The Peace Wall

With so much talk about building walls and closing borders, this is the kind of wall I prefer ūüĆćūüĆĪ


I just love the art projects initiated by @nobelpeaceoslo – #UnknownNumbers by Shwan Dier Qaradaki & Johannes H√łie #FreeVoices #ThePeaceWall ūüĆćūüôĆūüŹĹ
On my way to a boat trip with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs and his colleagues from various African countries such as South Africa and Nigeria.The event is organised by NABA – the Norwegian African Business Association.

On my way to the boat I also get to walk by this piece by Martin Whatson 

Diversity – Beyond gender!

A tribute to Sunu, Rani and Iman: Growing up in Norway, my path to independence and creating a safe, healthy life for myself and even with an challenging, exciting career to top it off, is like running a marathon but starting 1km before the finish line, while most of the others have to run the whole distance. Even as a school drop-out entering an industry without any ties or network to begin with. You don’t work anywhere near as hard as them to get the same opportunities.

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Norway still has a way to go, as the development here stagnated for a while, probably because we were given a false impression that equal opportunities were already accomplished, following the doors opened by the first female Prime Minister. However, through the past years we suddenly became alert of the retaining gap and refuelled the focus on diversity and the efforts pursuing equal opportunities. Partly, I would assume, due to the fact that several granted rights were threathened and challenged, as our new governments started off on a different and slightly negative path. But subsequently also due to the fact that our two eminent female role models, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Fishery, has taken an active stand – talking directly and openly of the fact that the private sector needs to clean its act and achieve better diversity.

Their voices and messages are important. Too many other voices try to silence the debates, claiming that we already have “everything” and shouldn’t complain. That we’re lacking solidarity, and should rather focus on what we could do for women in regimes suppressing them. Voices trying to explain the lack of gender balance on executive levels with the women’s (gender based) lack of will to take on leadership roles, and that we should allow them to choose freely rather than pushing women into high level roles.

Well, guess what; I don’t agree with those latter voices. Imbalance doesn’t provide basis for actual choices, neither does unconcious bias and fingers pointed at hard-working mothers (accusing them of sacrifying their kids’ wellbeing for the sake of a career). And many fathers don’t get to choose freely either; who said it should be their responsibility to take the heavier burden as breadwinner of the family? Real choices require real balance.

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Speaking of solidarity; if we stop pursuing equal opportunities, who will inspire our friends in other regions? If we step down, will it be easier for them to step up? If we don’t demonstrate the capabilities as leaders and experts not being based on your gender, who will slowly shift the mindsets of their male counterparts?

Women in business are important role models, both for younger girls in their own community and for girls and women in other communities. Not to mention, for the conservative male (or female) leaders in power positions.

The leader path needs to be walked on to stay open, and we are responsible for not only keeping it open but also widening it for the girls and women entering in our forstod. Women in business also hold the responsibility to look over our shoulder, to see if there’s someone following the same path. And then inviting that someone to walk beside us rather than increasing the distance between us, generously sharing our own experiences and insights.

Our responsibility is to provide mentoring, enable and inspire others to join our journey – which is both challenging and exciting!

In my case, I made a very conscious decision to focus specifically on mentoring and supporting talents from backgrounds and regions outside of Norway. This is under-utilized potential, and the lack of ability to ensure sufficient diversity also across cultures, religions and ethnisity is damaging our prosperity and opportunities for the future. I find the role of mentoring to be just as rewarding and developing for myself as its supposed to be for the mentee. I get extremely inspired and motivated through the small achievements and mental journeys we travel together – growing new perspectives, insight and reflections while I share my existing ones. My goal is to motivate and support, trying to push and challenge them to reach beyond their comfortable zone and pursue opportunities they thought beyond reach.

I try to make sure that I pay forward what some of my role models and mentors/inspiration sources have given me along the way; a nudge, a challenge, an advise, an acknowledgement of which potential I see in them. Tools to provide better self-confidence and turn risk into reward.

