Europeisk Miljøhovedstad 2019: Oslo rocker mangfold i år, og DU er invitert!

2019 er året hvor vi går fra prat til handling! Vi feirer Miljøhovedstadsåret og Kvinnedagen med å løfte blikket fra MeToo og over til banebrytende initiativer som vil akselerere mangfold og likestilling i Oslos næringsliv.

5. mars er det klart for State of the City 2019 i OsloRådhus , med et stjernelag av dyktige endringsagenter på scenen!

Møt Oslos nye næringsbyråd, Marthe Scharning Lund, sammen med Raymond Johansen, Lan Nguyen Berg, innovative ledere fra bl.a Microsoft, Nordea og EY, spennende gründere som Javad Mushtaq, Kimberly Larsen, Heidi Aven og Tobias Bæch – og kvinnen som har tatt norske SHE Index til verdens nest største marked for å akselerere likestilling i indisk shipping; prisvinnende Sanjam Gupta.

Vi er stolte av å introdusere en rekke nyheter i forkant av årets Kvinnedag!

5 Mars kl.17-19 – Hovednyheter og lanseringer under State of the City 2019:

  • Rangering av Oslos posisjon og utvikling på viktige områder knyttet til innovasjon og verdiskaping, målt opp mot andre byer internasjonalt. Basert på et tungt internasjonalt datagrunnlag, gir rapporten et verdifullt innblikk i Oslos internasjonale posisjon og utvikling. I år følger også ekstra dybdeinnsikt i hvordan Oslo presterer innen to felt; veksten i grønn økonomi, og mangfold/inkludering.
  • Oslo Business Region har gleden av å lansere en verktøykasse for mangfoldsløft i næringslivet, med MAK, Seema, HunSpanderer og SHE Community. Fra 2019 stiller Oslo Business Region krav til alle samarbeidspartnere og Oslos næringsliv om å bidra inn mot et av disse verktøyene, eller tilsvarende initiativ som fremmer likestilling og mangfold
  • SHE Community, med globale partnere EY & Microsoft, lanserer SHE Index Global, med en av verdens mest mannsdominerte næringer (shipping) og 800 indiske selskaper som første pilot. Prosjektet støttes av indiske og norske myndigheter, UN Global Compact, Microsoft, EY og en rekke av verdens største shippingselskaper (bl.a. Maersk, CMA CGM og DP World i India). Samarbeidet med India har kommet igang gjennom Oslo Business Region
  • Lansering av Diversity & Inclusion Pledge for ledere og bedrifter, ved Javad Mushtaq i MAK
  • SHE Community lanserer SHE Index SMB & Startup edition, en indeks som måler og sammenlikner bedriftenes innsats på likestilling og mangfold. Indeksen er utarbeidet etter oppfordring fra Oslo Business Region

Mangfold, miljø og fremtidig konkurransekraft!

Hvorfor styrker vi satsningen på mangfold i næringslivet? Oslo Business Region og Miljøhovedstaden 2019 har valgt ut Europas største mangfoldskonferanse – SHE Conference 6.mars – som en av hovedarenaene for Miljøhovedstadens næringslivsprogram. Det er ikke tilfeldig. Mangfold og inkludering er en helt sentral premiss for å lykkes med å nå FNs Bærekraftsmål, og bidra til fremtidens Oslo med smarte, bærekraftige arbeidsplasser som styrker byens internasjonale konkurransekraft. 

Målsetningen bak nye initiativ og krav er økt oppmerksomhet, bredere og bedre datagrunnlag og raskere endringstakt for likestilling og mangfold i Oslos næringsliv. Ved å stille tydelige krav, bidrar vi også til å skape et større og bredere marked for Oslos gründere som utvikler verdifulle løsninger og innovasjon på et område hvor Oslo kan innta en internasjonalt ledende posisjon, og være europeisk mangfoldshovedstad. Vi ser på mangfold og likestilling som et felt hvor Oslo kan lede an i eksport av løsninger og samarbeid til et internasjonalt marked.

Intervjumuligheter:

  • Byrådsleder Raymond Johansen
  • Oslos nye næringsbyråd Marthe Scharning Lund
  • Miljø- og samferdselsbyråd Lan Marie Nguyen Berg
  • Microsofts EVP for Global Partner Network, Gavriela Schutzer (Global partner med SHE Index, ansvarlig for P&L av $6.5B og leder en global portefølje som influerer over $1 trillion omsetning i økosystemet) 
  • Nordea Head of Wealth Mgt & CEO Norway, Snorre Storset og Thina Saltvedt (lanseringen av Nordea 1 Global Gender Diversity Fund) 
  • Styreleder, SHE Community, Camilla Hagen Sørli (SHE Community)
  • MD of The Perkins Fund, Founder of Broadway Angels, Sonja Perkins (Investeringer i tech)
  • Managing Partner EY Norway, Christin Bøsterud (SHE Index)
  • Professor Tim Moonen, MD, The Business of Cities (Oslos globale posisjon og rangering)
  • Javad Mushtaq, gründer – MAK (Diversity & Inclusion Pledge)
  • Sanjam Gupta, indisk shippingdirektør, likestillingsgrunder & pådriver av SHE Index India
  • Birgit M. Liodden, Director of Sustainability, Ocean & Comm., Oslo Business Region (Miljøhovedstadens næringsprogram og nye mangfoldstiltak)
  • Heidi Aven, gründer – SHE Community
  • Kimberly Larsen, gründer – Time to Riot
  • Tobias Bæch, gründer – Bakken & Bæch

Oslo Business Region, Miljøhovedstaden & partnere inviterer til ytterligere én viktig lanseringsarena kommende uke SHE Conference – Equality Matters (6 mars).

SHE satser modig, og bygger Europas største mangfoldskonferanse, som er valgt ut som en hovedarena for næringslivsprogrammet til Miljøhovedstaden 2019, med Gro Harlem Brundtland, Siv Jensen og Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Elisabeth Grieg og ca 70 ledere & eksperter på programmet. 

Under konferansen organiserer Oslo Business Region og Miljøhovedstaden en parallelsesjon om Partnerskap for Mangfold & Inkludering, sammen med et bredt antall samarbeidspartnere fra Oslos næringsliv; Polyteknisk Forening, MAK, Næring for Klima, Maritime Oslo, WISTA Norway, Professional Women’s Network, m.fl.

