Skrivekløe & Stand-in

Spisser pennen og skriver gjesteinnlegg til neste nr av Kapital, samt canadiske La Tribune – morro i sola! ☀️ De skal handle om hhv havgrundere og fremtidens smarte grønne havnebyer; bare å gi en lyd om du har spennende prosjekter og ting på gang som er verdt å få med 🌱💡💦

Vil også oppfordre alle smarte, dyktige engasjerte damer jeg kjenner til å takke ja når dere blir spurt om å skrive eller stille på scenen. Vi trenger flere synlige profiler på tvers av næringslivet!

Har hatt en utrolig hyggelig morgen hos PWC Deals idag med foredrag under tittelen Endringsagenten; om bærekraftig endring, arbeidet i Oslo Business Region fremover, og noen erfaringer og råd knyttet til å være kvinnelig leder i en mannsdominert bransje. Jeg steppet inn for en profilert leder jeg ser veldig opp til, og håper jeg klarte å inspirere deltakerne bittelitt…!

Ha en fin dag i sola!! ☀️

Grateful & Excited: Thank you!!

So finally we were able to reveal my new role and project this week, and I just have to thank everyone for such an amazing flood of warm and engaged feedback!

The idea of mobilizing all good forces to co-create the world’s best ecosystem for ocean entrepreneurs – with a special focus on impact/sustainability – has been a vision for 10 years. But now the role and timing was finally right.

I have missed my former life as entrepreneur, and within the Oslo Business Region sphere I feel that I can actually get to kick off an entrepreneurial project while being in a great organization. The best of two worlds…!

Just before we launched the news, I spotted a post by Richard Branson on Instagram, which I think really describes my past 6 months. It’s a great advise so I’ll share it with you:

I rested, and now I’m ready to kick ass with loads of engagement. We already received numerous enquiries from players who wants to team up and play a role in the ocean initiative- as well as some who wants to cooperate on sustainability across other sectors. I love the word of mouth effect, which will be extremely important in the collaborative work that lies ahead.

I also feel extremely grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received from the entire team of Oslo Business Region! I’ll share more in what we do and who’s who in the team later – but for now I can just say that it’s a really good group of nice, hard-working, down-to-earth guys who shares the same passion for entrepreneurship. Can’t wait to join properly!

Shipping media and social media has buzzed this week, and here’s some of the coverage. More than 30.000(!) read the press release on LinkedIn alone… And the coolest part – not a dime spent on PR agency..

Shipping & the international career markets – my reflections

ImageI spent today at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, where a great crowd of maritime students gathered for the annual Sjölog, 2 whole days of career fair and inspirational seminars. This year´s topic was the career markets – doomed by many Swedes. Luckily, our business is a global one. From my perspective, I truly believe that we can still stay (ahead) in the game, even though countries in other regions such as Asia are bigger, cheaper and represent really strong competition moving forward.








ImageIn Scandinavia we are few, expensive and we have in some areas lost parts of our position in the global markets. Our only way of facing the competition is by being creative. We need to innovate efficiently, utilize our resources in non-traditional manners, look for the opportunities hidden in between and behind the major challenges.

My challenge to all maritime students and the young executives and colleagues of the maritime industry is think new – now! What can you do to solve the industry´s challenges? Do you hold the answers to ongoing technological puzzles? Do you actively seek better ways of performing your tasks & responsibilities? Do you manage to think outside the box, without worrying about others laughing of your ideas because they don´t get them?

I believe that you can do all of this. But you need to start being aware of all the potentials and opportunities you come across. How can something defined as a problem/challenge, be turned into a great opportunity?

These are exciting times in the global shipping industry. They are exciting for us as young people, as we represent the next generation in so many ways. Let´s challenge the seniors, join forces to change old patterns, and lets think new – innovate!

If you work hard, stay focused and really believe in your concepts and ideas, you can actually make it. I don´t claim it´s easy, but wow how fulfilling to chase the unknown in quest for tomorrow´s solutions… What is your idea, your contribution to the industry?

Enjoy sweet & creative dreams tonight…..!


In praise of efficiency; Article published in Lloyd´s List (20 December 2013)

While I was in Argentina, I received a request from Richard Meade, the editor of world-leading shipping paper Lloyd´s List. As the world´s oldest newspaper(!), printed for 279 years, they have taken the brave and modern choice to quit publishing their papers in print, and rather go for the all-digital version (which can still easily be printed if some “old” reader wants to..).

ImageThis is the enquiry I got; “As you may be aware Lloyd’s List will be moving to a digital only format on December 20th after 280 years of print publishing. To commemorate this evolution I am approaching a number of prominent shipping industry figures to write us a series of articles that will feature in the final special edition. I was hoping that I would be able to convince you to write us something representing the youth demographic which will be pitched against one of the many ‘old men of the sea’.”

Quite needless to say that I was sold. Never missing out on an opportunity to challenge and stir up opinions… 😉


The final article, after being run through the desk at Lloyd´s List, can be found here. And below is my original and complete article. These are my views – what do you think is the future for traditional media houses…?