This post to mark the Women’s Day is specially dedicated to three younger women who inspire me;

Rani from Karachi, for your amazing journey pursuing your life mission to teach others

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Sunu from Kerala, for your quest and adventure exploring the world of green ship recycling

And to my newest acquiantance, Iman from Djibouti – I’ve just barely started to get to know you, but I’m already convinced that your strong will, intelligent perspectives and hard work will get you exactly where you need to go.

I’m cheering for you all – inspired and humble! Girls like you make me very optimistic for the future!

Happy International Women’s Day everyone – use it to support and drive change for the better!

Through Nor-Shipping, we’ve also celebrated this day launching a new initiative to promote and champion the most powerful and influental female leaders of global shipping. More visible role models for the next generation!

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Birgit

 

London City: Baltic Exchange – quiet night in London

London by night! Following a really nice day spent at the house of Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade, I’m taking full advantage of the rare occasion of having an evening/night off while travelling.

The obvious choices would of course be some combo of a show, shopping, nice dining or other ways to utilize the amazing span of things to do in one of my favourite cities. What did I choose?

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No matter how much I adore my boys, its such a luxury to enjoy the occasional experience of having an entire bed all to myself! #cosleeping #solosleeping

 

Exactly – going to bed at 9:15pm. Enjoying a bed filled with lush pillows and Egyptian cotton, in a small top-level room of an old Victorian building, narrow staircases, no elevator and 2 rooms per floor… Hidden away from the crowds just off Liverpool Street, only one block from the business people here in City. Note down “The Bull and The Hind” and save for your next trip. I always prefer good bargaining when travelling, and this room was at 60% discount – last minute. I also prefer avoiding huge, continental hotel chains, so this small boutique guest house above a pub a few blocks away from tomorrow’s meeting venue was a superb choice.

Tomorrow morning is filled with meetings, then a press event and round table meeting with some 22 journalists after lunch at the Baltic Exchange, organised by Blue-C. I’m chairing the event, and we are happy to see how they have embraced our Disruptive Sustainable focus, bringing this to the table with some great speakers from Jotun, W√§rtsila, ABB and ABS.

All in for a great start to this next week, and sharing some captures of the guesthouse atmosphere! Get your travel shoes on and explore our world ūüôā

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eVeryday: the quiet chivalry

Here in Norway there wasn’t really a big focus on celebrating Valentines, but the media & commercial actors’ focus on 14 February has exploded recent years. Does this mean people’s habits are changing as well?

Chatting with some of my friends earlier today, it became quite clear that we may definitely be aware of the date, but few (amongst us) actually make a big deal out of it, even when it team up with Mother’s Day. I wonder if the buzz in media actually creates false impressions, causing us to be less content and with higher expectations to what we’re entitled to “get”, than we would otherwise be?

My recent hectic trips were followed by a week at home with nights spent between two coughing kiddos taking turns in waking each other through the night, and including a strategy launch, 3 board meetings/presentations, plus plenty of things to catch up on after being off to various destinations. We try and keep weekends quiet and unplanned, to avoid stress.

Here at home, my partner has been down with a heavy flu since Monday, so obviously there wasn’t going to be a lot of fuzz. Not to mention the parental life with kids age 1,5 and 3 being more about (the relationship’s) survival, juggling fulltime++ jobs, frequent periods with travels and/or lack of sleep & trying to get enough quiet, stress-free time with the kids, than Hollywood style romance. Prioritizing each other during a period where time is a scarce commodity (and where you’re not exactly experiencing the most energized or sexy versions of each other) is a superb ambition – but unfortunately too often becomes no more than that¬†in real life…

To be honest, I had forgot about February 14 until I picked up the kids from kindergarden on Friday, and was greeted by a very proud 3 year old, who had made some cute gifts for us both (equal parenting FTW). Walking back home we talked about different occasions & celebrations, and of this Sunday being a day for appreciating the people we love.

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These days luxury is a quiet space with a book and a coffee, so I’m not exactly high-maintenance…

Knut was still talking about this yesterday morning. So while the youngest monkey had his nap, he and I went for a tram ride and icecream hunt, also picking up some treats for dad, adding strawberries and 2 pieces of chocolate cake from the deli to share after breakfast. Valentines for 4… ‚̧ԳŹ‚̧ԳŹ‚̧ԳŹ‚̧ԳŹ

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After 2 weeks of extensive travelling (no wonder Espen went down as a wreck, having served as single parent in the middle of his most hectic work season), I actually reckoned the dad was the one deserving to be pampered this year. I am not very good at showing how much I appreciate his dedication and efforts at home, doing more than his share of our mutual responsibilites, – the little things which makes a world of difference for me as a work traveller. Knowing that the kids have a dad who’s 100% competent and dedicated, and who takes pride in being no less of a parent than I am (or actually, even better), also makes it much easier to chose a demanding job as well as heading off for work trips abroad.

Working towards and talking with women from many different regions and cultures, I am very well aware of how lucky I am. There’s not much room for complaining in a life where you can combine the best of two worlds, having a family and still pursue a meaningful, exciting professional ¬†career. Based on governmental framework and cultural practice, as well as the individual partner you chose, this cm be a huge challenge for many.

Having a family who’s healthy & safe, and all basic needs covered, is not something that we shold take for granted. Having a partner who’s dedication and hard work at home enables you to have your cake and eat it too in terms of work/family, shouldn’t either. I appreciate this every day.

To me, this is so much more important than superficial items and gestures timed to a specific date in the calendar.

A big hand-out to my wingman and the other modern heroes of our time, the men who’s understood the value of being in a balanced relationship, and who demonstrates their chivalry every day – not through big clich√© gestures, but through taking their part at home, claiming their parental role and rights, leaning in, enabling a positive development. Role models who we need to drive change!

Thank you Espen, for being a fantastic father and backbone in our family, and for always challenging me, reminding me of what is most important after all!

 

 

Question: How do you compensate unbalanced workload at home?

Honest reflections from a travelling mom on the plane to Amsterdam:

I know many argue that pursuing a career is something one do for our family. To a certain extent thats true. However, once we reach a certain income level needed to provide for ourselves and an eventual family, I’d claim that this has more to do with individual or mutual ambitions, related to one or several of the following; materialism (both wanting a bigger house or better lifestyle), a need for confirmations/admiration, personal growth, or the belief that we can make a difference. We do it for selfish reasons, impacting time with our beloved ones, at the same time this is needed for contributing towards the growth and prosperity of society. 

Throughout history, this privilegie was most often a man’s privilegie. At the same time, he carried the sole burden of supporting the family. Should the man die, become disabled or simply choose to leave his family, they were in trouble. Should the wife die, the family was also in trouble, leaving the oldest siblings to cover the emotional and practical needs (until an eventual new wife came into the picture). Split roles, split responsibilites and limited understanding of – or ability to switch – the other partners’ role. A great solution, provided that both honored the agreement and stayed healthy & alive.

A dual-career society is in this context more sustainable. It provides familys with two bread-winners and two carers, leaving the family as a unit less vulnerable. The roles are shared to a bigger extent, forcing both to comply and adapt in a different way. Also, life-long committments are rarer, meaning that both needs to build a competence and income fundament to stay independently on, regardless of the current situation and partnership we’re in.

Creating a basis for better mutual understanding of the responsibilites, pressure and everyday life of ones’ partner. At the same time blurring the deliverables and expectations; creating a source for potential disagreement, misunderstandings and continuous struggle to ensure enough capacity spent at home in total.

When one of us choose to pursue a career requiring more time spent away from our family, it rocks the balance of this shared role/resource system. Meaning that one cannot neccesarily contribute fully at home, at least not all the time. And bringing along the need for finding a solution for this, either through using external help or by the increased contrubution from the other partner.

And – here comes my question to you – provided that the other partner takes a heavier share of the responsibilites at home and kids (not “outsourcing” through the use of aupairs or extensive use of external help), how can and should we compensate this?