Pressekontakter:

Birgit M. Liodden, Kommunikasjonsdirektør, Oslo Business Region: tlf. 951 71 389 birgit@oslobusinessregion.no

Marianna Wachelke, Komm.koordinator, Oslo Business Region: tlf. 906 21 687 mari@oslobusinessregion.no

Ninja Sandemose, Pressekontakt Byråd for næring og eierskap: tlf. 907 957 60 ninja.sandemose@byr.oslo.no

Oslo & Norge: Verdens Beste Destinasjon for Havromsgründere

Tanker om havrom, bærekraft og entreprenørskap – og Norges fremtid

Næringsministeren la denne uka frem tall som viser at havnæringene bidrar med 500 milliarder fra havet, om lag en fjerdedel av norsk verdiskapning fra næringslivet. Regjeringen konkurrerer nå med opposisjonen om å være mest havnæringsvennlig. Store deler av dagens verdiskapning kommer fra petroleumssektoren. En bransje som vil møte strengere krav og større ansvarliggjøring, ettersom flere og flere land strammer til i arbeidet mot lavutslippsamfunn. Hvordan kan vi lykkes med å redusere avhengigheten fra petroleumssektoren, uten å måtte gjennom en skikkelig bakrus?

Osloregionen er blant verdens 3 ledende maritime hovedsteder, og den naturlige inngangsporten til verdens råeste havromsland – Norge! Verden over er vi kjent for globalt ledende selskaper og den mest komplette maritime klyngen du finner noe sted. I objektive størrelsesforhold er vi David i sterk konkurranse med verdens Goliater, men takket være en kombinasjon av Reodor Felgen-egenskaper, små sosiale forskjeller og utforskertrang har vi vist fantastiske evner til å opprettholde en tetposisjon mot ganske mange odds. Da er det et stort paradoks at bransjen samtidig har ligget under radaren i  vårt eget samfunn – noe som i stor grad kan forklares med at petroleumssektoren har vært dominerende i alles bevissthet; fra politiske ledere til mannen i gata. Og at folk flest ikke har noen direkte kontakt med bransjen som frakter 90% av det vi forbruker i hverdagen. Samt at bransjen delvis selvvalgt har holdt seg under radaren, og har manglet synlige, spennende, unge og ikke minst kvinnelige frontfigurer i mediebildet. Men endelig – i 2018 – begynner noe å skje…

Med banebrytende foregangsprosjekter som Røkkes REV-prosjekt, Entrepreneur Ship, Yara Birkeland og Kongsberg/Wilhelmsens etablering av verdens første selskap for operasjon av autonome skip, og spennende prosjekter fra Oslo Havn & Color Line, får vi nå internasjonal oppmerksomhet langt utenfor bransjemediene. Når Erna & co forplikter seg til å ta lead i FNs innsats for bærekraftige havromsnæringer, når New York Times skriver om Oslo Havns pilotprosjekt for fjerning av plast i Oslofjorden, når ungene i gata for lengst har skjønt at plast i havet som dreper hval, fugl og fisk er noe skikkelig dritt, når Nina Jensen går fra WWF til Røkke og Kronprinsparet forteller om sitt engasjement for miljø og hav, begynner bevisstheten rundt både problemer og muligheter å våkne i det norske folk.

Og godt er det! Med FNs bærekraftsmål og DNV GLs Global Opportunity Report har vi nemlig fått inn verdens største innkjøpsordre, og Norges beste billett til avrusning fra en usunn petroleumsavhengighet som ellers vil medføre tidenes bakrus. Med verdens nest lengste kystlinje, og verdens beste kompetanse på innovasjon og krevende operasjoner i havet, står vi ovenfor en ny tidsalder i norsk økonomi og næringsliv, på lik linje med oljeeventyret. Norge er kjent i verden som et modig annerledesland, med ledere som tør å ta grep som er forut for sin tid. Offshore vind og solenergi er nå i ferd med å utkonkurrere olje & gass. Nå gjenstår det å se om politikerne tør å være modige i sine prioriteringer fremover, og ta grep som trengs for langsiktig konkurranseevne fremfor å safe på kortsiktig stemmesanking.

Det vi nå må lykkes med, er å skape en større andel av Norges BNP gjennom fornybare ressurser fra havet!

Ledende bransjeaktører har de siste årene begynt å erkjenne at kombinasjonen av digitalt skifte, økende bærekraftsfokus og behovet for helt nye forretningsmodeller krever en symbiose mellom store selskap og sultne startups for å lykkes. FERD, Wilhelmsen, Klaveness og DNB er eksempler på aktører med lang historie som har skjønt dette. Gründerne trenger gode verktøy, testkunder, erfaringsgrunnlag og gode samarbeidspartnere – mens de store aktørene trenger risikovilje, kreativitet, evne til å knuse etablerte sannheter og stake ut helt ny kurs, og rått engasjement.

Og da mangler vi altså en kritisk faktor i havnæringenes økosystem. En faktor jeg har satt fokus på i alt mitt arbeid de siste 10 årene, fra YoungShip’s fokus på entreprenørskap siden 2009, opprettelsen av Young Entrepreneur Award i 2011 og fjorårets Disruptive Sustainability-hall under Nor-Shipping. Det havromsnæringene her hjemme mangler er et solid norsk dugnadsinitiativ for å skape verdens mest attraktive destinasjon for havromsgründere med potensiale til å forandre verden. Med Oslo som naturlig inngangsport, og i tett samspill med resten av de norske havromsklyngene langs vår langstrakte kyst.

Nå har vi verdens beste timing for å skape dette – sammen! Vi trenger involvering fra næringsaktørene, smarte insentiver fra regionale og nasjonale myndigheter etter modell fra California og Canada, kompetente og risikovillige investorer, tilgjengeliggjøring av fasiliteter for fysisk testing, fysisk cowork- og nettverksarena på tvers, samt tydelig identifisering av de viktigste uløste problemområdene fra Bellona, Zero, WWF og andre miljøorganisasjoner. Her vil aktører som Rederiforbundet, REV, Nordic Impact og en rekke andre aktører være instrumentelle. Og suksessfaktoren vil ikke ligge i et enkelt initiativ fra et begrenset utvalg aktører, men i at så mange gode krefter som mulig jobber sammen og parallelt.

Oslo har et hurtigvoksende økosystem for startups. For fem år siden eksisterte så godt som ingen co-working arenaer og huber i hovedstaden. I dag er Oslo hjemmebane for hundrevis av oppstartsselskap, og mer enn 50 inkubatorer og akseleratorer, samt nærmere 30 anerkjente innovasjonshub’er. Gjennom de siste fire år har Oslo blitt det raskest voksende økosystemet for oppstartsselskaper i Norden, i en tid da Norden leder vei internasjonalt.

