71% of the Earth is covered by sea water. It’s no wonder we named our home the “Blue Planet”. Nonetheless, our seas and oceans are still deeply misunderstood: we often limit our vision to their surface while the underwater remains unknown, mysterious and unsettling to most of us.
The UNESCO recently estimated that mankind has documented less than 10% of all the species that live in the oceans. Also, there are more cultural artefacts buried at the bottom of the seas than in all of our museums combined.
This observation motivated the creation of this magazine. We believe that to explore, study and document this complex world, OCEAN71 Magazine needs a staff of sailors, divers, technicians, biologists, historians and reporters with a unique journalistic approach.
This blue world, we have been exploring it and publishing stories about it since 2013. To function, we based our business model on something that is commonly used in the media industry: paid subscriptions. We thank the people that trusted us and subscribed to the magazine all these years in order to have access to the complete and original stories.
After three years, we have come to the conclusion that this model is not adapted to our mission. In an ever changing world, the actors must evolve or risk to disappear. The fact is that our stories have always had a lot of success with our audience, but the revenues generated from the business model were insufficient.
Along the way, we have nonetheless understood a crucial element: the content of our work is unique. We document discoveries such as species of animals, plants and micro-organisms along with historical and archaeological ruins that can sometimes shake the available knowledge. This universal information has to remain in the public domain.
This realization has motivated our decision to unlock the access to all of our published story. Every file and article in the OCEAN71 Magazine will henceforth be available to everybody, everywhere, in English and in French.
In order to attain our universally free access objective, our business model was revised. Julien Pfyffer, founder and sole owner of OCEAN71 Magazine, along with the whole crew, decided to launch the OCTOPUS Foundation (octopusfoundation.org).
Recognized as a public utility and non-profit organization, the OCTOPUS Foundation’s main objective is to select and support scientific projects dedicated to the exploration, research and study of the marine world. The Foundation will focus on marine biology and underwater archaeology.
In practice, the OCTOPUS Foundation will select or initiate projects that study the marine world, and will support them financially, logistically and technologically. The ultimate goal is to broadcast to the largest public possible the discoveries made in our seas and oceans. To achieve this, the OCTOPUS Foundation will rely on the OCEAN71 Magazine and its crew for the operational part of every project. Our magazine will decide which media is most appropriate to inform the public: online articles, photos, video documentaries, books, comic books or museum exhibits.
To launch the OCTOPUS Foundation, Julien Pfyffer personally constituted the initial capital of CHF 200’000.- (EUR 180’000.-). This is the first stage. In order to help us bring this formidable tool to the largest public possible, we put out a call to whoever is inspired by this adventure and wishes to financially contribute. Anybody can help within their means, and together we can assure the success of the OCTOPUS Foundation’s missions of exploration, study and transmission.
Complete transparency is mandatory if the OCTOPUS Foundation wishes to keep its public utility status. Each year the Foundation will produce the list of all of its donators, the origin of the donations and a detailed explanation of the use of the funds. The Foundation’s accounting will be submitted to the Swiss fiscal authorities.
In conclusion, the donations that will allow the OCTOPUS Foundation to function will hopefully help us to reinvent ourselves and to create a new type of media: a public utility media.