It was May 2011 and at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, Canada, a special panel discussion was underway on global negotiations for ocean issues. The panelists had many years' experience in international policymaking, and they talked about the advances being made - or not being made - on issues ranging from whaling to climate change and more. When it was time for the audience to ask questions, a young woman stood up.
"You have talked about the frustratingly slow progress in international negotiations on ocean issues," the young woman said to the panel. "In light of the instrumental role that social media tools like Facebook and Twitter played in the recent 'Arab Spring' movement in the Middle East, could the same tools be harnessed somehow to advance ocean negotiations?"