Oslo er i posisjon til å ta nordisk lederskap innen bærekraftig endring. Oppmerksomheten rundt bærekraft vokser stadig i alle deler av samfunnet. Å ta del i Oslos startupmiljø har blitt nærmest synonymt med å bidra til arbeidet med å løse FNs bærekraftsmål. Gjennom å fundamentere arrangementer som Oslo Innovation Week på bærekraft, tar Oslo en foregangsposisjon. Dette styrkes ytterligere gjennom sterkt politisk engasjement fra lokale politikere, og feiringen av Oslo som European Green Capital i 2019 vil booste denne posisjonen.

Nå er det på tide å bygge broer mellom Oslos havmiljøer og oppstartsmiljøene. Vi i Oslo Business Region er klare, og inviterer alle kloke hoder og gode krefter med til ekte dugnadsarbeid og dialog for å realisere verdens mest spennende muligheter!

Bli med! Oslo – the Gateway to Silicon Fjords!

100 Tools For Gender Equality: No. 4 – Visible Role Models

I’ve made a global list of more than 100 inspirational maritime women. How many inspirational women can you count within your organization? How many of these are visible internally? And how many of them are encouraged to engage and inspire outside of their own team, unit or organization? Let’s talk a bit about the importance of visible role models!

Elisabeth Grieg

For women joining shipping some 20-30 years ago, there were few female role models. Fortunately, this has improved over the past decade, and will continue to do so; but the number of visible women across the industry is still far too low. I’d really like to see a cultural change in shipping where we proactively seek to promote female role models to a much bigger extent than we currently do.

When I speak with students, youth and younger industry colleagues it’s very clear that we still need so many more role models for those to gain inspiration from. 50+ white males still dominate the picture most people have of shipping. In other words; our industry still looks very homogeneous from the outside, and this reduces our attractiveness not only among females, but also among other groups who don’t identify themselves with our external stereotypic image.

Sanjam Gupta

You could definitely claim that this is up to the women themselves, and that not everyone feels comfortable with attention and visibility. But quite often people don’t consider themselves role models- and fail to realize their own potential impact in inspiring others. And for most, it’s easier to be vocal and visible if you see support and interest from your employer and/or colleagues.

Suha Obaid

So in this case, I think that the lack of visible female role models is so important for shipping, both for the current and next generations, that we should all – any individual, leader and company – nudge maritime women to take up more space and share their knowledge, experiences and drive.

Karin Orsel

Anyone can be a good role model I this context, you don’t need to be a CXO with massive amounts of power. It might just as well someone junior, who is super engaged in their field and able to translate nerdiness into interesting insights. Or someone who’s a female first in their role or field.

Birgitte Vartdal

Today I’d like to challenge you specifically; if you’re an industry female reading this post, think of how you can contribute either within or outside of your own organization. And if you’re a male industry colleague, I’m certain that you know someone in scope. Nudge them, and look into which efforts your company have in place.

Rebekka Glasser Herlofsson

Within every company, every professional field, every segment of our industry, age group and hub there should be visible, inspirational and inclusive leaders to inspire young female talents through their studies and first junior roles, and eventually onwards as they aspire for new challenges – cracking glass ceilings, walls and conquering the infamous glass cliffs.

Here are some of the women that I have gained inspiration from over the years, listed in random order. As you can see there are plenty to pick from:

