be a huge involvement either from government(s) or substantial sponsorships in order to fuel this movement. I have an acquaintance who is trying to impact "change" for the coral reefs situation in Southeast Asia - she's still in the exploration stage, how would you recommend she take her first few steps in order to embark on her journey?

Mar 12, 10:02AM EDT0

Yes absolutely strategic partnerships are key. I would recommend for her to see who else is doing a similar project and instead of reinventing the wheel she can try and partner with them or investigate what is and isn’t working in other projects so she can optimize her solutions.

Mar 16, 11:09AM EDT0
What does a usual day or week look like? What are your major responsibilities?
Mar 11, 12:52PM EDT0

Haha a usual day or week doesn’t exist in my start up. For example this week I was half the time in our office in Amsterdam working on a project with a yachting company and now I am in Sint Maarten participating in a trade mission to help the island build back more resiliently after Hurricane  Irma . Main responsibilities are everything from operations to sales and executions of our projects, as a startup founder you have a hand in everything!

Mar 16, 11:03AM EDT0
When did you start getting interested in marine biotechnology? What age were you?
Mar 11, 10:10AM EDT0

I was very young actually when I got interested in marine biology , around 6 when I spent my summers at my grandparents' in Croatia in a small beach town which depended on the marine environment.

Mar 13, 1:27PM EDT0
Are there any intangible or ‘softer’ skills besides academia that you feel are important to succeed in your line of work?
Mar 11, 8:53AM EDT0

Reslience, adaptability, creativity!

Mar 13, 1:27PM EDT0

What is the state of coral reefs in the South Pacific? Are there any areas of immediate concern?

Mar 11, 6:29AM EDT0

The south pacific reefs are experiencing mass bleaching, there are many areas of concern but as an example Samoa is one that has very rapdily deteriorating reefs.

Mar 16, 10:38AM EDT0
How important is the support from Government for achieving no-plastic Sea?
Mar 11, 5:20AM EDT0

Very important! Without legislations and government pressure for companies to switch from single use plastics to sustainable alternatives we will not be able to achieve a plastic free sea.

Mar 16, 10:32AM EDT0
What advice will you give to a common man to reduce his plastic footprint?
Mar 11, 3:05AM EDT0

Be a concious consumer! Skip plastic straws, instead of plastic bottles bring your own and refill it ! 

Mar 16, 10:28AM EDT0
What do you think is the reach of sustainable tourism today? Does media help and encourage it? What can be improved?
Mar 10, 4:49PM EST0

The reach is very wide and ofcourse media really helps with this. More and more influencers are using their platform to promote ocean conservation and we hope to inspire them to also promote sustainable tourism as well . There is always room for improvement, especially in terms of engaging a larger community.

Mar 16, 10:27AM EDT0
When did you first realize that you need to do something about ocean conservation?
Mar 10, 2:41PM EST0

Probably when I was spending my summers in Croatia as a child seeing how the environment was getting more and more polluted as there were more tourists.

Mar 16, 10:26AM EDT0
Do you like to stick to sustainable tourism in marine and seas or do you want to project this further to other areas as well?
Mar 10, 12:28PM EST0

For now I want to really focus on sustainable tourism in the marine environments, but we are slowly expanding to coastal hotels and then expanding to other areas of the tourism industry is possible as well.

Mar 16, 10:25AM EDT0
From academia to founder & CEO, what are some of the ups and downs you faced?
Mar 10, 11:22AM EST0

Feeling like I lacked business knowledge was definitely a down, but going through an accelerator program brought me right up to speed and we have a great advisory board to help out. Ups are finally being able to focus only on the projects I want to do and I am able to measure and see the impact of my work.

Mar 16, 10:24AM EDT0
How much accountable is each and every individual for conserving the nature?
Mar 10, 8:14AM EST0

Everyone is 100% accountable for conserving nature as every person depends on it.

Mar 16, 10:22AM EDT0
How will you explain the sustainable tourism in laymen terms?
Mar 9, 6:45AM EST0

When traveling respecing the surrounding environment and local communities, making sure you only leave a positive impct when you have left!

Mar 16, 10:21AM EDT0
How do you want to take your consultancy further, what is your next goal?
Mar 9, 4:22AM EST0

Next goal for Sea Going Green is to get into clean tech, we want to make recycled marine plastics as easy to use as virgin plastics.

Mar 13, 1:25PM EDT0
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