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Participation of the Department of Ports Management and Shipping at the 9th Our Ocean Conference

The Department of Ports Management and Shipping, of the School of Economic and Political Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), participated in the 9th Our Ocean Conference, which took place in Athens, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Center, from April 15 to 17, 2024.

Our Ocean Conferences’ main goal is to promote the ocean’s global governance and bring together governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, the private sector, and NGOs that share a common vision for the protection of the oceans and take action to support this vision.

The Department co-organised, together with the UNESCO Chair on Climate Diplomacy of NKUA and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), a panel entitled “Navigating Waves: Essential Skills for the Youth to Thrive in Blue Economy”. The Department was represented on the panel by the Department’s lecturer and researcher, Dr George Dikaios, whose intervention was titled “The contribution of higher education in blue skills’ interdisciplinarity”.

The other members of the panel were Cheryl Novak (Research Associate, ELIAMEP), Stavros Tsompanidis (Founder & Managing Partner, PHEE), Konstantinos Giannakopoulos (Operations and Circular Economy Manager, Enaleia) and Rania Papadopoulou (Associate, UNESCO Chair on Climate Diplomacy). The panel was moderated by Elena Papadimitriou (Head of Editorial,

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The purpose of the panel was to present practical applications of blue skills beyond the classic ones that are directly related to the shipping sector. The speakers emphasized:

(a) the multitude of professions and opportunities in fields directly related to marine activities or resulting from the use of marine resources,
(b) the role of higher education, and of all educational levels, in promoting the necessary knowledge for job prospects in blue professions and the importance of environmental protection of the seas,
(c) the already existing and currently under development policies of the European Union for the strengthening of blue skills, which are of key importance for the proper management of the maritime space and the economic development through its utilization,
(d) the importance of sustainable blue economy,
(e) good practices from initiatives related to the use of marine resources and their protection,
(f) the role of communication and advocacy as necessary factors to raise awareness among citizens, especially young people, to protect the marine environment through the promotion and modernization of blue skills and professions.

The dynamic audience participation and lively discussion that followed the panel highlighted the current importance and critical role of blue skills. The audience consisted of both university students and professors, as well as officials in the wider government, members of maritime NGOs and executives from shipping companies.

Finally, it is worth noting that George Dikaios was selected and participated as a Young Ocean Leader in the Conference, contributing practically to the preparation of the commitments for the protection and better management of the oceans that emerged from the Youth Leadership Summit.

The presence of the Department of Ports Management and Shipping at the 9th Our Ocean Conference, underlines its devotion to academic excellence, support and promotion -both within and beyond classrooms- contemporary and dynamic knowledge of the broad spectrum of maritime studies and the shipping industry, incorporating all the newest developments that attempt to lead to a sustainable future. 

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