An oceanic awakening
In 2018, Wärtsilä issued a rallying cry which resonated throughout its customer industries, while simultaneously initiating a defining exercise in stakeholder relations.
‘An oceanic awakening’ is a series of actions that endorses the company’s position as a thought leader within the marine and energy sectors. It takes the bold approach of highlighting critical bottlenecks in these fields, and opens the necessary dialogue to ensure transformation occurs.
Wärtsilä’s most important stakeholders are its customers, owners, suppliers, employees, and society in general. ‘An oceanic awakening’ sets its sights most firmly on the latter, with an emphasis upon addressing barriers to development in the infrastructure of our cities, and employing the smart technologies inherent to Wärtsilä’s offering.
The intended result is nothing less than the radical transformation of the world’s marine and energy industries into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound, and digitally connected ecosystem. This will be achieved through open discussion and co-operation with every willing stakeholder group, with the aim of benefiting society at large.
Building a collaborative network
Stepping outside of its own channels, the company is working to create a network of coastal cities around the globe in new collaborations aimed at realising such widespread change. SEA20, which stands informally for “20 smart and ecologically ambitious cities”, intends to establish a league of agents – the cities themselves – with the will and the means to bring about swift development where it matters most.
These cities will work under the common aim of rethinking the marine and energy ecosystems. This will entail embracing digitalisation, and will result in the creation of innovative, smart, and sustainable ways of doing business. Thus far, the cities of Hamburg, Helsinki and Rotterdam have announced their membership, with others to follow shortly.
The first SEA20 Creative Session took place in Hamburg in late August, with key influencers brought together to determine how the cities they represent can best take advantage of the Smart Marine Ecosystem envisioned by Wärtsilä. The chief outcome was a series of future-focused visions, exploring how urban settings could draw upon smart technologies to renew their energy and marine infrastructures.
The first SEA20 summit with political representatives from the member cities will take place in June 2019. The occasion will also be marked by the publication of a global analysis, mapping the future of the maritime and energy sectors with the help of a vast amount of input from stakeholders.
The initiative’s development – and the discussion around the issues it highlights – can be followed on social media using the tags #AnOceanicAwakening and #SEA20.