Ocean Robbins is the founder of YES!, a non profit organization dedicated to empowering young change-makers focusing on tackling environmental and social issues. Ocean is the grandson of Irvine Robbins, the founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream company. Ocean’s father, John, grew up swimming in an ice cream shaped pool and was being groomed to take over the company. However, while in his early twenties, John decided that he wanted to take a different path and dedicate his life to improving the world.
Ocean was born in a one room cabin in the woods where his family grew most of their own food and lived off of less than $500 a year. John went on to write Diet for a New America and many other successful books on food, the environment, and animal rights. As his father’s writing was inspiring millions, Ocean began to seek his own way to make a positive impact on the world.
In his early teens, he showed his entrepreneurial talents by starting Ocean’s Natural Bakery, selling bread door-to-door. The project earned him a front page article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel that read “Boy Isn’t Very Rich But He Has Dough”
When Ocean was 14, he gave talks on the environment at international youth summits in Moscow and Washington, DC. He met with Mrs. Gorbachev and numerous Ambassadors and US Senators to discuss environmental concerns.
When Ocean was 16, he founded YES!. Since then, YES! speaking events have reached more than 620,000 people in more than 1,200 schools and conferences. YES! has also organized over 100 week-long gatherings for young leaders from 65+ different nations.
Ocean is an author and an extremely accomplished public speaker, being featured in over 70 local news and television program and 50 newspapers and magazines, including feature stories in Time, The Washington Post, Audubon, and The New York Times Magazine. He is the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Individual 35 Years Or Younger.
Ocean’s dream is one of peace and justice, where everyone does their part to make the world a better place.
Check out our interview with Ocean: