Birgit Liodden has not hung around in the six months since taking the reins of one of the most iconic brands in shipping. In June, at Nor-Shipping’s 50th anniversary party, Liodden was officially unveiled as the new head of the show.
Nor-Shipping sits alongside Posidonia and SMM on the podium of the must-attend shows in what is an increasingly overcrowded maritime exhibition space.
Liodden, a self-confessed shipping nerd, is ringing the changes at the Oslo show to chime with the current market environment.
“For 2017 and onwards,” she says, “we are taking on our responsibility as a leading arena for the maritime industry in a world that is undergoing several huge systemic shifts.”
At Nor-Shipping 2017 the aim, according to Liodden, is to engage, provoke, challenge and inspire the industry, beyond what has ever been done before.
“We are raising the bar,” she says, “linking our entire strategy to the UN’s Sustainability Goals and DNV GL’s report for the UN Global Compact. We aim to connect shipping closer to the ‘outside world’, and will, to an even bigger extent, facilitate concepts linking our entire industry value chain to key developments in the global community.
“This probably sounds surprising, or even a bit crazy to many industry colleagues,” she admits, before adding: “but as shipping plays such a significant role in global trade, development and economy, we need to drive change and develop in accordance with the world we serve. We’re quite often so busy interacting in our own little global bubble, and the segments we exist in, that we forget to keep up to speed with and learn from other industries.”
In a business world characterised by Liodden as entering into a stormy sea of shared economy and digital technology shipping needs to change its traditional ways of thinking.
“There are some fantastic opportunities for the bold ones, willing to turn established truths and mindsets upside down,” Liodden reckons.
At Nor-Shipping 2017, all of Hall A will be dedicated to companies involved in sustainability and disruptive technology.
Despite current dire market conditions, Nor-Shipping 2017 is ahead of sales from two years ago.
For the first time, visitors will find an African (Sub-Saharan continent) pavilion at Nor-Shipping, supplemented with a week-long program on Africa, and a clear priority towards the world’s second biggest growth market.
The next edition of Nor-Shipping runs from May 30 to June 2 next year.