Lloyd´s List, 20 December – “In praise of efficiency”: 

“A few decades ago, the mobile phone was doomed by a generation of ship brokers. “It will never fit our needs”, they claimed. “Ours is a relation based business” or “telex is the only way to effect our work”, were frequent comments. I would kindly ask you, dear reader, to please raise your hand if you still do your main business through the telex.

Today, the smart phones and various pads have once again dramatically changed our communicational habits. We are online 24/7, both you and I expect an instant reply to any enquiry we might have, and all the massive floods of information is out there, on the world wide web.

For the newspapers and magazines, this represents a major challenge. Who will want to pay for freshly printed news, when the online sources are available even fresher? Today, everyone can be a newsmaker. All it takes is a website/blog, initiative and some dedicated time to write, or at least to share other people´s stories. People who (claims to) understand the development, state that while getting access to a enormously bigger pile of news and information, we will in the future seek information that suit our specific views and interests. And that the polarization of various society/interest groups will continue to grow.

This enormous pile of information often comes free of charge, accessible whenever wherever. So how will the traditional media houses comply in this new environment? They have huge costs, large number of staff, huge challenges when it comes to choosing the right platforms and technologies for the rapidly changing and unknown future.

“There is something unique reading the written newspaper physically”, you might argue. Further, you will probably say that you will never get used to reading your newspaper online, or via an iPad or smart phone. I understand where you come from. I am a true passionate for books. Never, ever would I read the so called e-books. It wouldn´t give me the same experience. Well, so I thought until 2 years ago. Which was when I got tired of dragging my heavy books along on quick, efficient business trips or long vacations. On my way to a Lloyd´s List judging meeting in London, I bought a Kindle board – completely by chance.

I still love books. I still have a big shelf filled with my favorites. I still buy books that are special to me and enjoy the feeling of touching the paper and covers. But… Whenever I travel for business or pleasure, I bring my light, small Kindle board with me. It saves weight, I can download new books from anywhere in the world, at any time. It´s efficient. It´s part of the future.

And this leads me to the point of my story. We need to stay efficient to stay in business. The media houses will survive just the same way that any shipping company will survive – by adapting to new times, new technology and changing environments. They will because they have to. They will lead us as readers, in the same way we lead our clients and customers. By delivering the new and optimized solutions before our competitors.

If I need to get updated on the latest news and developments, I will not wait on a printed paper. I will read it digitally, on the bus, at the airport, from a café in Buenos Aires or Dubai, or – in the peace and quiet of my own bed. Not two weeks after it´s published, when I return to my own office. If something important or urgent happens, I want to know the details NOW. I will seek it out via Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, through a quick Google search or through a link sent to me by a business partner. I will download the newest analysis and reports to my iPad/Mac/Phone, and read it from offline modus while on the plane from Mumbai to Oslo. I want to save my favorite articles by marking them with a flag in the digital news archive, not storing the torn-out pages in my desk. I wish to have the information and latest updates available wherever I am. So that I can do business efficiently, and have the right basis for my decisions. I want to know what´s happening now, that might be relevant and affect me and my business.
Yet, at the same time as I want accessible information, I also want to ensure that I get reliable and proven information. This is where the digital papers come in.

Representing an industry with such need for adapting to change, I am very pleased to see that Lloyd´s List, as the oldest newspaper in the world, take their future seriously enough to think progressively. The paper-reading shipping generation will eventually sail towards new horizons, and the generation who is only a few years younger than me, will have grown up with anything from children´s books, games and music gathered in one single small media device. I doubt they will claim the same “unique” feeling when it comes to reading a printed paper.

On behalf of the next generation of shipping professionals, I wish to congratulate Editor Richard Meade and his staff on their brave decision, quite certain that it is the right way to navigate.”

Birgit M. Liodden

SCREW Business as Usual!

IMG_0757     IMG_0758

Just have to share my speakers´ gift with you, and a couple of pictures. Seems Lena & the organisers had been inspired by one of my previous presentations when chosing gifts for their World Maritime Day speakers 😉

The Swedish WISTA Leadership Award “Kompassrosen” was also published during the conference, and with great candidates short-listed, it was really fun to see a previous colleague from the Wilhelmsen group achieving it this year. Congratulations to Karolina Kjellgren of WWL!!

Fierce Competition! Carl-Johan Hagman of Stena Bulk (previous CEO of Höegh) and the Swedish Transportation Minister were among the candidates..
Some impressing and well-deserved words stated by the jury.
YoungShip Board member Christoffer among the women behind the conference.

Akkurat Passe Upassende? – a round head in a square hole

Saueflokk. Hvilken mentalitet er mer norsk enn denne, bortsett fra dugnad? Det å skulle passe inn for enhver pris, og om det så trengs gå på akkord med egne verdier og mål for å tilfredsstille det omverdenen forventer av deg. For meg henger saueflokk sammen med jantelov. Du skal gjøre som oss – bæææh! Du skal følge samme sti som «alle de andre» – dobbeltbææh!

