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Danish Maritime Forum: Participation rather than presentation

Expect the shipping news vortex to swirl around the Danish capital next week as the latest instalment of Danish Maritime Days takes place. Copenhagen will play host to more than 30 events next week with the centrepiece once again being the Danish Maritime Forum, a high level discussion and debate led by former Maersk high flyer Flemming Jacobs. This is the third edition of the forum and its unique concept of participation rather than presentation ensures a very high calibre of delegates.

Up for discussion this year are diverse subjects like advanced robotics and artificial intelligence; the new wave of protectionist sentiments; China’s financial stability and the fragility of key emerging markets; and changing consumer preferences. As a culmination of the 28 hours’ work, the Danish Maritime Forum participants will come together for a so-called fishbowl – where they will all share solutions and discuss practical next steps to take their ideas from the forum forward.

“Participants are carefully selected senior executives, this year from about 20 different sectors and equally careful geographic spread. These executives and regulators address the pressing issues and future challenges,” Jacobs explains.

Jacobs started his career in the shipping industry in 1960 when he joined AP Moller. He helped to build up Maersk Line into one of the world’s leading containerlines and in 1996 he became a partner of AP Moller. Between 1999 and 2003 he was president and CEO of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL).

A key takeaway from last year’s forum, according to Jacobs, was the realisation of just how dependent each sector is of the other parts of the maritime community.

“It showed the importance of breaking down industry silos and think horizontally,” Jacobs says.
Likely takeaways from next week’s gathering are hard to tell yet.

“That’s really up to the participants,” Jacobs says. “We set the frame and they fill it in. The entire maritime industry is under serious pressure. We all know that. The underlying focus in the forum is to recognise this, address it, and look forward.”

Splash will be reporting live from the forum next week, plus reporters will be at many other events in Copenhagen. Stay tuned.

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