Member - Okeanos Foundation for the Sea

Implements traditionally based sustainable sea transportation to ensure independence, cultural revival and ocean stewardship

Type Startup or self-employed
Founded 2007
Company Size 20
Member Type
Founders Dieter Paulmann
Headquarters New Brunswick, NJ 08904, USA
Social network
Okeanos Foundation for the Sea


The Okeanos Foundation for the Sea is a philanthropic foundation dedicated to building traditionally based sustainable sea sustainable for Pacific island communities.

The Okeanos Foundation for the Sea has spent the last 10 years building traditionally based sustainable sea sustainable for Pacific island communities while supporting the training of hundreds of Pacific islanders to be open-ocean sailors and navigators. Okeanos' work is builds upon Pacific traditional voyaging knowledge as solution, adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

Our community knows the many ways traditionally based sustainable sea transportation can provide the basis for place based solutions to challenges Pacific Islands are facing.

We know that modern vakas naturally fulfil Pacific public service needs from disaster relief to fundamental transportation of cargo, medicine and people, while providing dynamic education and research platforms and also fostering a variety of small commercial enterprises.

Okeanos’ philanthropic objective is social entrepreneurship intended to build upon traditional culture and genius to develop local capacity for  fossil fuel-free sea transportation, sailers, boat builders and business operators. As such, Okeanos provides, at no cost to the islands, traditionally based fossil fuel-free sailing canoes called Vaka Motus internationally certified for open ocean commercial use and equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines.

Okeanos Vaka Motus are brought to islands through a BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) model.  We do this by partnering with, and hiring, local crew and operators to establish an island based Okeanos limited business based on competitive use of Vaka Motu. In addition to the use of the Okeanos vessel, our foundation assumes all costs for local crew training including captain’s certification and assistance establishing a local, community led business model that generates revenue for the islanders. Our goal is to prove that the islands can use modernized traditional vessels, and native energy sources of sun, coconut oil and wind, to meet the countries’ needs for sustainable sea transportation.

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Headquarters New Brunswick, NJ 08904, USA

SDG’s of application

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity everywhere.
Clean water and sanitation
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Affordable and clean energy
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Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 9 icon
SDG 11
Sustainable cities and communities
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SDG 12
Responsible consumption and production
SDG 12 icon

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