Person

Vasser Seydel

Born:

1996

Occupation:

Director at The Oxygen Project, philanthropist

Nationality:

American

Vasser Seydel is an environmentalist and a philanthropist. She is the daughter of environmentalist Laura Turner Seydel and the granddaughter of CNN founder and media mogul Ted Turner.

Seydel is a campaign director for The Oxygen Project, an organization that her father, Rutherford Seydel, founded. Currently, she is working on the group’s campaign opposing deep-sea mining. [1]

Seydel is also a director of the Turner Foundation, a foundation founded by her grandfather, that supports numerous left-of-center causes, particularly environmentalist ones. [2]

Early Life

Vasser Seydel was born in 1996 to environmentalists Laura Turner Seydel and Rutherford Seydel. Her grandfather is the media mogul and donor to left-of-center causes Ted Turner. [3]

In 2007, her family moved into the first LEED-certified gold residence in the United States. The home featured geothermal heating and wallpaper made from recycled newspapers. The family also owned 15 ranches at which they used bison to help regenerate the soil. Seydel’s parents also founded numerous environmentalist organizations in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. [4]

Seydel attended the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications. While in college, she represented the university as the UGA Sustainability Ambassador. She also worked in the college’s Office of Sustainability as the Grants and Engagement Director. [5] Seydel interned for the United Nations Foundation, which was created by her grandfather, and TEDWomen. [6] She also participated in the Semester at Sea program. She took classes on board a floating campus, visiting 13 countries during the program while studying world economics and marine biology. [7]

Environmentalist Work

Seydel is most notable for her efforts to outlaw deep-sea ocean mining. She works at The Oxygen Project, an organization her father founded, as the director of the organization’s campaign to ban the proposed practice. [8]

To obtain the minerals needed to create the technologies to support a lower-carbon economy, mining companies and some national governments propose to mine mineral-rich deep sea ocean beds. Currently, there is no mining underway and proposals have not advanced beyond initial stages. The deep sea is defined as anything below a depth of around 650 feet. [9]

Seydel advocates for a global treaty shifting the focus of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a an intergovernmental organization that regulates deep-sea ocean mining in international waters. Seydel wants the treaty to focus on preservation instead of exploiting the resources of the ocean, declaring large areas of the deep sea bed off-limits for mining and instituting strict scientific and environmental research protocols for the areas that could be mined. [10]

Seydel instead proposes that humans live more “sustainably” instead of using ocean resources to improve their standard of living. She also proposes that alternative technologies be discovered to reduce the need for ocean mineral mining. [11]

Philanthropy Work

Seydel is a director at the Turner Foundation, which was established by her grandfather. She says that philanthropy was always an important part of her life growing up. [12]

She began her philanthropic career on the Turner Third Generation Board, or T3G. Then as she grew up, she graduated to the “adult board” of the Turner Foundation. [13]

In addition to supporting calls to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by half by 2030, she called on all philanthropic families to spend “beyond 5%” to tackle issues of racism. [14]

References

  1. Fein, Ruth. “The Next Climate Disaster Nobody’s Talking About.” The Oxygen Project. August 5, 2020. https://www.theoxygenproject.com/post/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-mineral-treasures-on-our-watch/. ^
  2. “Leadership.” Turner Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2022. http://www.turnerfoundation.org/leadership/. ^
  3. DeSantis, Rachel. “How Ted Turner Helped Daughter Laura Turner Seydel Become A Climate Hero: It’s ‘In My DNA.’“ People Magazine. April 9, 2021. https://people.com/human-interest/how-ted-turner-helped-daughter-laura-turner-seydel-become-climate-hero/. ^
  4.  DeSantis, Rachel. “How Ted Turner Helped Daughter Laura Turner Seydel Become A Climate Hero: It’s ‘In My DNA.’“ People Magazine. April 9, 2021. https://people.com/human-interest/how-ted-turner-helped-daughter-laura-turner-seydel-become-climate-hero/. ^
  5. “Leadership.” 2022. Turner Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2022. http://www.turnerfoundation.org/leadership/. ^
  6. “Leadership.” 2022. Turner Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2022. http://www.turnerfoundation.org/leadership/. ^
  7. “Leadership.” 2022. Turner Foundation. Accessed March 14, 2022. http://www.turnerfoundation.org/leadership/. ^
  8. Fein, Ruth. “The Next Climate Disaster Nobody’s Talking About.” The Oxygen Project. August 5, 2020. https://www.theoxygenproject.com/post/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-mineral-treasures-on-our-watch/. ^
  9. Fein, Ruth. “The Next Climate Disaster Nobody’s Talking About.” The Oxygen Project. August 5, 2020. https://www.theoxygenproject.com/post/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-mineral-treasures-on-our-watch/. ^
  10. Fein, Ruth. “The Next Climate Disaster Nobody’s Talking About.” The Oxygen Project. August 5, 2020. https://www.theoxygenproject.com/post/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-mineral-treasures-on-our-watch/. ^
  11. Fein, Ruth. “The Next Climate Disaster Nobody’s Talking About.” The Oxygen Project. August 5, 2020. https://www.theoxygenproject.com/post/deep-sea-mining-for-rare-mineral-treasures-on-our-watch/. ^
  12. Tedesco, Nicholas. “Family Philanthropy Speaks: A Conversation With Vasser Seydel.” National Center for Family Philanthropy. March 1, 2021. https://www.ncfp.org/2021/03/01/family-philanthropy-speaks-a-conversation-with-vasser-seydel/. ^
  13. Tedesco, Nicholas. “Family Philanthropy Speaks: A Conversation With Vasser Seydel.” National Center for Family Philanthropy. March 1, 2021. https://www.ncfp.org/2021/03/01/family-philanthropy-speaks-a-conversation-with-vasser-seydel/. ^
  14. Tedesco, Nicholas. “Family Philanthropy Speaks: A Conversation With Vasser Seydel.” National Center for Family Philanthropy. March 1, 2021. https://www.ncfp.org/2021/03/01/family-philanthropy-speaks-a-conversation-with-vasser-seydel/. ^
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