Inmarsat puts crew welfare and digitalisation issues centre stage at London International Shipping Week

Source: press release, 27 July 2021

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

Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has released details of its programme for London International Shipping Week 2021, the biennial week-long global shipping and maritime event in London, United Kingdom from 13 to 17 September, 2021.

With in-person events returning to the maritime calendar, Inmarsat’s LISW2021 agenda is headed by the welfare needs of seafarers in the digital age and the role of disruptive technology, at sessions scheduled for Inmarsat headquarters at 99 City Road, London on Monday 13 September 2021 and Tuesday 14 September. Additional guests will also be welcomed online.

“The past year has been one of the most challenging for the industry in modern times and we must never lose sight of the impact the global pandemic has had on seafarers,” says Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “Crew changes, testing, vaccinations and certification are all still live issues, and so is the role digital technology has come to play in their physical and mental health.”

Opened by Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, the event will be chaired by John Adams, Managing Director, V Ships UK. Speakers will include Dr Grahaeme Henderson OBE, Chair of Together in Safety; James Muir, Chief Commercial Officer, Ship Management, V Ships; and Toby Brooks, Deputy Director, Isle of Man Ship Registry.

A separate session will be focused on a presentation of findings from the Inmarsat-sponsored Welfare 2.0 Research Report, with Nick Chubb, Thetius, documenting the impact of technology on the health, well-being and safety of crew onboard. Spithout will also give an overview of investment scenarios for crew welfare technologies, potential obstacles for uptake and bottom-line impacts for shipping.

Four panel sessions are also scheduled, focusing on the realities of crew welfare, digital strategies to boost mental health, and the challenges and opportunities facing the maritime sector as it seeks to provide for better welfare provision.

The second full-day event, scheduled for 14 September, will focus on the role of technology in a disrupted world and is set to feature fresh findings on digitalisation in the maritime sector based on Inmarsat research. The day will include sessions on autonomous ships and a Smart Maritime Network shipowner panel. By popular demand, world-leading futurist Gerd Leonhard also returns to Inmarsat’s event to offer his latest insights on disruptive thinking for the digital maritime era.

“The ongoing acceleration in maritime digitalisation and Internet of Things in the ‘hopefully soon’ post pandemic era, are representing both challenges and opportunities for the various industry stakeholders,” says Spithout. “As we plan our schedule of in-person events for LISW2021 to discuss these topics, I look forward to welcoming our guests to Inmarsat HQ once more on 13th and 14th of September.”