  • Monthly financial compensation?
  • Paying extra into a pension scheme?
  • Taking on extra responsibilites in low-activity periods?
  • Down-prioritizing individual non-work activities (social time with friends, hobbies etc)?
  • Set a timeline for each partner to prioritize his/hers career, then switch?
  • Set up a shared stock-owning company, where the investments are paid by the career hunter, but stocks jointly owned?

Any ideas are most welcome, so please share!

We might not always be conscious about why and how we pursue our path and make our choices and priorities. Due to the short and long-term consequences of the path we choose for ourselves and our kids,this is a discussion all families or couples planning to have kids should make sure to have. 

Saturday greetings, Birgit

How to (really!!) provoke racists:

The ultimate way to provoke racists and cause a Twitter storm after posting a humanitarian post they didn’t like, seems to be this: Let them know you’re planning to invite a refugee family over for dinner. Based on the ludacris reactions I received when testing this, I changed my mind. I’ll invite a refugee family several times instead. The amount of hate and prejudice filling media and discussion forums, is something we need to fight with more communication, building bridges, tolerance & inclusion.
Full Definition of racism: 1: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race  2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

My resolution for the New Year was to do something every day that supports the ongoing work for a warmer society, working against the prejudice and fear which just increase the gaps and hatred in Europe and Norway these days.

Here in Norway, we were completely shocked to experience the actions of the Ut√łya-killer in 2011, attacking Labour Party youth at their summer camp. But we need to understand that our society has a responsibility (not to excuse the killer in any way), when we fail to identify and support kids & youth who are struggling through their upbringing. We must recognise that a generation of angry and frustrated young men who feels that they have failed (and need someone to blaim for it) is huge a challenge that our society needs to take seriously, and as we even have a share fair of politicians fuelling their insecurity and anger related to immigrants, and the feeling that our country is under a threat by people from other parts of the world. We also need to look at better ways for how to include (not just integrate, which is a word that creates more fences than bridges) people coming to Norway, so that both we and “they” get the personal experience of getting to know each other and understand that most of us are just ordinary people, wanting a safe, stable life for our beloved ones, with the basic needs covered. We fear what we don’t know. It’s human. The responsibility of a serious politician, however, is to ensure finding solutions that limit such fears and risks. Rather than using the fear to achieve short-term populistic results.

What we all fear, regardless of origin, religion and “race”, are extremists and terrorists who perform criminal activities while blaiming it on some outdated or niche-interpreted version of their holy books. In my view, these are very often the same people on each side; the frustrated ones, the scared ones, the ones without hope. Desperate people, with nothing to lose (or the feeling of it). And then you have a much smaller group of people/states, using these desperate, frustrated people to achieve more power, position and/or resources. Fear is a strong motivator, especially when mixed with provocative (and in some cases deliberately wrong) rumors or news articles. It makes us react with the most primal part of our brain, and in that state we are all claws and teeth, ready to defend ourselves, becoming less open than we normally are..

So when a group brainwashed “All-White” sympathizers started bombing my post about the tragedy in Turkey where refugee kids drowned, I decided to follow the discussion to learn more about this small group of extremists. They’re afraid of terror and muslims. They don’t like Jews, colored people or people from other religions. And obviously not what they refer to as traitors of the white race (anyone who objects with their views/opinions). They spread false facts and “news” to others in their communities, stirring up the fear & anger levels. I must say I’m more afraid of what their tunnell view & lack of empathy (and willingness to spread hard-core nazi & fascist propaganda) can do to our society, than of what immigration can do…

Here are some of the high-lights. The obvious one of course was that I’d put my family at risk. Then it got crazier. Apparently, I could risk being beheaded during dinner, or having my daughters (sons) raped and murdered. They’d also eat my eye.

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One guy referred to refugees as barbarians, and me choosing them “over my own People”, at the same time he photoshopped a wrestler jumping at poor little Aylan Kurdi. Who’s the barbarian…?

