Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of SAS, tells how his childhood love of shells paved the way for his current role in marine conservation.

Hugo Tagholm became Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage in late 2008 and has overseen a sustained period of development, growth and impact for the organisation, which has galvanised its position as one of the UK’s most effective marine conservation charities. He has led the transition of the organisation from a single-issue campaign group to an environmental charity with extensive national and international influence. It is today recognized as one of the most influential enviro-surf NGOs in the world. It has a network of over 150,000 regular supporters, mobilises 15,000 community volunteers annually and has 60 regional chapters around the UK.

Hugo has a longstanding history with SAS, first meeting its founders in 1991 when he entered the bodyboard category of the environmentally orientated ‘Surf To Save’ competition at Polzeath. He then became a paid-up member of the organisation and an active campaigner at water quality and climate change demos.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at