Platform for collaborative action

The Global Maritime Forum brings together decision-makers from across the maritime spectrum to work on initiatives that have real impact.

The Future Maritime Leaders essay competition represents an invaluable opportunity for young people aspiring to become the leaders of the future to meet and engage with senior maritime stakeholders. The winners of the competition win a chance of attending the Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit, together with 200 leaders from inside and outside the maritime industry, where they represent the voice of young generations — all expenses covered.

The inaugural Future Maritime Leaders essay competition took place in 2019 and invited youth to share their innovative ideas on how the maritime industry can sustainably deal with major threats and opportunities facing it.

Out of more than 140 submissions from 46 different countries worldwide, three winning essays were selected:

2019 competition winners on stage at Global Maritime Forum's Annual Summit in Singapore

2019 essay topic

The world is undergoing profound transformation. We are seeing trade wars and geopolitical tensions disrupting current patterns of international relations and trade, while at the same time witnessing how emerging markets, for instance in Africa and Asia, are lifting millions of people out of poverty; we are seeing digital technologies bringing profound changes to societies and companies, offering new challenges and new opportunities; and finally, we are observing how rising societal demands for environmental sustainability and inclusive growth are putting pressure on businesses and decision-makers to change their behaviour.

How will these trends affect, shape and transform the maritime industry? How can the maritime industry best prepare for these changes? What is your innovative idea on how the maritime industry can use these challenges and opportunities to contribute to sustainable long-term economic development and human well-being?

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee, which selected the winners of the essay competition, 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)
  • Graham Westgarth, Chief Executive Officer, V.Group, UK
  • Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director, LADOL, Nigeria
  • Oivind Lorentzen III, Director, SEACOR Holdings, USA
  • Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK
  • Kasper Søgaard, Head of Research, Global Maritime Forum, Denmark

Criteria for participation

  • Essay submissions should not comprise more than 1000 words
  • The competition is open to students and young professionals aged 18-30
  • Participants in the competition should also attach their CV when submitting their essay
  • We can only accept documents written in English and saved in PDF format


The competition was open for submissions between 9 April and 30 June 2019. The winners were announced in October (see press release).

For any additional information or clarifications, please download the FAQ or Conditions of participation.

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