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A really nice guy, this Scott Sullivan. Now, where did I hear those kind of claims before? Wait, yupp that charming guy called Adolf was sharing exactly the same some years back;Dinner25

I kinda felt sorry for this one girl Cora. Spending her life locked in a “pro-white” “anti-white” mentality. When she ran out of diversity arguments, she compared Europe’s situation to that of Tibet ITibet’s situation is caused by “Chinese immigration”… Wow!

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Digital native? Mentor s√łkes!

gen-z

“The emerging sectors of digital, green and creative offer fantastic opportunities but a greater likelyhood of Gen X, Y and Z coming together each with a different set of skills and reference points. ¬†The challenge; getting each to educate the other in their relative strengths.”

Jeg tror voksne ledere, b√•de i og utenfor shipping,¬†trenger¬†omvendt mentoring for √• takle det store skiftet vi m√łter fremover.¬†Og jeg er¬†den f√łrste til √•¬†innr√łmme at det ogs√• gjelder meg.¬†I forbindelse med at vi i Nor-Shipping har satt digitalsatsning som et av hovedomr√•dene i v√•r strategi frem mot 2020, s√łker jeg etter en tech-mentor som b√•de er yngre enn meg og som er r√• p√• digital teknologi. Spread the word – eller meld deg om du synes dette virker spennende!

Jeg leter etter deg som sluker alt av tech-nyheter, er aktiv i relevante nettverk,¬†kan litt (eller mye) programmering, og ikke er redd for √• tenke h√łyt og utfordre meg skikkelig. Jeg har jobbet som prosjektleder for globalt HR-system og selvbetjeningsl√łsninger p√• nett tidligere, men har fortsatt ikke nok innsikt, og hektiske dager strekker dessverre ikke til for √• f√• brukt s√• mye tid p√• dette som jeg egentlig √łnsker.

Du kan v√¶re jente eller gutt, og i alderen 18-28 √•r (eller yngre), og er en kombinasjon av kreativ, praktiker, opptatt av verden rundt deg og har b√•de integritet og gode verdier. Du liker √• tenke nytt og utfordre det etablerte rundt deg – og t√łr √• utfordre meg!

reverse mentor

Jeg er en engasjert leder med mange baller i luften, som er opptatt av √• bidra positivt i samfunnet, b√•de i og utenfor min egen bransje. Jeg brenner for milj√ł, b√¶rekraftig utvikling, mangfold og innovasjon. Og ganske mye annet. Jeg er litt Duracell i energiniv√•, tenker ofte litt annerledes enn andre, og er veldig glad i √• l√¶re. Jeg er uformell, og en utfordrer. Og jeg liker √• tenke de store tankene. Deretter liker jeg √• gj√łre alt jeg kan for √• realisere dem… Og jeg vil gjerne treffe deg for en kaffe,¬†litt mat¬†eller foran en skjerm iblant ūüôā

Du kan lese mer om meg her på bloggen hvis du tenker at dette kunne vært spennende.

Birgit ūüôā

Hjelp Redningsselskapet å redde liv!

Sivilbefolkningen i Syria slaktes ned av russere, franskmenn, Assad og IS. Jeg blir s√• forbanna og trist¬†over verdenssamfunnets svik¬†at jeg nesten ikke kan f√• sagt det! Heldigvis er det mange som stiller opp for flyktningene i mellomtiden. Frem til jul samler Redningsselskapet inn penger for √• redde flere liv i Middelhavet. Jeg¬†bidrar med¬†1 styrehonorar og (forel√łpig) 2 foredragshonorar – totalt 40 lapper – og oppfordrer andre ledere med tilsvarende¬†mulighet¬†til √• bidra gjennom √• donere et eller flere honorar. Og til alle andre – meld dere p√•, send en SMS med “Livredder” til 2377 og gi 200,- til dette viktige arbeidet! Dette kunne like gjerne v√¶rt oss (og v√•re barn!).

