Applications for All Hands on Deck are now closed. The event will be live streamed on the Media Lab website, and we hope you will join us there!



Thank you for your interest in All Hands on Deck! We are very excited to host the 2018 National Ocean Exploration Forum and to spend time with leading innovators (we’re looking at YOU) in ocean exploration and community building. The focus of this Forum is on broadening engagement and participation in ocean exploration, and through this event we want to catalyze a new era of love and appreciation for the awesomeness of the ocean around the world. We are seeking a diverse group of participants who want to share the ocean with others because we truly need all hands on deck to ensure that everyone on earth understands how important the ocean is to us all.


The event is free and all meals are provided. Due to high interest and limited space, we have an application process.

  • July 11 - Application opens

  • August 10 - Priority Application closes [we will accept applications after this date, but priority will be given to those who apply by Aug 10]

  • August 31 - Notification of acceptance

Please only apply if you can commit to attend the full event from Thursday, November 8 at 8am, to Friday, November 9 at 8pm. Activities on Saturday, November 10, are optional, but you are encouraged to participate (because it will be fun!).

What’s the schedule?

You should expect to be at the event for the following times:

  • Thursday, November 8 - 8am - 8pm: Speaking Panels, Workshops, and Reception

  • Friday, November 9 - 8:30am - 8pm: Speaking Panels, Workshops, and Reception

  • Saturday, November 10: Boston Ocean Day [optional]


What will I do at the Forum?

At the Forum, you will participate in inspiring discussions and hands-on workshops about how we will pervade modern culture with the sea. Mornings will be dedicated to speaker panels and discussions with participants, while afternoons will be spent looking to the future of how we can bring the ocean to people through play, storytelling, immersion, creating, exploration, and community connections. Throughout the day, experience demos of Media Lab research dedicated to these themes to get a better understanding of current work in these fields.

What Are You Looking For in the Application?

We are seeking participants who are passionate about ocean exploration, and who exemplify diversity with regard to gender, culture, socioeconomics, geography, and domain knowledge.

You don't need a PhD in oceanography to apply. We are looking for a wide range of backgrounds including recreation, play, art, design, and entertainment. We believe in the power of diversity to bring different viewpoints to the table in order to creatively reach new audiences about the importance of the ocean and exploration.

We are looking for those who are committed to opening up the ocean and exploration to a broader swath of the global population. Ocean exploration has traditionally been dominated by white, male-dominated, affluent, western counties, and we want to hear your ideas about how to challenge those norms to gain different perspectives and insights on exploring our ocean.


What about travel funding?

Travel expenses will be supported for Ocean Discovery Fellows to attend the Forum and Boston Ocean Day. To apply to be an Ocean Discovery Fellow, just fill out the Participant Application. On page 2, you will be asked if you would like to be considered for a Fellowship - check "Yes".

If you are able to pay your own way to the Forum, please do not put your name in the hat for a Fellowship - we are trying to ensure that amazing explorers and innovators with financial need can participate.

If selected and you live outside the United States, you will be responsible for securing your own passport, visa and/or other travel authorization in advance of the Forum. 

To learn more about Ocean Discovery Fellows, click here


What about my baby or toddler?

We are looking into the ability to accommodate participants bringing a partner, friend or caregiver to the Forum to help watch your child aged 3 and under while you participate. Liability costs prohibit us from offering daycare on-site, but we will do our best to accommodate a caregiver to ensure that you can participate in the event. Please indicate in your application if this would be helpful to ensure that you can participate in the Forum.

Breastfeeding and/or pumping is welcome throughout the Forum, and a private lactation space will also be available for activities at the Media Lab.


Participant Application