Wherever you are, through every breath you take, every water drop you drink, your existence depends on the ocean, but the future of the ocean depends on you. 

Virginia Tardella 

Reconnecting People to the Sea | Worldrise Onlus

Worldrise is a non-profit organisation created by young professionals that develops projects to conserve and protect the marine environment through a path focused on awareness, creativity and education.

Founded in 2013 by Mariasole Bianco and Virginia Taradella, it was their shared passion and vision of “Reconnecting People to the Sea’ that started the idea for Worldrise.

What’s your first memory of the ocean?

I fell in love with the ocean as a child. I think that being able to experience this sense of freedom in nature contributed significantly to making me a passionate marine conservationist.

I used to spend about two months in the beautiful island of Sardinia where I felt one with nature walking barefoot, climbing rocks and above all swimming and playing in the sea all the time. I was the only kid that didn’t have to wait 2 hours after lunch before going to swim because I used to eat my sandwich in the water! 

Mariasole Bianco

The Italian summer is often associated with spending time near the sea, did this influence your passion for protecting marine life?

I was always fascinated and attracted by the sea because of its beauty, its power and its mystery. I decided to cultivate this love with my studies and to dive deeper below the blue and mysterious surface to understand the true essence of the ocean. I realised that climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing are seriously threatening the health of our seas. I realised that the ocean is as beautiful as it is vulnerable. This is the reason why I decided to become a marine conservationist and an ocean advocate to give a voice not only to the threats but also to the many solutions that we have to turn the tide and protect and restore our seas.

Mariasole Bianco

What is the story behind the name ‘Worldrise’?  

When we founded the NGO in 2013, we aimed at creating a bottom-up movement that would awake the world. A sunrise on a new way of living in accordance with nature. That’s why we chose an international name, understandable by different cultures and with a wide range of meaningful interpretations.

Virginia Tardella 

How your own personal connection as friends and two strong individuals manifested the idea of “Reconnecting people to the sea”? 

We all come from – and belong to – the ocean. Somehow, when we become adults, and especially if we live in big cities, we tend to lose our connection with nature.

Therefore we’ve decided that our mission would have been to reconnect people to the sea through projects, initiatives and art installations.

When we started our first projects we immediately realised that we often feel a strong connection to the sea only when we’re physically close to it, while it’s very hard to remember that every single action we take in cities actually has a big impact on our marine environment.

We’re trying to fill this gap.

Virginia Tardella 

What according to you is the role of creativity and art in preserving the sea? 

Art definitely helps to reawaken our minds and shows us the wonders and fragility of this enormous blue surface that sustains our lives. 

Artists and creative talents can give voice to the ocean, by transforming the water into illustrations, videos, sculptures, photographs and any other art medium that could spark a light into the observer and lead them to wonder how they could contribute to saving the planet.

Art is able to reawaken our deepest emotions and to show and teach us what we cannot see by ourselves.

Art is catharsis, purification and liberation: it is able to show us how each of our behaviours has bigger consequences than we might think. Each of our gestures is a ripple on the sea surface that can transform it into a wave of change if everyone contributes by doing its part. 

Virginia Tardella 

Living in an urban environment we often forget the fragility of our ecosystem. How can we connect to the element of water and learn to respect it in our daily life? 

The sea is our life support system. No matter where we are, we are connected to the ocean through every breath we take, every drop of water we drink, it provides us with food and regulates our planet climate. It is important to build awareness about this importance with everyone and underline that we all can play a great role to safeguard it. With Worldrise we try to do this through different means such as education activities in school, marine themed murals and other forms of art, events, music and so much more. We are ocean positive people and everyone can join us to create positive change.

Mariasole Bianco

If you were a marine animal, which one would you be and why?

Undoubtedly an octopus, my favorite animal. Intelligent, versatile with excellent camouflage superpower and extraordinary multitasking abilities thanks to the eight arms with which is ready to juggle different things at the same time.

Mariasole Bianco 

Our current issue is called ‘ONENESS’, what does it mean to you?

The strength of one is big. The force of two is bigger. The power of many is a changemaker. It’s just together that we can move forward. And by together I mean ocean included.  Because at the end we are all connected to and by the ocean. Wherever we are.

Wherever you are, through every breath you take, every water drop you drink, your existence depends on the ocean, but the future of the ocean depends on you. 

More than half of the oxygen we breathe comes indeed from the ocean, which covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. Any action taken in any part of the world has an impact that we will all face at some point or another. So let’s make the right one. 

Virginia Tardella 

Photography Giovanni Santarelli
Featuring Mariasole Bianco and Virginia Tardella
Interview and Styling Priyanka Singh
Styling assistant Casey Chan and Phalanvita Madhyala
Photography assistant Luis David Hernández
Make up Madhava Poletto Menegazzo
Closest Credits : Up-cycled overcoats by Tiziano Guardini, Grey recycled skirt and top and white shirt by Bav Tailor, Grey trousers by Zerobarracento and Necklace by Benedetta Bruzziche