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2012 Revisited

What an incredible year 2012 turned out to be!

By far the most real and beautiful event has been Félix, born in late January 2012. From that point on, everything else I would do would be governed by his presence, giving a very real perspective on what is truly important. He has barely left my side and I am lucky to have been able to spend almost every day with him- working from home or taking him around the world with me. What an incredible little human he has already become in the 1st year of his life! Having my life and work partner by my side makes it possible for us to truly be a unified trio on this incredible life adventure as we travel the world together.

Five years ago I joined La Prairie as the ambassador to the Advanced Marine Biology collection. In 2012, not only did we launch 3 new products but we announced the La Prairie Award for Innovation in Marine Protection in collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Our inaugural event took place at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

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(LtoR) M. Calcagno Director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco, myself, Nadia Miller VP Brand Development La Prairie and Patrick Rasquinet President and Group CEO of La Prairie

As jury president, I had the task of guiding our decisions in giving $130k to three marine conservation projects. It was incredibly satisfying to give that money away! Our press tour took us to many countries including Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, the UK and USA. For each location, we posted a short video on The La Prairie Facebook page. Çapkin (who filmed/edited these posts) and our son were with me for the whirlwind tour.

As a result of the incredible press tour, many online articles were published and printed press as well. Here are a few links: Telegraph UKLouLou online, and some screen grabs from Spain, France, and Taiwan.

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As Contiki Holiday’s Sustainability Partner, I accompanied a group of staff and consumers to Mexico. There we explored the marine conservation efforts of Contiki (through the TreadRight Foundation) supporting the Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program. Watching the participants dive, some for the first time, and explore the work of the dedicated people protecting and restoring the Mesoamerican reef was wonderful. I produced a 13-minutes film about their journey for internal purposes only and a 4-mins film for the public about Contiki’s support of MAR Leaders. Here are a few links to browse as a result of our partnership: Traveling Greener, Ontario’s Tourisme Plus, and a blog from a staff member in Australia.

With my partners at Mammal Fish we have launched the first of a series of children’s interactive e-books for kids 3-5 years old – Little Journeys with Céline Cousteau. You can read it yourself or listen to the Captain and I tell the story with original accompanying music. It is available on the Nook by Barnes and Noble and through the app for the iPad. Our second story is underway.

Sneak preview of a page from the book:

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My family traveled to the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, CA and I was thrilled to show my short film, Scars of Freedom, for the first time. This is a story I had been wanting to tell for over a year, the footage of an entangled humpback whale we filmed in Chile burning a hole in my hard drive. The film is soon starting the film festival circuit after which we will put it online for all to see. The TreadRight Foundation made post production on this short film possible: read here. As a public speaker in universities and during international conferences, I evoke this story as well as many others I have lived on various expeditions. It is one more way of sharing the adventures and connecting people everywhere to our environment and other cultures.

It was a great honor to be invited to participate on the Council of Oceans for the World Economic Forum. Under the umbrella of the World Economic Forum, the Global Agenda Council on Oceans brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts and leaders in the fields of oceans conservation, policy and commerce from around the world. We gathered for our annual meeting on the Global Agenda in Dubai, focusing our attention on a few main ocean issues. At the occasion of the WEF in Davos, we released a joint statement recognizing the urgent need for a new global seafood traceability system to give consumers, businesses, and governments full access to information about marine fishing practices.

Receiving 501c3 status in early 2012, my non-profit CauseCentric Productions began the creative process of building the website in late 2012, to be launched in February 2013. Having 4 films completed to date, post production on two more short films was completed under our mission to be launched at the same time as the website. Two more related stories are in the editing room as I write. The CauseCentric website aims to inspire the viewer to action through a three part focus that makes it easy for everyone to take part. Each documentary story focuses on the solutions people all over the world are implementing to ameliorate environmental or socio-cultural challenges. The goal this year is to create the groundwork to produce more short films and thus our focus will be to garner support through fundraising and networking.

Here is a sneak peek at the website landing page:

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A big push for future independent film projects happened over the course of 2012, with planning and pre-production slowly but surely making way. The efforts are paying off as I will be spending time in South America and Mexico in the first half of 2013 filming a few short stories as a result. These films will see me travel to Chile, Ecuador (for two stories) and Mexico.

A bigger project, what I call my marathon- took real form in 2012. An important story based on the indigenous tribes I met while previously filming in the Brazilian Amazon will result in a full length independent documentary and educational campaign. This idea has been on my mind for 6 years now and is becoming real. It will take several years to complete this story, mostly filmed in Brazil, with expeditions in other parts of the Amazon. I am truly thankful for the National Geographic grant that is allowing me to take a first trip to Brazil for initial meetings and interviews…and meetings for potential funding.

Phew. There it is- 2012 at a glance.

I can hear the clock next to my computer…tic toc…pause. Breathe.