Highlights from the Superyacht Forum
Written by: Lynne Edwards
This month, The Superyacht Forum brought together over 800 people from our industry to celebrate a formidable milestone – its 30th anniversary. Amidst the celebrations, a key question surrounded many of the debates and discussions that took place – how can our industry evolve over the next 30 years? From the Young Professionals in Yachting forum to a rallying call for sustainable leadership, here’s a roundup of the stand out forums.
The road to zero
The event opened with two of the industry’s most respected CEOs – Henk de Vries and Peter Lürssen shared their vision for a more sustainable and low-impact maritime sector, though neither compromised their competitive spirit.
Known for some of the most ground-breaking constructions in the industry, Lurssen has set a target to be the first shipyard to build a yacht without a construction engine. Feadship’s CEO continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible for net zero carbon operations with pioneering hybrid inventions, such as Slice – an 85-metre yacht engineered to let natural light filter through.
Of course, there is a lot that our industry can learn from other businesses pursuing carbon neutrality by 2030, such as Bentley Motors Europe whose regional director discussed how they combine a luxury experience with a sustainable strategy.
As at MYS, this remained high on the agenda. Brendan O’Shannassy One of the industry’s most esteemed Captains (who recently talked to us about fostering teamwork onboard) spoke at Red Ensign Group’s session on crew welfare. He, and other panellists, highlighted the need to ensure crew have access to tools and apps that can help them manage the demands of their role.
Pick from a wider pool of talent
How can we ensure our industry becomes more inclusive and attracts talent from diverse backgrounds?
This question was high on the agenda at the Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY) keynote session. Its members believe the industry could take the first steps towards achieving this by reaching out to more people who work in and around the yachting community – for example those within academia, such as marine engineering or biology.
A candid and frank discussion with the industry’s top influencers
From reality TV star Tumi Mhlongo (who rose to fame in as the second stew in Below Deck Down Under season 1) to Captain Tristan Mortlock (whose YouTube channel has 191k subscribers, listen to our podcast with Tristan here), the Superyacht Influencers Debate featured a panel of influencers who are attracting new audiences to the industry.
They candidly discussed the obstacles they’d overcome to achieve success in the industry and shared their suggestions for creating a more inclusive culture onboard – such as mentoring and coaching support from recruiters and training providers during the application process.
Develop responsible and sustainable leadership
As the engineers of our industry continue to evolve their designs to protect our environment, our leaders must align their style of leadership to complement this. LH Operations Manager John Veensma took part in a forum to discuss the importance of developing responsible and sustainable leadership.
John said: ‘Our Climate is changing and our leaders should be aware about the impact their actions and decisions have (in both the short & long term) on their immediate society and the world. They can mitigate any negative impact by implementing responsible and sustainable goals into their day to day operations.’
He added: ‘The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resources are used to continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system, or impacting future generations.’