Finally, after 9 months of planning and preparation, the One Ocean Back to the Future Leadership Program is finally setting sail. On board is 74 people from across the whole maritime industry.
A maritime melting port
We have gathered 74 participants from across the whole maritime industry aboard the beautiful and historic tall ship, Staatsraad Lehmkuhl. Today, we embark on 5 days long journey from Ishigaki, Japan to Manila.
– We have a fantastic group of people onboard. We have participants from 16 different nationalities, people from four different continents, and an age difference of 50 years from youngest to oldest, says the project manager in Maritime Bergen, Even Storheim.
One of the main objectives of this leg of The One Ocean Expedition is to bring different people, with diverse backgrounds and different skills together on the ship.
– The ship will be like a melting pot of exciting and highly skilled people from across the whole maritime industry, says Storheim.
During the next 5 days, the lucky participants will sail from Ishigaki to Manila in the Philippines. During the voyage, the participants will partake in a specially designed leadership course on board.
Statsraad Lehmkuhl has been used to train leaders in the Norwegian navy for decades. Life aboard for the participants is very much like it was for seafarers 108 years ago when Statsraad Lehmkuhl was built. Besides the leadership training, the participants are sailing the ship, hauling ropes, steering, and working aloft in the rig.
Statsraad Lehmkuhl is far from a luxury vessel and there is no luxury onboard. The participants all sleep side by side in hammocks, just as seafarers have done for centuries.
– Living so closely together and sleeping in hammocks is one of the things that makes Statsraad Lehmkuhl so ideal for leadership training. There is no privacy aboard, so it forces the participants to interact with each other all through the journey, says Storheim.
One of the key parts of this One Ocean voyage is to bring actors from across the maritime industry closer together. The industry needs to cooperate in new ways to overcome all the different challenges that the industry is facing. We know from science that people that know each other well, collaborate more and better with each other.
– This One Ocean leg represents our industry’s diversity. It was incredible to see the turnout from the different companies and how they nominated participants from their offices all over the world, says CEO of Maritime Bergen, Siv Remøy-Vangen.
Photo: André Martin Pedersen/Statsraad Lehmkuhl
The leadership program is tailor-made for this voyage by Professor, Olav Kjellevold Olsen from the University of Bergen. He will hold lectures and exercises with the participants every day.
– This will be a fantastic experience for everyone. But it will require hard work and a lot of effort from the participants. A leadership program with me is always intense, especially aboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl, says Professor Olav Kjellevold Olsen.
A close cooperation
The importance of bringing actors from the maritime in Norway together is reflected in the project partners. The One Ocean Back to The Future Leadership Program is a result of close cooperation between the Norwegian Ship Owners Association, Bergen Ship Owners Association, Maritimt Forum, and Maritime Bergen, with good support from the Neptun Foundation and Bergen municipality.
The voyage will end on the 12th of October when Statsraad Lehmkuhl makes port in Manila. Until then we hope for fair winds and good conditions for our 74 fantastic participants.
Hey, ho – let’s go!