London September 15, 2017. The sell-out one-day LISW17 Conference and Gala Dinner, both on Thursday September 14, attracted the very highest-level shipping leaders from the UK and around the world. In all, 550 people registered for the conference and 970 for the gala dinner. Anna Kaparaki reports:
Industry leaders focused on “Tomorrow’s Maritime World” at the official LISW17 Conference, in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, one of the most luxurious five-star hotels in the capital.
London 15th September 201. The sell-out one-day LISW17 Conference and Gala Dinner, both on Thursday 14 September (yesterday) attracted the very highest-level shipping of leaders from the UK and around the world. 550 people have been registered for the Conference and 970 for the Gala Dinner. Anna Kaparaki reports:
Top industry speakers from around the globe shared their views and considered opinions on the monumental transformation that the maritime sector is facing from the radical technological developments in automation and other ‘disruptive’ technologies. The next 25 years will see changes in the way trade, people and business models operate. There was clear consensus that the maritime industry must position itself strongly within this changing environment. The conference consisted apart from the welcome speeches of three panel discussions.
Jeremy Penn, chairman of the LISW17 Steering Group, and the general moderator for the conference, BBC broadcaster John Humphrys, opened the proceedings.
Keynote speakers, the Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, and Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization elaborated the significance of shipping in driving trade, economic growth and prosperity globally.
Subsequent questions from the moderator focused on the impact of Brexit on the maritime industry and the future of UK trade within the next 10 years. Both lead speakers expressed optimism for the future of the international maritime industry despite the fact that the “suffering process” had not finished yet.
John Humphrys introduced the three panels.
In the first panel, presentations came from Willem Buiter, global chief economist of Citgroup, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, and Dr Martin Stopford, president of Clarkson Research.
In these presentations there was particular focus on the overarching theme of Tomorrow’s Maritime World.
Topics included automation, disruptive technologies, changes for trade, people and business models, Brexit’s impact on the international maritime industry and the general impact of technological developments on the future. Questions by the moderator concerned digital and unmanned ships, and those raised by the audience included issues related to the well-being of seafarers at sea, existing international regulation, and regulating air emissions from ships.
The second panel focused on Tomorrow’s Needs of the maritime industry.
Discussion included the changing business environment, changing trade patterns, artificial intelligence, the impact of automation on crew and its implications for skills and people.
Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator and honorary QC, provided keynotes, and presentations followed by Sarah Kenny, chief executive of BMT Group; Inga Beale, chief executive of Lloyd’s; and Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, chief executive maritime of DNV GL and chairman, International Association of Classification Societies.
Responses were provided by Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, and Mark Dickinson, board advisor ETF maritime transport section of the International Transport Worker’s Federation. Automation in shipping and disruptive technologies were discussed in depth as well as the advantages, disadvantages and risks of technological developments for the shipping industry. The moderator asked the panellists when did they think we were going to have autonomous ships and what is the biggest obstacle associated with their use. Furthermore, he asked how can the industry prepare itself for digitisation. Panellists agreed that the goal is not to have unmanned vessels but to have safer ones.
The second panel discussion was followed by a presentation by Ritesh Kaushik, maritime professional and law student, former chief engineer and seafarer, on technological developments and 3D printing. Mr Kaushik has been named winner of LISW Tomorrow’s Business Solutions-Awards 2017.
The third panel went on to discuss tomorrow’s business solutions.
The session examined what do seamless supply chains and automated ports mean for technology, for shipping and ports and for the maritime industry generally. Presentations were made by Rupert Pearce, executive officer of Inmarsat; Mikael Mäkinen, president of the marine division of Rolls Royce; and Vladimir Kim, transformation director at Microsoft Services EMEA – the last-named providing keynotes about “how tomorrow may surprise us all.”
Mr Humphrys wound up the event with closing remarks.
Later in the evening, an exceptional black-tie Gala Dinner, preceded by a Champagne reception, took place in the Great Room.
Alderman Lord Mountevans, a London shipbroker who served as the 688th Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2015-16; the chairman of the LISW17 board of advisors, and the chairman of Maritime London greeted attendees.
Guests enjoyed a marvellous gala dinner menu and had great opportunity to network and mingle. Grace was said by His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster; and the loyal toast proposed by Lord Mountevans. The after-dinner address was delivered by Chris Grayling, UK Secretary of State for Transport.
Picture credits: Anna Kaparaki