Vector’s CEO Ganter Leads Session on Ocean Plastics and Calls for Perception-Reality Alignment at DLD Munich

From obscurity to reaching the G7 agenda, ocean plastics has quickly come onto the world stage as one of the gravest threats to the oceans and sea life. What can be done to fix the problem, how can companies, governments and the public correct their course, and respond effectively with the speed necessary to avert disaster?

That was the topic of the session, “Bye Bye Plastic,” led by J. Carl Ganter, Vector Center’s CEO, at the Digital, Life, and Design (DLD) Conference in Munich January 20. DLD is called “one of the two most important innovation conferences in Europe” by The Economist, where Ganter has been a regular speaker and moderator.

DLD is a hub for launching new concepts, connecting disparate ideas or inspiring by example and setting outstanding role models – across continents, industries, fields of research, and thought patterns.

“We are at a rare moment of convergence, social change, and new economic models,” Ganter said about the panel, which included leaders from the design, industry, and environment sectors. “We are watching profound shifts in perception and reality, and the global impacts when consumers and companies and come together to align mission and action — and, for a company like adidas, their supply chains — in the face of grand challenges.”

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), globally 91 percent of plastics are not recycled. These plastics make their way from freshwater lakes and rivers to the world’s oceans. From there they find their way into sea life and even back into the food chain that ends with humans, with one quarter of all fish caught having plastic in their guts. And, 83 percent of tap water tests positive for the presence of plastics and micro-plastics.

The panel included, Heike Vesper from WWF, Sam Handy of adidas, Marcella Hansch of the Ocean Plastic Initiative.

Watch the entire session below:

Top photo courtesy of and copyright of Dominik Gigler for DLD.