Maurice Jansen outlines a new project to position maritime talent as a force for change for ports
Today, 55% of the world population live in urban areas, of which some 37% live within 100 kilometres of a coast. According to the United Nations, 68% of world population will live in cities by 2050. Heavy pressure from population, port development and urban development in coastal areas, places ports and their cities at a pivotal moment.
With so many people living and working in coastal regions, the importance of ports and port-cities will continue to grow, not just as economic powerhouses but as catalysts for sustainable renewal. These economic hotspots are increasingly attracting talent and turning port-cities with the best ecosystems into the maritime capitals of the world. As we stand at this crossroad, how should we orchestrate knowledge in these port-city ecosystems so that maritime talent becomes a force of transitional change towards decarbonised and zero waste supply chains and societies?
Today’s maritime capitals are no longer competing on location factors. If you approach competition from an ecosystem perspective, metropolitan port-cities in coastal regions compete on their adaptive capacity - their ability to continually adjust to changing dynamics - both in the environment as well as in the marketplace. They do this on the basis of the accumulation of intangible knowledge, inherited over generations of maritime expertise, closely knit in a dense social network, which is not easily transferrable. The art of it is to know how to orchestrate the ecosystem, how to combine the financial capital with the human capital of the port ecosystem and unlock value for businesses, talent and professionals.