  • Elisabeth Grieg, G2 Ocean
  • Irene Waage Basili, Shearwater
  • Rikke Lind, Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue
  • Nina Jensen, REV
  • Sanjam Sahi Gupta & Sumi Sahi, Sitara Shipping
  • Karin Orsel, MF Group
  • Birgithe Vartdal, Golden Ocean
  • Capt Radhika Menon
  • Marte Lamp Sandvik, Pareto
  • Christine Spiten, Blueye
  • Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, Tototheo Group
  • Kirsi Tikka, ABS
  • Trude Husebø, Skuld
  • Cathrine Fosse, Western Bulk
  • Victoria Kostic-Nola, Frontica
  • Sofia Fürstenberg, Nor-Shipping
  • Elin Barstad, StormGeo
  • Danae Bezantakou, Navigator Shipping Consultants
  • Diane Gilpin, Smart Green Shipping Alliance
  • Astrid Sonneveld, GoodShipping
  • Isabel Welten, GoodShipping
  • Cristina Santa Maria, DNV GL Singapore
  • Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, Ocean Tech
  • Eli Vassenden, Grieg Star
  • Julie Lithgow, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
  • Sur Terpilowski, Maritime UK
  • Helle Hammer, CEFOR
  • Jenny Braat, Danish Maritime
  • Caroline F. Tiedemand, Eastern Bulk
  • K D Adamson, Futurenautic
  • Maria Belen Espineira, IT&L Legal Consultants
  • May Jensen, CSL Group
  • Sylvia Boer, Damen Group
  • Jeanne Grasso, BlankRome
  • Christine Rødsæther, SVW
  • Joan Nuijten Mueller, Multraship
  • Parker Harrison, Crowley
  • Caitlyn Hardy, Holland America Group
  • Katerina Stathopoulou, Investment & Finance
  • Rose Damen, Damen Group
  • Maria Andersson, DNV GL
  • Yngvil Asheim, BW
  • Namrata Joshi, NYK India
  • Katerina Stanzel, Intertanko
  • Maria Bruun Skipper, Danish Shipowners Association
  • Cathrine Marti, Ulstein Group
  • Naa Densua Aryeetey, Ghana Shippers’ Authority
  • Wenche Nistad, GIEK
  • Wiebke Schuett, Wallem Group Europe
  • Maria Mavroudi, Seascope Hellas
  • Dorothea Ioannou, American P&I Club
  • Sofia Coppola, Studio Legale Garbarino Vergani
  • Carolina Villa, Ship & Crew Services
  • Valeria Novella, Novella Tankers
  • Gunvor Ulstein, Ulstein Group
  • Karen Waltham, Spinnaker
  • Teresa Peacock, Spinnaker
  • Suzanne Paquin, NEAS
  • Bridget Hogan, The Nautical Institute
  • Jane McIver, BC Shipping News
  • Kjersti Kleven, Kleven Maritime
  • Anne Jorunn Møkster, Simon Møkster Shipping
  • Rebekka Glasser Herlofsson, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean
  • Carleen Lyden Walker, NAMEPA
  • Katia Christoforou, Marin Shipmangement
  • Christina Liviakis Gianopulos, American Ship Repair
  • Shehara Jeyawardana, McLarens Group
  • Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, Total Marine Solutions
  • Pia Berglund, Swedish Shipowners Association
  • Janne Kvernland, Nordea Markets
  • Cathrine Fosse, Western Bulk
  • Kathleen Haines, Heidmar
  • Jasamin Fichte, Fichte Legal
  • Olufunmulayo Folorunso, African Shipowners Association
  • Cathy Metcalf, Chamber of Shipping of America
  • Ingrid Due-Gundersen, Höegh Autoliners
  • Cajsa Fransson, Swedish Maritime Authority
  • Hege Skryseth, Kongsberg Digital
  • Synnøve Seglem, Knutsen OAS
  • Anne Marthine Rustad, SINTEF
  • Gina Lee-Wan, Allen & Gledhill
  • Lyndsay Malen-Habib, Resolve Marine Group
  • Sabrina Chao, Wah Kwong Shipping
  • Suha Obaid, Folk Shipping
  • Lena Göthberg, Shipping Podcast
  • Kate Ware, Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore
  • Beng Tee Than, MPA Singapore
  • Kine Nordheim, Next Digital
  • Thina Saltvedt, Nordea
  • Angeliki Frangou, Navios
  • Catherine Hall, Shell
  • Benedicte Gude, Wilh. Wilhelmsen
  • Magdalene Chew, Asia Legal LLC
  • Xue Hua, Weichai Singapore
  • Sigrid Boman-Larsen, Fearnleys
  • Nancy Drakou, Clarksons
  • Pia Meling, Wilhelmsen Ships Service
  • Paulina Lepistö, Höegh Autoliners
  • Carol Howle, BP
  • Caitlin Hardy
  • Jillian Tobias
  • Kimberly Karlshoej
  • Nuvara Uslu Erdonmez
  • Sadan Kaptangolu
  • Yasmina Rauber
  • Maria Angelicoussi, Angelicoussis Group
  • Consuelo Rivero, Ership
  • Athina (Nounou) Martinou, Thenamaris
  • Ingvild Sæther, Teekay Offshore
  • Liv Hege Dyrnes, Thorvald Klaveness
  • Stine Mundal, DNV GL Hamburg
  • Mari Bygstad, Frontline
  • Siv Katrin Remøy, TTS
  • Marianne Aamodt, Clarksons Platou
  • Else Ingebrigtsen, North Edge
  • Siri Anne Mjåtvedt, Odfjell Tankers
  • Anna Larsson, Wallenius Wilhelmsen
  • Bridger Hogan, The Nautical Institute
  • Suzanne Paquin, NEAS
  • Jane McIver, BC Shipping News
  • Namrata Nadkarni, IHS Fairplay
  • Nicola Good, IHS Fairplay
  • Jane Porter
  • Sandra Speares
  • Helen Kelly, Informa
  • Tanya Blake, Safety at Sea
  • Lucy Budd, Seaways/Nautical Institute
  • Audrey Dolhen, CMA CGM
  • Inger Klein Thorhauge, Cunard
  • Nicole Langosch, AIDA
  • Serena Melani, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Kate McCue, Celebrity Cruises
  • Nathaly Albán, Celebrity Cruises
  • Pinky Zungu, Durban Harbour
  • Cleopatra Doumbi-Henry, World Maritime University
  • Sigrid Teig
  • Kristin Eckhoff, EBC
  • Helen Riley, Lorentzen & Stemoco

And so so many more….

Now, let’s work together to make sure this list of visible role models grows exponentially during the coming years! And please share your input with me – which of your female role models are missing from the list..?!

Enjoy your weekend // Birgit

100 Tools for Gender Equality: No.1 – Mentoring

I have dedicated 2018 to promote gender equality in shipping, challenging the industry from within once again. In the coming months I have set a target for myself to find and share 100 examples/tools that any small or large company within our industry can use to join the #DiversityShip movement, and deliver on UN Sustainable Development Goal No.5. If you have a good tool or would like to praise your employer for an initiative, please share it and I’ll include and spread it 😃

The first tool, which is completely free of charge to implement, and extremely efficient, is mentoring. I think every leader in shipping should take on a “pay it forward” attitude, and volunteer to mentor a young talent. And as there are fewer girls still, and some additional obstacles, you would be wise to mentor a female. And to add an extra perspective, see if you can contribute towards a female with a different cultural background than yourself..

Did you know that WISTA Norway has developed a really good female mentoring program together with YoungShip? It can and should be reused in other countries!

I have been mentoring students and other industry colleagues for the past 8 years (mostly girls of non-Norwegian backgrounds) and I’d claim that I’ve gained just as much inspiration, knowledge and insights from them as they did from me.

Also, I’ve had a number of male and female mentors myself, and absolutely sure that I wouldn’t have enjoyed such an exciting career without them and their wise words. Forever grateful for the time that leaders like Roberto and Elisabeth have spared in their hectic daily lives..

Sunu, whom I mentored during her masters degree, and whom I still keep in touch with, is one of them. An amazing and hard-working talent from India, who you can learn more about in this article from Klaveness. They took her on as intern, before she went to DNV GL. Today she is working for Opera Software, which is great for them, but a loss of talent from a shipping perspective (as she wrote a brilliant thesis on responsible ship recycling..)

#WomenWhoMoveTheWorld #WISTA #WomenInShipping

Countdown: Posidonia! #MissionToSeafarers

We are counting down for plenty of good networking with great industry friends & colleagues in Greece for the Posidonia Events next week, and hope to see many of you there! There are strong contrasts when the global shipping elite meets in Greece to do business, and at the same time we’re just extremely aware of the situation facing the thousands of refugees and crew assisting in rescuing operations across several parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Supporting the refugees is key, but at the same time – how do we as an industry support the crew rescuing them as well?

I’m joining the Mission to Seafarers panel debate on Friday 10 June, and if in Greece make sure to get updated on the heavy situation facing the seafarers when they assist a vessel/boat in distress:

Mission_to_Seafarers_Posidonia
“Plans for the Eastern Med and Assistance to Crews Affected by the Refugee Crisis”

The humanitarian crisis at sea in the Mediterranean continues to make the headlines. Migrants are escaping war zones and taking dangerous journeys in dilapidated vessels to find sanctuary in the EU. So how should crews respond if they are caught up in an emergency rescue? In this interactive workshop, Mission experts will explore the legal and welfare issues for the shipping industry.

