Memorials, Exhibitions of life & work

Elisabeth Mann Borgese (24th April 1918 - 8th February 2002)

2018: Birth Centennial Memorial - 24th April 1918 – 8th February 2002

Image: Elisabeth Mann Borgese, Founder (© Heike Ollertz)

A hundred years ago, on 24th April, Elisabeth Mann Borgese founder of the International Ocean Institute, was born in Munich Germany to Thomas Mann and Katia Pringsheim.


Elisabeth Mann Borgese was known worldwide as " The Mother of the Oceans" and dedicated her life's work to the understanding of ocean matters, to the development of a constitution for the oceans and to the consideration of the oceans as a 


great laboratory for the making of a new international order based on new forms of international cooperation and organisation, on a new economic theory, on a new philosophy”.


(E Mann Borgese: 1986; The Future of the Oceans: A Report to the Club of Rome. Pub: Harvest House).

2018: Elisabeth Mann Borgese Ocean Lecture, Canada

The 2018 World Oceans Day in Canada marked the launch of IOI Canada’s Elisabeth Mann Borgese Centenary events in honour of the 100th anniversary of Elisabeth’s birth. A special version of the annual Elisabeth Mann Borgese Lecture was held in the evening of 8th June as the first in a series of three lectures at Dalhousie University scheduled over a four-month period. Other centenary activities include an upcoming volume of over 80 essays, based on themes and issues covered in IOI Canada’s interdisciplinary training programme, and a commemorative display. Details are available on the Centre’s website at: 

2012: 10th Anniversary Commemoration of Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese on 8th February 2012



(L) Memorial Ceremony Programme


(R) IOI publication on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the IOI and the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of Elisabeth Mann Borgese. 


The 8th February 2012 was an important commemoration for the IOI – the 8th February was the tenth anniversary of the passing away of Elisabeth Mann Borgese, the founder of IOI and the year 2012 marked IOI’s 40 years of dedication to ocean matters and contribution towards capacity development and ocean governance since its foundation in 1972. The two events were celebrated at the University of Malta in Malta.


The Elisabeth Mann Borgese Memorial Ceremony was held at the St Thomas Moore Chapel of the University of Malta to an intimate gathering of friends of IOI and persons who had known and cherished Elisabeth in her lifetime and admired her work. Chosen readings were given by Fr Michael Bugeja SJ, University Chaplain, Dr Awni Behnam, Professor Salvino Busuttil, Professor Alain Piquemal and Dr Werner Ekau – members of the IOI Governing Board. The readings were accompanied by a selection of choral and orchestral works by the Collegium Musicum and the Chamber Orchestra directed by Dr Mro Dion Buhagiar.  More information about the event is available for download below:


8th February 2012, a date to commemorate and to celebrate
IOInforma 0312.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.1 MB

2012 - Elisabeth Mann Borgese Exhibition in Buddenbrookhaus, Lübeck 

To mark the 10th anniversary of her death, in 2012 the Buddenbrookhaus in Lübeck organised the first-ever exhibition about Elisabeth Mann Borgese in Lübeck. In cooperation with Geomar in Kiel, the Helmholtz Centre for Maritime Research, the exhibition was shown subsequently in Kiel and Berlin. Parallel to the exhibition, a collection of scientific essays and a number of previously unpublished photos and documents were published by the Hamburg-based mareverlag. 


IOI Canada assisted with preparations for the exhibition in Lübeck, Germany and the publication on Elisabeth Mann Borgese by facilitating access to the Elisabeth Mann Borgese Archives at Dalhousie University, arranging introductions to former colleagues and friends, and making available resources including papers and photographs. A number of items were loaned to the exhibition as well as photographs for the publication.


A catalogue entitled 'Elisabeth Mann-Borgese and the drama of the seas' edited by Holger Pils and Karolina Kühn gives the complex and fascinating life portrait of a fighter for the seas. This catalogue includes an anthology of essays from literature, jurisprudence and marine research, personal memories and literary portraits.  Copies of the catalogue are available from the Buddenbrookhaus Museum website here

IOInforma news bulletin (May 2012)
Elisabeth Mann Borgese Exhibition in Buddenbrookhaus, Lübeck (17 June to 28 October 2012)
IOInforma 0512.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 856.4 KB