Bulletin: Virtually a success

Yesterday the Chamber held its first ever Virtual Conference.  As we have all become more used to our new reality, we knew we couldn’t put on our usual Annual Dinner, so we wanted to try and create something new, something challenging but most importantly something of value to our members, sponsors and the wider shipping community.

That is why we focussed our Conference on the short to mid-term challenges and what can be achieved by 2030. So much focus, understandably, is on 2050 but to reach those targets we need a plan for the next few years.

I was delighted we had nearly 500 delegates from more than 30 countries demonstrating the global interest in the debates we put on. The morning session with Dr Grahaeme Henderson OBE, Shell’s Global Head of Shipping and Maritime and Nikolas Tsakos was fascinating.  Much of the focus was on the fuels of the future with everyone agreeing that cross-industry collaboration will be key in getting shipping’s energy transition delivered.

The morning panel sessions provided much discussion and debate and all of this was expertly overseen by Paddy Rodgers. In the afternoon Graham Westgarth, Chairman of V.Group and Vice-President of the Chamber and Stephen Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons debated some of the key issues around clean fuels and digitisation.

The six panel debates we had in the afternoon were incredibly well attended and the moderators all fed back brilliantly with a huge amount of issues crossing over between the different discussions. The theme that struck me throughout the day was collaboration, as did the reference to ‘a decade of opportunities’.  If we want to develop clean fuels, if we want fast and safe access to this fuel, if we want to attract the best and the brightest and diversify our industry we need to collaborate.  Industry, academia, international organisations, governments and entrepreneurs must all work together to overcome the challenges we face.  

There was a huge amount for all of us to take away from yesterday and I want to thank all the delegates, the panellists, keynote speakers and sponsors for what was a really fascinating day. A huge thanks to the team at the Chamber as well for all the work which went in to putting on this event. If anyone has any feedback we would love to hear your thoughts and please send any suggestions or thoughts to Tony Jerome.