Last year Nor-Shipping raised nearly 50K GBP for Mission to Seafarers during the Nor-Shipping week. We are truly happy that our good friends at Posidonia Events share our view on their important work – naming MTS as their official 2016 charity.

 

Featured in Seatrade magazine Q4 2014 // Young Entrepreneur Award 2015

Last September I met Seatrade magazine´s editor Bob Jaques for a lunch interview in London, related to my work with YoungShip and the Young Entrepreneur Award. This top-notch award will be handed out at Nor-Shipping 2015 for the second time during the official Nor-Shipping Opening Conference  Tuesday 2 June…

The award promotes and honours young maritime entrepreneurs below 40, who has shown the courage and bravery of chasing their own ideas, working their butts off to develop their concept, raise capital in challenging markets and who pave the way for the rest of us to stay sharp and alert – eager for new technology, business commercialization and a finding the uninvented paths and tools for a better sustainable future for the maritime industry and the global society. You can read more about our previous award (2013) in Maritime Executive, following the CMA Connecticut 2013.

Make sure to stay updated via the award media partner Seatrade for more details about this year´s nominees, last year´s winner – Tor M. Østervoll of ECOsubsea – and Nor-Shipping 2-5 June 2015, to be found in the current and next issues of Seatrade and on www.nor-shipping.no, but below is the article featured in the Q4 issue of Seatrade. PS: Note that its still possible to nominate young entrepreneurs

Also, this was my last interview before formally leaving YoungShip to pursue new & exciting opportunities following my current maternity leave. It was a difficult decision to make, and it was with mixed emotions I informed the board of my choice. What a fantastic journey it has been! It´s been 9 years since I registered as an ordinary member of YoungShip Oslo, which at the time was the only branch outside Bergen…. Hard to believe what a huge wave our dedicated, hard-working and volunteer board resources has created, and which fantastic results, enthusiasm and attention we have all taken part in creating. YoungShip – the future of shipping <3 <3

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Ungt Entreprenørskap “Leder for en dag”; Oppsummering

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Dette kan anbefales! Har tilbrakt dagen med Sofie som går 3. år på VGS, og som har vært med meg på en helt vanlig og variert dag på jobb. Hun hadde gjort research før hun kom og ga et veldig bra inntrykk. Jeg er orntli´ imponert! Positiv og hyggelig, og med reflekterte og modne holdninger til jobbinnstilling, grunnverdier og viktigheten av å brette opp ermene når det trengs. Ekstra imponerende å bruke 3 dager på lederkurs med Ungt Entreprenørskap og ute på jobb med meg midt i russetiden. Og etter vår dag sammen skulle hun videre – rett på neste jobb(!) Akkurat den type jenter vi trenger fremover, hodet på rett plass og bein i nesa!

Ungt Entreprenørskap gjorde en super jobb med gjennomføring og matching av lederpar, pluss debrief etterpå. De fyller en viktig rolle i samfunnet vårt, og fortjener masse honnør for at de bidrar til å åpne deltakernes øyne for spennende karrieremuligheter og veivalg.

God kveld!

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Veldig hyggelig tilbakemelding fra “min” ungdomsleder etter gjennomført dag! 🙂

Leder for en dag; Kompetanse for fremtiden

Alle vi som er engasjert i norsk næringsliv og et konkurransedyktig A/S Norge er enige om at kompetanse er viktig. Vi trenger flere som vil utdanne seg til ingeniører, fagarbeidere og for vår del; til en maritim karriere. Og da må vi aktivt ta ansvar, bidra til å vise frem spennende muligheter og engasjerende rollemodeller.

I den anledning utfordret jeg styret i Maritimt Forum Oslofjorden til å bidra til Ungt Entreprenørskaps “Leder for en dag”, som gjennomføres i Oslo idag. Det er et program hvor ledere fra ungdomsbedrifter (u.skole/vgs) får skygge en leder gjennom en arbeidsdag. Mange var på reise, men Harald Serck-Hanssen (som er konserndirektør i DNB!!) tok utfordringen, og en heldig elev skal få bli med ham på kvartalspresentasjon hos DNB i Bjørvika.
Selv får jeg besøk av Sofie Heier, daglig leder i ANTI UB. Deres forretningsidé er å produsere, markedsføre og selge armbånd, og deler av inntektene går til en spesifikk organisasjon som forebygger mobbing av barn. De har gjennom hele skoleåret etablert og drevet ungdomsbedrift med egen forretningsidé.

Jeg håper å gi Sofie litt nytt påfyll, og vise både utfordringer og alt det som er gøy ved min jobb. Hun får bli med på litt styrerelatert arbeid ift YoungShip, planlegging av neste ungdomspolitikersamling under ONS, arbeid med vårt mentorprogram for jenter i næringen, og på besøk til en grunderbedrift hvor jeg skal signere meg inn som nytt styremedlem. Litt av hvert, med andre ord 😉

Håper at dette er noe vi kan bidra enda sterkere inn i neste år, og mobilisere flere ledere fra næringen til å se at dette er et supert tiltak som ikke krevwr stort av oss som er med, men som kan gi veldig god og konkrete effekt.

Bedriftene som stiller opp er; Hafslund, Novartis, GE Healthcare Norge AS, Oslo kommune, BREST AS, IBM,DNB, YoungShip International, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Posten/Bring, Norrøna Concept Store, Proxxl AS, Making Waves AS og Fredskorpset.
Ungt Entreprenørskaps visjon er å inspirere unge til å tenke nytt og skape verdier. Vi i YoungShip har tidligere bidratt på gjennomføring av GründerCamp under Oslo Innovation Week, sammen med bl.a Wilhelmsen og DNV GL. Alle programmene deres er forankret i Kunnskapsløftet og er verktøy for å nå kompetansemål i fagplanene. Ungdomsbedrift er det mest kjente programmet der elever i videregående skole samarbeider om å starte og drive egen bedrift.