RS Middelhavet

Det n√¶rmer seg desember¬†og vi g√•r mot jul,¬†familiekos og hygge, men ikke minst¬†kaldere tider. Det gjelder ogs√• alle de som flykter fra krig og elendighet. Situasjonen i Syria har ikke utviklet seg til det bedre det siste halv√•ret, og europeiske/internasjonale myndigheter svikter grovt p√• √• h√•ndtere flyktningekrisen p√• en ansvarlig og b√¶rekraftig m√•te. N√• bombes sivilbefolkningen b√•de av russere, franskmenn, Assad og IS – det er helt grusomt!!¬†Dermed vil de desperate flyktninger (som i det hele tatt klarer √• komme seg ut av Syria i live) fortsatt tvinges til √• velge sj√łveien og utsette seg og sine for livsfare.

I mellomtiden ble jeg¬†utrolig glad for √• lese om regjeringens avgj√łrelse om √• forlenge bidraget til Frontex-operasjonen Poseidon, der Redningsselskapets sk√łyte har reddet over 1.200 mennesker s√• langt.

Mange har bidratt på ulikt vis, både med donasjoner og frivillig innsats for flyktningene som ankommer Norge. Vi kan bidra på ulike måter, avhengig av tid, lommebok og kapasitet. Kreativitet og engasjement for verden rundt oss er det som setter grensene.

Gjennom de senere √•rene har jeg i √łkende grad blitt brukt som foredragsholder, b√•de p√• dugnadsbasis og mot betaling. Ofte f√•r man ogs√• en gave som takk fra organisatorene.¬†I YoungShip innf√łrte vi i sin tid en policy om¬†√• erstatte¬†slike gaver med¬†gavekort og¬†donasjon til SOS Barnebyer p√• Filippinene i foredragsholderens navn. For oss som gj√łr tilsvarende l√łnnede eller ul√łnnede oppdrag mot n√¶ringslivet kan det v√¶re en god m√•te √• tenke utvidet CSR p√•¬†– gjennom √• oppfordre arrang√łrene til √• donere bel√łpet som de normalt ville brukt p√• gave/honorar til en verdig sak dere st√łtter.

Og s√• h√•per jeg at verdenssamfunnet og myndighetene snart klarer √• enes om noen grep som kan bidra til √• stabilisere situasjonen i Syria og landene rundt, og f√• p√• plass et apparat som reduserer grunnlaget for smuglernes l√łnnsomme business med √• frakte desperate mennesker over havet. Jule√łnsket 2015 p√• forskudd…

Capture RS Middelh
Faksimile fra http://www.maritime.no 30.10.2015

 

Fra Redningsselskapet:

Akkurat nå risikerer tusenvis av barn og voksne livet i Middelhavet, på flukt fra krig og konflikt. Ditt bidrag vil hjelpe flere famlier trygt i land.

Send LIVREDDER til 2377 og gi 200 kr.
Hilsen mannskapet p√• RS ¬ęPeter Henry von Koss¬Ľ.

Du kan også bruke gavekontoen vår 5005 26 50000 og merke innbetalingen med Livredder.

Humanity washed ashore

Tonight, I have felt sad. Ashamed. Frustrated. Angry. Guilty.

As human beings and world citizens, we are failing. During a tsunami or even 22 July in Norway, there was nothing that most of us could have done beforehand to prevent disaster. 

But what about Syria?. Syria is different. The lost generation of Syria, is the one we deliberately turned our backs on. We witnessed from afar that this would happen. We didn’t stop it. Then we stood by, and let it happen. For a long long time. Since 2011. 

Our cowardness has consequences. Huge ones. Somebody pays the price. Sharing pictures of dead children is terrible, and I still can’t stop crying. But it was probably the only way to shake us out of our complacent and ego sentriccity, where scared and tired children are often referred to as “migrants” or even “terrorists” allowing us to forget the human aspects of this enormous tragedy.

It is time that we act. Let’s open our hearts and doors. Our communities. Riot against the politicians and authorities, make them remember and understand that too many lives are already lost. That Syria has no more children to loose. Each and everyone can do something – and we can prove that humanity still exist. 

