Parley for the Ocean

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In its most basic definition, a parley is a conference held by enemies of war in search of finding peace, especially an armistice. For the organization Parley for the Oceans though, it’s difficult to hold such a conference when the attackers are humankind and the defenders the aquatic ecosystems that help make life on earth possible. But Parley is not about petty squabbles of fingering perpetrators and wrongdoers; it is about finding balance between man and nature, specifically in regards to the ocean.

Parley is not about petty squabbles of fingering perpetrators and wrongdoers; it is about finding balance between man and nature, specifically in regards to the ocean.

Too often consumer demands fail to understand the far-reaching consequences of globalized markets, and as a result aquatic life, and by a degree all life on earth, is threatened by these consequences. Plastic is poisoning our oceans, and Parley’s number one priority is to find an antidote. Their cause is one that’s been fought for decades, but their approach may hold the key to real and lasting change; through conferences held around the world, Parley is working to find ways to use collaborative design to make it more profitable to protect the Earth than to damage it. To accomplish such a feat takes a three-tier process. Parley starts with curated talks given to a selected audience, providing an overview of the precarious state of our oceans to gain support for specific initiatives and projects. Then with this serious backing, Parley finds existing projects to team up with, developing through collaboration sessions more realized proposals. Parley then acts as a translator for all involved on the project, ensuring it reaches an implementable stage and makes an idea into a reality. The priority given to projects is dependent on their long and short-term goals. Parley is committed to saving animals already at risk, which channels into larger goals to clean the ocean of deadly plastic, which further leads into even larger ideas to build a sustainable relationship between the oceans and humans. This keeps them from staying too theoretical, but also allows them to think at a global scale and help make everything in between come true. In this way, Parley is organizing all the people out there who know what the issue is, but don’t feel they can make a difference, and giving them an opportunity to make that difference. It’s already seen some initiatives come true since its inception in 2013, and by bringing together people from all fields and expertise will no doubt find the support it needs to make our oceans healthy again.


Nathaniel Barlam


Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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