Representatives from 500+ islands gather for virtual summit

  • The Virtual Island Summit expects 10,000 participants joining from over 500 islands spanning all corners of the globe.
  • The Summit is a free online event aimed at connecting islands to share common experiences on development and sustainability.
  • Over 150 speakers including the Prime Minister of Fiji, President of Guyana, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and numerous politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and NGO leaders.

This year the Virtual Island Summit expects the participation of 10,000 island stakeholders from across the world with topics discussed including post-pandemic economic recovery, tourism, energy, climate change, education, democracy, transport, sustainability and much more - all in relation to the island context. Registration is available for free:

The Virtual Island Summit aims to be an inclusive event using the opportunity to create “digital bridges” that will bring together global islands to collaborate on finding creative solutions that lean on the expertise of every global community, no matter how isolated they may be. The input of these communities is invaluable in building a sustainable future, and the event brings together experts from islands around the world to discuss key issues facing the planet and how we can resolve them together.

There are over 30 different sessions available with no limit on how many participants can join. Attendees will be able to engage with one another throughout the week, and will have additional opportunities to interact with the Summit’s speakers and partners with features such as a tradeshow and focused networking sessions. Facilitating conversations has been key throughout planning the event format, and the host Island Innovation utilizes its expertise in digital communications to ensure there will be plenty of opportunities for exchange just like a physical event.

There are over 150 speakers joining this year’s Virtual Island Summit including the Prime Minister of Fiji, Prime Minister of St Vincent & the Grenadines, President of Guyana, Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Governor of Guam, Malta’s Foreign Minister and the Mayor of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Regions represented include the Caribbean, Pacific, Arctic, Indian Ocean, Patagonia, Mediterranean, North and South Atlantic, Africa and Asia.

“We started the Virtual Island Summit to encourage connections between seemingly far-flung islands that have a substantial amount in common but may be separated by vast distances. The idea was born before we were forced to use digital events this year by the pandemic, and the opportunity will extend far beyond lockdown,” says James Ellsmoor, Director, Island Innovation. “Participants get a unique opportunity to exchange information with an extremely diverse array of people, and by keeping the event free we maximize the opportunities for participation. Especially given the specific challenges islands have faced in 2020, we aim to generate some concrete outcomes that can be actioned by participants in their own communities.”

Sponsors of this year’s event are the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Leclanché, Pathable, University of Prince Edward Island, Edge Foundation, University of the West of England, Buzzmaker, Ricardo Energy & Environment, University of Delaware, Intelligent Community Energy, Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao, Island Institute, Waitt Institute, EarthFund, Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation, Orkney International Science Festival, Soloricon, Falkland Islands Government & St Helena Research Institute.

“At Edge, our work focuses on making education more relevant and we love to find fascinating and insightful examples to inspire others. Many of the islands around Great Britain have control of their own education policy and are developing exciting and innovative approaches in areas like project based learning in schools, technical education and apprenticeships. We chair the Island Education Network that brings together representatives from these islands to share, inspire and learn lessons that are relevant to other islands and to the mainland. We are delighted to be sponsoring the Virtual Island Summit 2020 and chairing a session focused on further education and preparation for work in an island context. This will involve key members of our network as well as international speakers from Malta and the Caribbean for a truly global perspective on making education relevant.”

The Virtual Island Summit is held through a series of dynamic open sessions that unites some of the world’s sharpest minds and decision-makers in one place, providing a knowledge-sharing experience like no other. There is a large range of topics that are sure to grab attendees’ attention with sessions held in Spanish, French and English discussing important issues and how they impact the world at large. It will give attendees a chance to listen to experts from around the world discuss case studies, the latest breakthroughs in their field, and outline a blueprint for more sustainable and prosperous islands in a truly unique format.

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