Tonight my thoughts are with the people of Syria. I hope this also applies for all the power people of Europeas well. React…

HumanityWashedAshore – where is the dignity in this…

#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik

Call-out for input – shipowners’ views on beaching/recycling! #MastersMentoring

I have for a while been mentoring a¬†very bright Indian student at HBV (Vestfold Maritime College), who’s currently writing her Masters’ thesis about green ship¬†recycling. As part of the process, I use this opportunity to¬†challenge some of my industry colleagues (working for/representing a¬†shipowner) to share¬†your views and experiences by filling in a questionaire (added below in this post).

The thesis title is; “The Shipowners’ responsibility in the Ship Recycling Process, with respect to environmental and safety conditions“.

The topic of¬†beaching and recycling of ships has been HOT for a while, and especially following the news about two of the Fredriksen Group ships being sold to a cash-buyer, then ending up at sub-standard beaching yards in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Obviously, this is one of the remaining areas where¬†shipping get a lot of attention from the non-shipping community – but not in a positive way…

Singapore beaching India beaching Greek beaching

Continue reading “Call-out for input – shipowners’ views on beaching/recycling! #MastersMentoring”

Readers’ digest – summer 2015

  
Whether you’re on vacation or planning a business trip, here are my favorites this summer. Quiet hours spent curled up in a big chair, slowly swinging in a hammock or laying on the beach – slow simple luxury escape from a hectic life and a couple of duracell kids…

1. Norwegian author (former Wilh. Wilhelmsen sailor) Jon Michelet’s third book tributing the unknown heroes of WWII – the thousands of sailors manning the merchant fleet, transporting fuels for the allied forces during 1940-45. A fantastic epos enabling us to peak into the hardship and terrors experienced by young sailors who never signed up for war, but who ended up in the very frontline, exposed to traumas they brought with them to their grave.

2. Infidel. Somalian origined, former refugee and Dutch parliament member Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s memoirs from 2006. A thought-provoking book challenging us on womens’ rights and standing in various muslim societies. Facing the ongoing debate on refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea, this book serves to remind us about the potentials and opportunities that could be brought to the table by people many politicians and people tend to consider strictly as a “cost and burden”… 

3. Stoner. John Williams’ masterpiece from 1965. Dark,forgotten and quite sad. Impossible to stop reading once you’ve started. 

Enjoy your summer and a good book!

“Moving on”: Fantastic song & stop-motion video

I just had to share this sad yet¬†beautiful video by Ainslie Henderson.¬†To me, it nearly accurately describes the strong experience of losing a beloved¬†(father) from¬†cancer.¬†Wanting and trying to do anything possible and impossible to stop the inevitable. The stages of shock,¬†frustration, anger, sadness. Watching¬†the person you love slip away breath by breath. Then, eventually accepting and letting go…

And then, out of the blue, discovering an unexpected twist of fate the very next day, as we discovered that a little baby boy was on his way. The circle of life, in the simplest form.

Moving on:

Moving On is the latest stop-motion video from BAFTA-nominated animator, writer, and director Ainslie Henderson. The clip was created as a music video for Manchester-based British rock band James and tells a story of life and death through characters depicted with yellow yarn.”

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BistandsNorge utfordrer til dugnad: Kan vi bidra med #RoomForSyria??

I flere √•r, og f√łr bredden vestlig media s√• alvoret i situasjonen i Syria, har jeg tenkt mye p√• hvordan man som enkeltmenneske kan bidra p√• en m√•te som utgj√łr en forskjell. Man kan donere penger, signere Amnesty-kampanjer (som vi gjorde i starten, da de fengslet aktivister), men man f√łler seg maktesl√łs her man sitter trygt og godt oppe i nord. Det er lett √• tenke at sm√• bidrag forsvinner i det store kaoset. Hadde det v√¶rt vilje fra verdenssamfunnet til √• agere i Syria p√• et tidlig tidspunkt, s√• er jeg ganske sikker p√• at ufattelig mange menneskers lidelser ville v√¶rt spart. Og hvert eneste menneske teller. Tenk om det var dine barn, din familie, deg selv dette gjaldt, og at verden ikke brydde seg.

