A new vision for the maritime sector in 2050

The Future Maritime Leaders essay competition calls on aspiring decision-makers and opinion-shapers to add their perspective to the discussion on the future of the maritime sector.

The Future Maritime Leaders essay competition represents an opportunity for aspiring high-level leaders of the future to meet and engage with senior maritime stakeholders. The winners of the competition will win an invitation to the Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit 2021 this October in London. There, they will join 200 leaders from inside and outside the maritime sector, and represent the voice of young generations—all expenses covered.

The essay topic

When considering the changes that the maritime sector will go through over the next 30 years as it adapts to a changing world and responds to new societal demands, it is likely that a very different maritime sector will emerge from the one we see today.

Looking towards 2050, addressing structural challenges and opportunities like decarbonisation, equitable growth, inclusion and diversity, seafarer well-being, shifting demographics, digitalisation, increased transparency, the need for resilience and other emerging societal demands, may require fundamental shifts in how the maritime sector operates.

The task of ensuring that the maritime sector is able to maintain its viability and vibrancy whilst addressing these issues is one of the biggest challenges for the next generation of maritime leaders. Consequently, we are asking the potential leaders of the future to outline their vision for what the maritime sector should look like in 2050 and what is needed to get there.

Essay question: What is your vision for the maritime sector in 2050 and what are concrete actions that we need to take within the next five years to make this a reality? 

We encourage participants to focus on one or two areas, outlining both a long-term vision for the maritime industry and one or two crucial actions which can be taken over the next five years to put the industry on the path to achieving this vision.  

How to participate

  • The essay should take the form of an ‘op-ed’, which you can find a definition of here
  • Essay submissions should comprise no more than 1000 words
  • The competition is open to students and young professionals aged 18-30
  • We can only accept documents written in English and saved in PDF format

To participate, please fill out a submission form and send it via email to futureleaders@globalmaritimeforum.org, together with your essay and CV. Please submit these as three separate PDF files.

The competition closes for submissions on 31 May 2021 11.59 pm CEST.

All participants will also be invited to fill in a global survey on the most critical issues facing the global maritime industry.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee tasked with selecting three winning essays is comprised of the following members:

  • Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (Head of Committee)
  • Camille Simbulan, Head of Communication and Special Projects, Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), Philippines; winner of the 2020 Future Maritime Leaders essay competition
  • Matt Dunlop, Group Director HSSEQ & Technical, V.Group, UK
  • Oivind Lorentzen III, Director, SEACOR Holdings, USA
  • Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK

Future Maritime Leaders 2019 on stage at Global Maritime Forum's Annual Summit in Singapore