Mer om ungdomsbedrift; Gjennom forskning ser vi at deltakelse i Ungdomsbedrift gir unge økt lyst til å ta lederansvar, sier Siv Elin Dammen, daglig leder i Ungt Entreprenørskap Oslo. Gjennom «Leder for en dag» ønsker vi å inspirere elevene til å velge en lederkarriere. Dagens skoleelever skal utføre jobber som ennå ikke er skapt og løse utfordringer som vi bare ser konturen av. Arbeid med Ungdomsbedrift trener evnen til kreativitet, samarbeid og problemløsning.- Dette vil være nøkkelkompetanser i fremtiden, og denne kompetansen vil bli like viktig både i offentlig og privat sektor,avslutter Dammen.
Ungt Entreprenørskap (UE) er en ideell, landsomfattende organisasjon som i samspill med skoleverket, næringslivet og andre aktører jobber for å utvikle barn og unges kreativitet, skaperglede og tro på seg selv. Ungt Entreprenørskap Oslo har ansvar for dette arbeidet i hovedstaden.Ungt Entreprenørskap legger til rette for samarbeid mellom skole og næringsliv for å forberede unge på fremtidens arbeidsliv. Samarbeidsevner, kreativitet og initiativ er evner som trenes gjennom entreprenørskap i utdanningen.
Å lære ved å gjøre, kreativitet, tverrfaglighet, verdiskaping og samarbeid mellom skole og arbeidsliv er kriterier for entreprenørskap i utdanningen.
UE tilbyr et tyvetalls pedagogiske programmer – fra grunnskolen til høyere utdanning – som bidrar til å bygge opp elevers og studenters entreprenørskapskompetanse.Elevbedrift (ungdomsskolen), Ungdomsbedrift (videregående skole) og Studentbedrift (høyere utdanning) er tre av programmene. Her får elever og studenter mulighet til å starte, driver og avvikle sin egen bedrift som en del av utdanningen. 3411 elever/studenter drev sin egen Elevbedrift, Ungdomsbedrift eller Studentbedrift i Oslo i 2013. Organisasjonen er basert på et spleiselag mellom offentlig sektor og privat næringsliv. Et samlet storting støtter opp om satsingen på entreprenørskap i utdanning, og regjeringen har lagt frem en egen handlingsplan på området.
Nettsted: www.ue.no

Update from our Women for Women Int. fundraising on 8 March; WOOWWWWW!!!

Who´d have thought 1,5 month ago, starting from scratch with the 8 March planning, that we´d manage to raise some 50.000 NOK for future female business women? Starting to work on our little idea, brought to the table by Susan Clark (of Nordisk Skibsrederforening), we decided to make Saturday 8 March matter this year. To put solidarity in the front seat, and see how we could create an inspirational event for a good cause. You can read more about the Women for Women International and their social entrepreneurship to empower female victims of war here, as I previously wrote an article on their incredible origin and history… Our headline for the day “The new definition of a Business Woman” describes it quite well, and to me it states so clearly that whether we´re based here in Oslo or in Lagos, Kabul, Sarajevo or Kigali, we all have an important role to play in the ongoing generation shift towards a more open, equal and sustainable global society.

I must say that I´m overwhelmingly amazed!!! Amazed by our fantastic contributors, recruited through Facebook and our networks, who generously donated their own works or art they had at home. Amazed by a number of ab-fab companies, who sponsored our goodie bags with really nice items to pamper our guests – around 70 dedicated and hard working business women. Amazed by the great bunch of women who has been involved in organising the event – not to mention that I am completely and utterly euphoric for our fantastic guests, who put their money where their heart was and enthusiastically placed their bids, building the support for new sponsorships one by one. Madeline Albright said there´s a special place in hell for women who don´t support other women. If that´s the case, I am certain that all of you mentioned above will get a special place in heaven! <3

Working with the WISTA/YoungShip/Høye Hæler event to the benefit of Women for Women Int. has been extremely rewarding, and I am just so happy! Didn´t know if I should laugh or cry (or both) when we got the final auction results, this actually helps more than 20 women turn their lives around – it makes a huge impact and difference for them, their families and their communities…

You guys are the best!!! Joining the 8th March appeals after the gathering at Café de Concert, I kept thinking that changing the world doesn´t require more than one simple thing; for us to engage – care – take action! 🙂

Save the date for next year already now! We´ll be back, and as we only spent 1,5 month to prepare this, imagine what we can achieve with 1 year of dedicated & enthusiastic efforts…. 😉 As one of the driving forces of the WfWi program stated it; “One woman can change anything – many women can change everything!”

Sponsors: Nordisk Skibsrederforening, Baker Hansen, Dagens Næringsliv, KK, Henne, Max Factor, Mary Kay, Clarins, Mester Grønn

Contributors (donations): Grieg Shipping Group v/Elisabeth Grieg, Astrup Fearnley museum of modern art, Jørgen Holen, Laila Hansen, Tone Kristiansen, Ingjo Hjertholm, Sissel Aurland, Lena Eidem, Marion Hansen, Trine Rasch-Willumsen, Anne Grete Istad, Ragnhild Willumsen – and our great project group; Susan Clark, Laila Hansen, Nina Grieg, Paige Young & Eva Charlotte Stenset

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Beyond borders – greeting from Ghana!

Really motivational to read the below message on the Women´s Day yesterday 🙂

When blogging from various locations, though mostly from Norway, I don´t always think about how far a simple post can travel these days. I really enjoy that my readers are widely spread through all continents, and Rekia´s message was a nice reminder that you don´t need to meet in person to inspire each other… Rekia work for the Port Authorities of Ghana, and it will be most exciting to see if she´ll pursuit the idea of applying for Ghanese membership to YoungShip.

Our industry is full of hard-working girls & boys, all over the world. They are the future for securing and improving the bloodstream of world trade and a functioning global economy, and I am so proud to see that YoungShip can be a good tool and channel for strengthening their motivation and joint efforts for continuously making our industry better. More innovative, open, transparent and sustainable 🙂

Happy Sunday!

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8 March: Can one person change the world?

Saturday two weeks from now, we have initiated a somewhat untraditional event (in Norwegian context, that is..). The International Women’s Day is coming up, and as us girls have a quite good (understatement alert..) life here in the north, we decided that the best way of celebrating it, is to expand our focus and put our solidarity hat on for women living in some of the world’s less women friendly countries, where rape, abuse and violence are tools used to control and surpress, both in times of war and of peace…

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More specifically, we will spend a few hours 8 March to raise funds for a unique group of future entrepreneurs!
Women who has systematically been subject to terrible abuse, and in many cases experiencing their local community turning their back on them afterwards.
Women who has been held hostage, raped my militant groups, lost children or their husband along the way, experiences that most of us could never even imagine.
Women who are struggling to secure their families bare minimum survival, at the same time fighting with the trauma of their history and the judgement and tabu issues of their society.