Vi har over alt for lang tid sett barn bli ofre for kjemisk krigf√łring, sivile bli fengslet, torturert og drept. Vi har feid situasjonen under teppet gjennom FNs og det internasjonale samfunns unnfallenhet, helt til den bl√•ste rett opp i ansiktet p√• oss i form av IS og alvorlige terrorhandlinger. Vi har t√•lt s√• inderlig vel den urett som ikke rammet oss selv. Det har konsekvenser.

Jeg jublet da jeg leste om¬†dugnaden som i dag er initiert av de sentrale norske bistandsorganisasjonene. Dette m√• vi som samfunn, b√•de politikere, lokalsamfunn og enkeltmennesker st√łtte opp om – vi m√• bidra!

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Newsflash :-)

 

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Translated: “Shaping her own future”

“-We have to show that we¬īre no less¬†than the previous generations, says this year¬īs moderator at the Haugesund conference, Birgit Liodden. The former Secretary general of YoungShip International calls for young entrepreneurs who dare to challenge the established.”

– What did you find most interesting at the conference?¬†– There are several things, but I definitely think the presentation made by Walter Qvam, President of the Kongsberg Group, was outstanding. In particular his challenge to the audience, encouraging us to keep two thoughts in our heads at the same time. We have to succeed at what we¬īre doing here and now, but we cannot close our eyes to the fact that we might miss huge opportunities as the world changes rapidly. He threw out an important reminder on how quickly dominating market players can completely loose their position if failing to stay humble enough towards their surroundings.

– What about the Ministers¬ī efforts?¬†– I had perhaps hoped for a few leaks from the Minister of Trade & Fishery, Monica M√¶land, but¬†she kept her lips sealed.

– Which leaks?¬†– Something about the content/details in the government¬īs maritime strategy, as our entire industry is waiting for. We have had some really exciting dialogue meetings gathering loads of valuable input from the industry, and I am curious to see whether they manage to transform good intentions into hard priorities and actual capabilities. That is something the government has talked a lot about, and our industry truly needs that they take action where they have promised to.

– Couldn¬īt the Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen, reply to any of this?¬†– She didn¬īt share too much information either. The audience¬īs clear message was that they are curious to see which actual (financial or regulatory) instruments will follow in the pipeline, and whether change will actually take place. As an example, there is a full agreement across all parties that more cargo needs to shift from wheel to keel, but they haven¬īt managed to create this shift, and to some extent¬†change has even gone in the wrong direction. An important aspect in this, is that we are talking about so much more than shipping – this is national infrastructure and transportation policies on a higher level. We cannot just keep building new roads, which also needs vast maintenance. The seaway is quite maintenance free.

РYou are probably best known for having developed YoungShip, both in Norway and globally? РYes, that has been a key priority the past years. YoungShip started as Norwegian innovation, but is now the biggest and fastest growing international network for young industry professionals. Today they have 18 branches in 12 countries, and the latest branches before I entered maternity leave include Mombasa/Kenya and Texas. We are spread over several continents, such as Singapore, Cyprus, Dubai, Mexico and Rio. But the organisation is still lead from Norway. It has been incredibly valuable to travel around and meet the various maritime clusters, with their special fields, strengths and challenges.

– You have travelled quite a lot to Haugesund. What describes our cluster?¬†– You are a co-player to M√łre in regards of the offshore segments, and I perceive the Haugaland cluster as highly innovative. Other clusters might be more conservative and founded on a more traditional deep-sea focus, but here you have championed the shift from being a shipping-hub with a long and proud maritime history, to seize the opportunities arising from new technology, new energy solutions and new markets. Additionaly, you have a strong entrepreneurial mindset, which I reckon the main artery of the entire Norwegian maritime industry.

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