Geir Isene is an innovator, strategist, business developer, coach and author. He has turned around companies and teams in the private and public sector and has forged strategies for well-known companies.
Geir has given a number of talks spanning a wide range of topics. As a coach and mental trainer, he has helped Olympic athletes, stage artists and business executives alike perform their best.
Currently, he holds the position as Head of Innovations at Dualog where he works with a team of top-notch IT developers to create innovative solutions for the maritime industry.
At Shipping2030 Asia (Part of Shipping Transformation Asia), Geir Isene (Head of Innovation, Dualog) was part of a panel discussing how to shipping companies can securing growth in the interoperable digital future. After his panel, we caught up with Mr. Isene to ask him a few questions.
Geir tells us why shipping needs to "get" digital talent and how people (end users) will win shipping's war for data.
Watch the video now or read the transcript below.
Iain Gomersall: As Head of Innovation of a technology company providing innovative solutions for the maritime industry, what do you see as your greatest challenge in the next 3-5 years?
Geir Isene: The biggest thing is about changing people’s minds. It’s not about technology, innovation curve, or exponential growth. It’s always about people. Things are changing faster, and people have to be changed quicker in their attitude and their ways of looking at things.
I think this has been, and will be, the main challenge in the next 3-5 years.
Q: In your opinion, which is more important, purpose & data, or technology?
GI: None of the above. I think that people are more important. If I had to choose, I suppose that purpose and data are closer to people.
Q: The need for innovation has driven demand for digital solutions. How important is it for the shipping industry to attract, and retain, digital talent?
GI: I think it will be extremely important. I think that we need to sexify businesses and the maritime industry completely as potential employees are being attracted elsewhere – like the gaming industry or an Atlassian or Facebook.
I think the maritime industry does not ‘get’ digital talent and does not retain it, and this talent is drawn to other industries.
Q: In an age of innovation and information, who will win shipping’s battle for data? Shipowners? Operators? Ports? End customers?
GI: End customers are going to win the data war – without a doubt. They are the ones generating the data and they will wake up to the fact that it is being exploited - look at Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
Through missteps like that people are getting more aware that their data is valuable, and they are going to take the steps to take back ownership of their data.
Q: Why is an event of this nature important to the industry?
GI: Its important because you get to focus on what is coming as this is a very reactive industry. It only reacts, when it gets hit. I think it will be hit a lot in the future, not only with regards to cyber-security but also commercially by alternative ways of transporting goods - 3D-printing may even play a part.
I think this concept of the industry being reactive will need to change and the focus on the future – which this event is about – is important to raise awareness.
Q: What kind of conversations have you had at the event?
GI: I always look for empathetic people. I am fortunate that I can choose what I work with, and I choose to work with empathetic people. I am generally a very introverted and I don’t like to mingle, and I am not one to talk about the weather.
I like to talk about real, heart-felt topics which people like to share and make a difference. The shipping industry is very self-consumed, uptight and everyone thinks themselves very important. That’s the part I don’t like as I like to work with people who are real people and talk to them.