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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.


It’s been a pretty wild ride over 48 years. I am the co-owner of The Solar Branco Eco Estate on São Miguel, building a leading Eco Hotel here in the Azores. I am also the creator of Baleia Gin, and The Gin Library, Europes largest collection of gin. My charitable activities include my role as president of The Ocean Azores Foundation, helping to safeguard and promote the Azores as one of the world’s most important whale sanctuaries in the world.

(And yes I used a private jet to move my 5 rescue dogs to the Azores.)
Read more on Linkedin | Read the crazy stuff

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Previously, I have worked for companies including Nissan, Red Bull Formula 1, Cathay Pacific, WWF, WSJ, Motorola, Samsung, KPMG Consulting and Kelloggs.

From being featured in FORBES about being dyslexic (which you can read here to writing a viral article on Linkedin taking on one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, generating over 10 million impressions online), to speaking at Davos, life has never been quiet. Or dull. While in Hong Kong I was Asia’s foremost charity wildlife photographer, picking up 5 rescue dogs along the way. All of which we brought to the Azores.

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solar branco eco estate

The Solar Branco Eco Estate is being built to be one of the leading eco hotels in the Azores, if not Europe. Combining years of experience in sustainability and with a foundation that we can leave the lands and ocean in a better place than we found them. This is a destination that combines luxury and sustainability without compromise to either.

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The Ocean Azores Foundation was created in the Azores for the ocean that surrounds us. We aim to invest our resources in selected community projects that will help drive lasting social and environmental change, focusing on the protection of the waters that surround the Azores Islands.

This work will help to increase protections for cetaceans in the region, and ensure their long term survival. The foundation will focus on funding projects that include marine conservation, reduction of plastics, and related ocean education and research.
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In 2021 we created The Ocean Gin Company. Our focus is to create amazing products focused on our work in the Azores. From Baleia Gin to The Baleia Bus and our other gin and tonic products. A portion of proceeds goes towards marine conservation, reduction of plastics, and related ocean education and research.

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Max Lissenden


Mother Vaca (translated means Cow.) And what better name could be chosen for our brand in the Azores.

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From Dyslexic To Davos: How Ali Bullock Became A Social Media Expert At Infiniti & Other Big Brands: Ever been told you weren’t smart enough or good enough to do something? It can bring you down. But it’s those who rise back up that are the most successful in life. In this story, Ali Bullock, Global Senior Manager, Sponsorship and Social Media at INFINITI Motorsports and Davos speaker, shares how he became a social media expert at global brands despite being dyslexic.
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During my time working for Cathay Pacific Airways I lead the team to get shark fin banned from all CX flights (including cargo.) At the time Cathay Pacific was the largest carrier of shark fin. This ban was a sea change for the industry and shark conservation.


Baleia Gin

Helping to save the whales of the Azores.

I started to create Baleia in the lockdown of 2020. The idea had always been one day to try and create my own gin. I wanted something that truly represented the Azores and Portugal. And with over 7,000 gins already on the market something that tasted different and unique. A gin that would also give back to the community around me. And so Baleia was born.

Humpback mother and calf, with a snorkeler, in Tonga.


It was my honour to speak at Davos in 2016 on my journey from dyslexia and school to working for world leading brands such as Kelloggs, Samsung, Motorola, Nissan / Redbull and working for The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). You can see some of my work here and here.



Yeah. This is what I did for 5 years. The marketing (not the bike jumping 😉

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Days after Grey Singapore had been accused of running a scam in the name of philanthropy, the company has decided to return their Cannes Lion award.

Grey for Good, the philanthropic division of Grey International had developed an app, ‘I SEA,’ intended to aid refugees trying to escape their war-ravaged homeland by sea. One would think this win would be celebrated and the app made good use of, but sadly that was not the case. Of the many people pointing out inconsistencies in what the app claims to do and others accusing Grey Singapore of capitalizing on this tragedy to gain fame – things seem to have gone sideways in colossal ways.
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