Last week I drafted some input for Maritime CEO, preparing an interview focused on thoughts towards 2017. Today I discovered that one of my predictions actually just happened(!): “This is a business world entering into a stormy sea of shared economy, digital technology and where global non-shipping tech mastodons such as Amazon and Google may enter parts of our playing fields within a short time.”
For 2017 and onwards, we are taking on our responsibility as a leading arena for the maritime industry in a world that is undergoing several huge systemic shifts. At Nor-Shipping 2017 we seek to engage, provoke, challenge and inspire the industry, beyond what has ever been done before. We are raising the bar, linking our entire strategy to the UN’s Sustainability Goals and DNV GL’s report for the UN – Global Compact. We aim to connect shipping closer to the “outside world”, and will, to an even bigger extent, facilitate concepts linking our entire industry value chain to key developments in the global community. This probably sounds surprising, or even a bit crazy to many industry colleagues, but as shipping plays such a significant role in global trade, development and economy, we need to drive change and develop in accordance with the world we serve.
We’re quite often so busy interacting in our own little global bubble, and the segments we exist in, that we forget to keep up to speed with and learn from other industries. The full potential of our industry’s role will depend on our ability to demonstrate the positive change, value and opportunities we represent to society. Industrial structures, our capitalistic models and the balance of global power are currently challenged and undergoing processes of incremental change. In the global hunt for better and more sustainable solutions – not only limited to environmental ones, but optimizing the way we utilize any resource and capability – we see the need for industry players taking the front-seat and driving change focus in a way that will both support and resolve global headaches, while strengthening commercial opportunities.
This is a business world entering into a stormy sea of shared economy, digital technology and where global non-shipping tech mastodons such as Amazon and Google may enter parts of our playing fields within a short time. Next year, the leaders and executives who have actually realized this, and are aiming to be ahead of the game, should be sure to join us to share ideas, challenge accepted norms and be inspired at a key gathering for the global shipping community.
The parallel shifts of increased need for commercial and technical sustainability, and the transformative digital revolution, should not be considered negative, as they pose some huge opportunities for shipping and the maritime industry. They represent severe potential threats to the industry players that are stuck in current and traditional ways of thinking, and at the same time some fantastic opportunities for the bold ones, willing to turn established truths and mindsets upside down. At the same time, the race for the ocean space picks up speed. This will open up new industries and result in further customers and value creation for maritime players.
Our ambition for 2017 is to be the number one new exhibition experience. We are dedicating all of Hall A to industry players within the broad range of Sustainability & Disruptive Technology, offering an entirely different take on the full industry value-chain and creating an optimal arena for both owners, commercial actors and tech people to get familiar with the leading global tech disruptors.
For owners, commercial and financial players, we will launch innovative new meeting places and opportunities that fuel fresh ways of working across formal structures and established organisations. Shipping people need to review how the sharing economy mindset will “strike” and open up existing silos. We can choose to disrupt ourselves, or potentially be disrupted by completely new players.
We will also continue to go the extra mile to build a more diverse industry, strengthening targets and tools regarding female leaders and the next generation. Again, we will provide new ways of thinking across established structures, to lift and trigger the industry’s understanding of how critical it is to succeed with diversity and an entrepreneurial mindset, garnering talent from within and outside of our field. Through recent years, we have demonstrated our capabilities to address and promote issues that are discussed throughout all shipping clusters, at the same time coming up with specific tools to bridge some gaps and actively inspire the industry.
With a fantastic and dedicated team, we’re ahead of sales from two years ago, and have entered into some new and exciting strategic alliances. I am a firm believer in building bridges and cooperating with others to achieve more. As such, we have invited several new co-operational partners to the table, to create added value for our customers. Customer-driven innovation is key, and we have worked even closer with industry leaders to fine tune the concepts for 2017. I brought my core passion and drive for our industry’s key challenges with me into this role, aiming to provide new concepts, tools and arenas at a time when more than a few are struggling to calculate just exactly when and how the ongoing shifts will affect them. Being a genuine shipping nerd, I consider it valuable to have strong maritime competence within our team.
We are launching a Next Generation Advisory Board parallel to the current board of global top executives, as we believe in strengthening our function for the industry through customer-driven innovation.
And, for the first time, you will find an African (Sub-Saharan continent) pavilion at Nor-Shipping, supplemented with a week-long program on Africa, and a clear priority towards the world’s second biggest growth market. This is a result of a newly established MoU with the South African Maritime administration (SAMSA), creating an optimal platform for business players to identify the best partners and success factors. The general global focus has also been strengthened, both in relation to China and other leading powers, and the new hotspots that have slightly more challenging frameworks and conditions to operate in. Combining this thorough global focus with the leading capabilities of the Norwegian ocean clusters – in terms of spearheading green technology, commercial entrepreneurial mindsets as a key factor for change, and a level of expertise on the Ocean space that brings NASA to Norway – we are well positioned for introducing our global colleagues to the span of opportunities arising from this challenging period in shipping and world economy.