On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, celebrating World Maritime Day, Isalos.net in co-operation with the Eugenides Foundation organized the educational conference “Seafarers: At the core of Shipping’s future”.

The event focused on the future of the shipping industry and the maritime profession and in what way will current developments affect them. The IMO Maritime Ambassador in Greece and President of the Eugenides Foundation Mr. Leonidas Dimitriadis-Evgenidis was one of the speakers of the event.

Mr. Leonidas Dimitriadis-Evgenidis, referring to the Greek shipping and its three-dimensional character in the past, present, and future, stressed that the lead of Greek shipping is not only quantitative, but it is “excellence in all aspects”.

In addition, the IMO Maritime Ambassador stressed the importance of seafarers and referred to the attraction of young people to the seafaring profession. He noted that although significant efforts are being made – both by the state and by stakeholders – the attraction to the maritime profession is mostly achieved through experience. The first educational trip as well as communicating the importance of the maritime profession (word of mouth), are considered the most direct ways of attracting the young.

Regarding the issue of autonomous ships, Mr. Leonidas Dimitriadis-Evgenidis stressed that more studies must be done and that “a good sailor will not be easily replaced by an autonomous ship”. Nevertheless, all stakeholders need to highlight the importance of new technologies and their beneficial use for the safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly transport of goods and people.

He also referred to the contribution of the Eugenides Foundation to the distance learning process during the pandemic and to the combination of traditional education with innovative technological elements (blended learning), noting the importance of experiential training onboard. He stressed that: “Greece, as a leader in the maritime industry, ought to be a pioneer in the field of education.”

The conference concluded with questions from the public, both on educational and environmental issues.