Inmarsat announces digital and crew welfare events at London International Shipping Week

Source: press release, 23 May 2019

Ronald Spithout, Inmarsat Maritime President
Ronald Spithout, Inmarsat Maritime President (photo: Inmarsat)

Inmarsat, global provider of mobile satellite communications, has confirmed that it is renewing its support for London International Shipping Week (LISW) when the event returns for its fourth edition from 9th to 13th September 2019. Inmarsat will be holding two industry-shaping events at its City Road headquarters during LISW, focusing on the crucial industry topics of crew welfare and digitalisation.

“Our events on digital disruption, cyber security and maritime safety during LISW 2017 demonstrated how satellite connectivity plays a pivotal role in enabling and accelerating the digitalisation of the entire shipping industry,” says Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime.

“In 2019, we are taking a more focused approach to the conversation, assessing how the new digital reality is taking shape in a variety of operational and business settings, including the importance of Maritime start-ups, and delivering more collaboration and interoperability.”

On 10th September, Inmarsat will host a day-long “digitalisation” event. The day will begin with the launch of a new report into Maritime Start-Ups with presentations from successful Start-Up accelerator programmes across the UK and Europe. This will be followed by a “Digitalisation in Marine Insurance” seminar hosted by Insurance Marine News. The afternoon session will begin with a keynote speech from world-leading futurist Gerd Leonhard, and conclude with a panel discussion on Diversity and Digitalisation in the shipping industry. Inmarsat will co-host this latter event with the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) International.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA International President says, “The transformation that digitalisation is bringing to the industry is not only in technology and operational processes but also in the way it provides access and opportunity to a more diverse skill set and population. Innovative and forward-thinking leaders in our industry recognise that diverse thoughts, skill sets and approaches are the only way to keep pace with our rapidly changing industry.”

The second day (11th September), the four LISW nominated charities will come together to ask the industry to share its thoughts on the impact of technology on crew welfare, with a particular emphasis on mental well-being. As the industry embraces new technologies to make shipping safer, quicker and more environmentally friendly, Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris), The Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society and Seafarers UK will draw on their 400+ years of combined experience to explore with industry leaders what the seafarers of the future will need in terms of welfare provision.

The crew welfare event at Inmarsat’s HQ will also include a keynote speech from Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President, Shipping & Maritime, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd on: “How Shipping Can Thrive: Today, Tomorrow and in the Future”. His presentation will examine the importance of seafarer well-being to business performance and share examples of technology application, its positive aspects and challenges. The remainder of the event will see four panel discussions covering how technology can improve life on-board, seafarer mental health and how maritime charities can prepare for the new technology age.

“Technologies do not operate in a vacuum and extracting their full potential is dependent on the officers and ratings who work and live at sea,” says Spithout. “With its broad scope and global audience, LISW offers an ideal platform to build on the progress made enhancing welfare among the people driving our industry. We are delighted to be co-hosting an event dedicated to crew welfare with the four major maritime charities and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).”

Nigel Shattock, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Seafarers UK, says, “The LISW nominated charities and ISWAN are thankful for Inmarsat’s support during London International Shipping Week. LISW is rightly all about strengthening and building commercial relationships, and re-confirming London’s key position within a global network of maritime businesses, regulators and related service industries. All this is built on a successful platform of ship operations, none of which would be possible without the crucial contribution of seafarers themselves. Our charities exist to serve seafarers in times of need, and in so doing we seek to support the maritime sector at large.”

The conference will be followed by ISWAN’s International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards ceremony, which honour the welfare heroes of 2019 (as nominated by seafarers) – visit

To find out more about both events and to register to attend visit