Jeg er vokst opp på Jar i Bærum. Et område hvor ikke alle, men usunt mange, henger seg opp i noen materielle målestokker for å vurdere vellykkethet og prestisje. Ikke at det er unikt for Bærum. Vi ser det allerede med merkepress på klær på barn under barnehagealder. Da jeg var liten begynte det med andre områder, som sportsutstyr, leker og ferier. Pappa handlet brukt på Sportslåven, Barbier og Legoklosser kom fra loppemarked, og feriene var vi på fjellhytte uten vann og strøm – sommer som vinter. Om vi klaget til ham iblant… Når du kom hjem fra en venninne som hadde fått ny og kjempekul sykkel, vært i Syden eller kanskje hadde fått basseng, bil eller hus til Barbiedukkene. Pappa var bestemt og urokkelig – «vi er jo ikke alle andre». Og forklarte at om han handlet brukt, kunne vi få mye mer for pengene enn om tilsvarende ting skulle handles nytt, og at han nektet å sløse bort penger fordi alle andre gjorde det. Med fire barn i familien trenger du ikke Christian Vennerød for å forklare økonomien i det – selv om vi selvfølgelig syntes han kunne være utrolig kjip iblant.

Den holdningen har pappa alltid stått for i sitt eget liv. Han var ganske nerdete som ung, samlet på mynter, frimerker og etterhvert reklame og leker fra femtitallet. Folk rundt lo av ham, for hva i all verden skulle han med det. Pappa kjørte sitt eget løp, kanskje litt ensom iblant, men allikevel fast og overbevist. Og som 29-åring bygget han eget hus for salget av noen få av de myntene han hadde begynt å samle på som liten. Han hadde funnet noen nisjer få andre hadde evnet å se muligheter i, basert på genuin interesse, og det betalte seg på sikt.

Pappa stilte opp i oransjrutet skjorte og lilla bukseseler på skoleavslutninger, snakket om alt med alle totalt uten filter, og jeg var veldig var på å fange opp når andre foreldre smilte litt overbærende av ham. Du vet, de foreldrene med interiørdesignet hus, riktige klær, riktige ferier, riktige venner, etc. De som er helt perfekte. Utad. Det fikk nok han også med seg, men han valgte å ikke bry seg. Han er seg selv. På alle måter. Alltid. Heldigvis. Selv om jeg fortsatt iblant blir flau.

Etterhvert som jeg ble eldre begynte jeg å bli stilt ovenfor noen egne valg. Og hva velger du? Det ubevisste valget i å følge saueflokken i håp om at deres retning passer for deg også, eller tar du et skritt unna og betrakter litt på avstand? For deretter å velge selvstendig. For min del – helt klart det siste. Ikke snakk om at jeg skulle passe inn fordi det var det «alle andre» valgte. Jeg fikk ikke merkeklær hjemme, og ville ihvertfall ikke bruke mine hardt oppsparte lønninger på det, så jeg valgte en egen stil, godt hjulpet av Fretex og UFF. Med mer eller mindre heldig resultat, men det var ihvertfall ikke noe andre hadde valgt for meg. Foreldre av mine venninner ringte bekymret hjem til mine da jeg hoppet av skolen som 16-åring. Men de sto heldigvis for at så lenge jeg brettet opp ermene og jobbet var det helt greit for dem, så lenge jeg ikke ble gående og sløve. Nå tenker jeg at det svaret også krevde en god dose selvtillit fra mine foreldre, kanskje kombinert med erfaring i hvor sta jeg er når jeg har bestemt meg for noe. Og noen egne opplevelser med å bli pushet til å oppfylle andres ambisjoner.

Dette har jeg fortsatt med meg. Selv om det kan ha noen kjipe ulemper, ser jeg faktisk på staheten og selvstendigheten min som noen av mine beste kort. Ved at jeg velger etter eget hode og magefølelse, relativt upåvirket av hva som er riktig i andres øyne. Å tørre å stå for egne meninger og overbevisninger koster mer enn det smaker iblant. Men min erfaring er at i det lange løp har du igjen for det, mangedobbelt. For flertallet går med strømmen.

Om man skal komme noen vei tror jeg man må tørre å lage litt bølger. Utfordre andre og etablerte sannheter, enten det er i forbindelse med jobb eller samfunnet for øvrig. Tørre å jobbe hardt for saker man tror på, selv om ingen andre ser det på samme måte. Uten å la andres synsing styre dine individuelle valg og målsetninger. Enten det gjelder jobb eller utdanning. Tips og råd kommer godt med, og det er lurt å lytte til erfarne fjellfolk, også/særlig som er totalt uenige med deg. Men når alt kommer til alt, har jeg fått mye bedre råd fra andre pøbelmakere som tenker ut av boksen, enn fra selvbegrensende A4-mennesker som styres etter hva de tror alle andre mener, og som lever innenfor trygge, forutsigbare rammer med skylapper i standardformat. Vet jeg generaliserer veldig ift. sistnevnte, poenget mitt er at vi både i samfunn og næringsliv trenger folk som både kan utfylle og utfordre hverandre til å tenke nytt og annerledes.

Tommelen opp for å tenke sjæl!

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