Future Maritime Leaders

Creating an inclusive transition to a sustainable maritime industry

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 2023 this October in Athens—all expenses covered.


As our planet gets warmer, it is becoming increasingly clear that many practices must become more green, considerate, and sustainable. For the maritime industry, this means adopting new fuel types and relying increasingly on data and digitalisation. This transition will not come cheap, so how do we work together to ensure that no one is left behind?

Though the energy transition is crucial, we must still ensure adequate access to innovation and technology for developing countries, which are often hit the hardest by climate change. For these countries, the energy transition could potentially create better employment opportunities, increased gender diversity, and social inclusion.

A BIMCO/ICS Seafarer Workforce report from 2021 predicts that the industry will be missing 26,000 officers in just 3 years time. Held together with the fact that more than half the world’s population is currently below the age of 30, stresses the fact that the industry must make an effort to attract younger generations.

We are asking potential leaders of the future to outline what they think industry leaders and policymakers could do to ensure an inclusive transition in the maritime industry.

Essay question: What does an inclusive transition to a sustainable maritime industry mean to you – and what are your recommendations to industry leaders and policymakers on how this could be achieved for future generations? 


  • 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, send your filled-in submission form, essay, and CV via email to futureleaders@globalmaritimeforum.org. The documents must be submitted as three separate PDF files.

The competition closes for submissions on 14 July 2023 11.59 pm CEST.

A chance to join us in Athens

The Global Maritime Forum is looking for essay contributions with concrete, actionable ideas, and creative arguments from a wide range of perspectives on how shipping can use present challenges and opportunities on decarbonization and human sustainability to contribute to sustainable long-term economic development.

The top three winners of the essay competition will attend the Global Maritime Annual Summit 2023 in Athens on 17-19 October, together with 200+ C-suite leaders from within and without the maritime industry, where they will represent the voice of young generations.

The top ranked participants (number to be decided) and previous Essay Competition winners will be invited to join a virtual seminar for Future Maritime Leaders in August 2023, which will detail their input as to achieving an inclusive transition to a more sustainable maritime industry – from their perspective.

The competition itself represents an invaluable opportunity for young people aspiring to become maritime professionals or leaders of the future to meet and engage with senior maritime stakeholders, as well as giving the younger generation the chance to let their voice be heard.

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 (Chair of Committee)
  • Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
  • Karrie Trauth, SVP Shipping & Maritime, Shell
  • Oivind Lorentzen III, Director, SEACOR Holdings
  • Camille Simbulan, Head of Communication and Special Projects, Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP); and previous winner of the Essay Competition