Put yourself in their shoes for a minute; You struggle to make ends meet, you are an outcast in your community, you have very little chance of a better life. Try to imagine what this reality would do to your hopes for life, to your dignity. Then imagine someone suddenly stretching their hand out, offering you support in achieving something different.

Luckily, this actually happpens! All over the world, some extraordinary persons decide to dedicate their lives to change these destinies. All it takes, is actually one single person with the drive and dedication to make a difference.

The social entrepreneur and activist behind Women for Women International is such a person. Zainab Salbi grew up in Iraq, where her father was chosen as the personal pilot of Saddam Hussein. Following a restricted childhood, she escaped to the U.S,only to find herself trapped in an arranged and violent marriage. Again, she had the strength to break out of her misery, and decided to support and empower other women achieving independence and dignity. Starting as a small initiative, Zainab’s organisation has now helped more than 350.000 (!!!!) women in countries as Rwanda, Kongo, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia. What they do is quite simple – and extremely effective; through a 1-year sponsorship program, the above mentioned women are educatied in basic rights, job skills, health and leadership. Upon completing the study, they are provided micro-financing enabling them to start their own local business. The program has an impressive success rate, and many of the women actually end up as local employers for other women, changing their own societies from within…. So simple, yet so genious, isn’t it??!!

In 2011 Zainab was selected among “Top 100 Women: Activists & Campaigners” by The Guardian, and she has received prizes from both Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. Newsweek ranked her among “100 Extraordinary Women who Shake the World” (2011), and she is among the World Economic Forum´s Young Global Leaders, where the Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess are strongly involved. She is the living proof that one person can actually change the world… I see her as the grown-up version of the young Norwegian social entrepreneur Anne Louise Hubert, who started a similar type of initiative during a journey to Kenya (Aid in Action).

From our side, we’re trying to contribute to this great and important organisation. Thanks to a great team of volunteers, sponsors and contributors, we have collected 40 art and photography items, that will be put on auction that Saturday. Among the contributors are Grieg Shipping Group, Nordic Shipowners Association, Astrup Fearnley museum of modern art and a great range of artists and photographers who have donated their own works.

The auction guests are welcomed in on a red carpet, and we have put together a really nice and varied 2-hour program that includes an inspirational speach, mingling with prosecco & hot-dogs, and a live performance with the multi-talented composer and pianist Aksel Kolstad (who has amongst other performed in Carnegie Hall, and described by Times Magazines as “the Quentin Tarantino of classical music”).

Not to mention that the participants will receive a specially designed reusable goody bag containing nice treats generously donated by well known brands such as Clarins, Max Factor and Norwegian business magazine Dagens Næringsliv.

We hope this day will inspire all our guests to incorporate sustainable and responsible focus in their companies and organisations, so that we can put action behind the name of the event; The new definition of a business woman!

The organisers behind it is WISTA Norway, YoungShip and High Heels, all representing engaged and higly skilled women from all segments and levels of Norwegian business life.

P.S: Other cities that organise similar celebrations to benefit Women for Women Int., are London, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Berlin, Sydney and Paris. The main sponsor globally is Bloomberg Philantrophies globalt, and they have ambassadors as Annie Lennox, Sophie Ellis-Beztor and Lucy Liu. The initiative has never before been brought to Norway.

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

Rotterdam update; WISTA Lunch seminar at EuroPort 2013

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Today I visited one of the 4 biggest maritime trade fairs in Europe, the EuroPort in Rotterdam. WISTA Netherlands organised a lunch seminar with participants from all corners of Europe, where I gave a speech covering the topics of our industry´s attractiveness ref. to young professionals, and it´s importance when working on resolving our key global challenges moving forward.

Traveling alone with my little guy, I was completely depending on finding someone to look after him during my speech. And we couldn´t have been luckier; Erszi Rademakers (President of WISTA Netherlands) invited me to deliver him at her place, where he could play with her adorable kids who were with their grandmother. Language barriers fortunately don´t matter much among toddlers/babies 😉

Lots of familiar faces at the lunch, both from the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Greece, Finland etc. – and quite a few interesting new faces and discussions. The audience were really active during the entire session, which is optimal as it makes the energy in the room so much more vibrant. The Dutch region also has several interesting initiatives going on at the moment, including Maritime by Holland.

Following my presentation, the new YoungShip branch in Netherlands was officially launched, and I hope for good and strong support by their industry seniors moving forward. Returning back to Erszi´s home after a hectic but fun session, she invited us to stay for dinner, so Knut got even more time to enjoy his new friends.

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I found a great flat through AirBnB for these two days. Owned by a young entrepreneur, who has his architect office on the ground level, renting out the level above, and living with his girlfriend on the upper 2 levels. Facing one of the quaint charming channels of Rotterdam, in Delfshaven, and upgraded with some really cool modern features by his creative team. On the way back, I got some shots that captured the night atmosphere really well. No filter, no edits;

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Next stop from here is Buenos Aires. Flying out of Schiphol 10am tomorrow, which equals to alarm time 05:30… Too early!

 

 

H for hospitality! Travel letter from Italy :-)

I recently came back from some wonderful days at the Italian riviera. Purpose of the trip was launch of our 15th branch, YoungShip Italy, as I´ve written about in a previous post. Since I gotta bring my little son for travels, I try to make sure the trips are not ending up as stressful and “efficient” trips (airport-hotel-meeting/dinner-hotel-airport), but instead plan for some extra time in each end so we’re both hopefully calm and happy. Luckily, my sister Kristine joined us as baby sitter, plus a friend & her 1y-o daughter. After a flight to warm & sunny Nice Wednesday afternoon, we arrived by car in Genova 2h later. One of my former colleagues in Wilhelmsen, Irene Parmeggiani, took us to the cosy Bar & Pasticceria Mangini at Piazza Corvetto, where we endulged in their specialities while waiting for Alberto Banchero & Carolina Villa.

As the evening fell and they arrived, we went to Valeria´s beach house, between Rapallo & Santa Margherita. We were amazed! Up a small, narrow road, where a lovely house was situated above the bay of San Michele. Valeria´s apartment was warm, cosy and the typical welcoming Italian combination of casual stylish. We gathered outside, around a large wooden table, surrounded by an over-grown pergola. The garden stretched down towards the sea, where only occasional lights outlined the bay below us. Big olive trees lit up te garden from the ground, and on the table – – an enormous bowl of fresh pasta followed by the most tender day-fresh swordfish I have tasted, accompanied solely by spices, oil and porcini mushrooms harvested from the area.. In spite of a hectic day of meetings, plus a 5-hour drive from Rome(!), Valeria welcomed us in the best way possible. We enjoyed a great night of wine and chatting, before retreating back to the 2nd floor apartment they had prepared for us.

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Boat trip to Portofino

IMG_0025IMG_9942The next morning, Valeria left early for her office in Genova and a full schedule of shipping week-meetings and gatherings. Sliding the curtains open, the view which met me was simply amazing. Clear, blue sky and candy coloured houses spread along the hillsides, golden beach and a dark turquoise sea with small wooden boats of various shapes and colours moored to floating buoys all across the bay. Valeria´s mother Francesca greeted us, and had prepared a superb breakfast table for us at the mid-floor terrace. Cakes, fruit, sweets, good & strong coffee and fresh, salty foccaccia (San Michele speciality..!) – all you could want and completely high-carb!

After breakfast, we packed and walked with Francesca down to the beach, where we were taken out to their boat.

Great day for a boat trip, and Francesca pointed out the celebrity houses along the coast, which included Dolce & Gabbana´s and Berlusconi summer houses, Cavalli´s futuristic yacht, plus the number of well-known Italian business families residing in the area. Kristine was allowed to steer the boat for a good while, while Anette & I enjoyed the warm breeze in our hair. Knut, being already quite comfy with boat-life, fell asleep to the rocking and steady engine sound.

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Cavalli´s yacht & Berlusconi´s summer house, – infamous for a few “parties”…

With Roberto Giorgi of V.Ships before the YoungShip launch
With Roberto Giorgi of V.Ships before the YoungShip launch

After a nice lunch in San Michele, I prepared for driving back up to Genova. As the opening and press release were to be held on board a yacht in Porto Antico, I went for a quite casual look, including my all-time favourite (jeans) – but should have remembered that casual has a slightly different meaning in Italy 😉 Nevertheless, a great gathering!

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Almost 100 people onboard the classic motor yacht, which resembles Trygve Hegnar´s Grace here in Norway. The owner was an acquaintance of the organisers, and had graciously lent it to YoungShip Italy for this occasion.

A new first – giving a presentation in front of industry people and journalists bare feet. Added to the laid-back atmosphere, as everyone had to take of their shoes due to yacht restrictions 🙂

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Sunset over the port of Genova

IMG_0105The presentations went great, and afterward we enjoyed a delicious range of antipasti and bubbly drinks, before Andrea & Valeria brought me along to the next venue; Genova Shipping Club and the Burke & Novi´s Dinner Party.

I was given a lift on the back of a Vespa scooter, the best way to get around town.

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Following the Novi party, we went deeper and higher into Genova, to the luxurious and well-preserved villa on a beautiful estate where Bravo Tankers hosted their traditional and prestigious garden party. Lit by torches and buzzing with people, the venue atmosphere was static. Large outdoor grills with chefs slicing tender pieces of wild boar and lamb, and cocktail waiter´s mixing superb drinks for the guests.

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Friday evening, it was time for the prestigious Shipbrokers & Ship agents Gala Dinner, hosted by the Young Italian Brokers´ and Agents organisation. The YoungShip Italia co-initiator Alberto Banchero, has been president of this group until earlier this year, and held the main responsibility for organising this great event.More than 3.000 people were gathered from all parts of the world, though predominantly actors from the the Greek, Italian and British areas.

Saturday was the day for Wista Italy´s conference, where Valeria was among the speakers. We spent some hours relaxing in Sta. Margherita, and met her for a quick coffee following the event, before she headed back to Rome. Enjoyed a quiet evening under the pergola with Anette & Kristine, with various specialities from the Rapallo restaurant Vecchia. Sunday morning we packed our things, and enjoyed some hours at the beach before heading for Piemonte and a private visit to the Rosina sisters´ wineryLa Mesma” in the Gavi district. Amidst all the hectic events of the week, Valeria and her mother had organised the visit ♥

Getting to La Mesma actually turned into a quite funny story; We were on our way, had spoken with Francesca (one of the owners) on the phone and were about 10 minutes (we thought..) from hers. Somehow (or to no surprise..) we managed to confuse the directions, and had to turn. She instructed us to go back and look for a long, white road of pebbles to our left. And so we did. After a while we see a woman walking in our direction, smiling and waving. Not precisely a white road, but – again…

We greet her and she waves us to enter her driveway. With 2 kids in need of new diapers, food etc., we were quickly parked and out of the car. I was shown into their office, where she let me change Knut directly on her office desk. Then, we talked with the whole family; the young handsome son, “la nonna” and nonno, before she walked with us out into the grape fields. We chat away, in her very limited English vs. my limited Italian, taste the sweet, ripe grapes and have a great time in the warm afternoon sun.

Then I comment to her, just on pure coincidence, that we are so grateful to be allowed a visit, and how nice Valeria and Francesca are. She looks at me, eyes square, – who? I try again; “- well, the Novella´s, your family friends?” Now her eyes are just big question marks. It then turns out that this welcoming, charming woman was not at all expecting us – we are in fact a good 10-15 minutes drive from our planned destination… She was just happy to have visitors, and of course; in the most wonderful and laid-back Italian way which I love(!) – opened her house and vineyard up to us as the most natural gesture ever. On top of this, she even escorted us by car to a meeting point, where we were met by the actual Francesca Rosina.

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Francesca and her husband gave us a great afternoon at the peaceful “La Bella Alleanza”, (means Lovely Alliance), named after a treaty which took place in the exact area, during the Napoleonic Wars. Wine production has traditionally been a male dominated industry, but Francesca and her sisters started up from scratch 10 years ago, and now produce excellent white wine. I brought home a cascet of their spumante, which will be saved for a nice occasion – such as the girls´ Christmas Dinner later this year….(!)

Following our visit, Francesca also had booked us in at a super charming B&B (Casa Meli) in the nearby village of Cadepiaggio. I had a quick dinner at Ai Nebbioli, a true hidden gem which can be recommended for any of the dishes I tried. Being our last night in Italy, I watched the babies while Anette & Kristine went out for dinner, as they had covered for me the previous nights while I discovered Genova by night. As it turned out, the waiter at their table had his birthday. And as they got lost in translation over some quite special intestines (not what they expected… ;-)), they were invited to stay and join the celebrations.

Quite a nice end to our week in Italy. Here in Norway, we most definitely have a lot to learn in terms of hospitality – maybe a good idea to start taking after our Italian friends…?

Ciao!

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