ISWAN 2023 Seminar

Join us in Helsinki on Thursday 16th November 2023 for the annual highlight of ISWAN's calendar - the ISWAN 2023 Seminar.

We are delighted to be hosted by the Finnish Seamen's Service, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

For information about our Annual Members' Meeting, held the following day exclusively for members of ISWAN, please click here.

Join us in Helsinki - register to attend here:

Register here

2023 theme

Our theme this year is: 'Addressing the maritime recruitment crisis: Seafarer wellbeing in a changing world'.

The maritime sector faces a growing recruitment and retention crisis. Increased workloads, reduced shore leave, an unwillingness to undertake long contracts, and the over-occurrence of issues such as bullying and harassment, are just some of the factors leading seafarers to seek alternative careers. At the same time, the need for highly skilled, experienced seafarers to steer the maritime sector through the transition to zero-carbon has never been greater.

This seminar will take a solutions-focused approach to exploring how the maritime sector needs to address the recruitment and retention gap. The event will provide the opportunity to hear from a range of industry experts and is of relevance to all stakeholders that have an investment in the future of maritime, including shipping and cruise ship companies, crewing agents, management companies, training institutions, unions, P&I clubs, yacht owners and welfare organisations.


More speakers and panellists will be confirmed in due course...

08:15 - 09:00: Registration & coffee

09:00 - 09:30: Welcome presentations

  • Karin Orsel - Chair of ISWAN; CEO, MF Shipping Group

09:30 - 10:30: Session 1: The voices of seafarers

  • Panel Host: Jason Zuidema - ISWAN Trustee; Executive Director, NAMMA; General Secretary, ICMA
  • Melanie White - Former superyacht chef; Co-founder, Seas the Mind
  • Suneeti Bala - Former Chief Engineer; Trustee, International Women Seafarer's Foundation
  • More speakers to be announced soon

10:30 - 11:00: Networking break

11:00 - 12:30: Session 2: Fair working conditions

  • Panel Host: Charles Boyle - ISWAN Trustee; Director of Legal Services, Nautilus International
  • Andrew Stephens - Executive Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative
  • Isabelle Rickmers - Founder & CEO, TURTLE
  • Maria Carrera Arce - Research Associate, World Maritime University
  • More speakers to be announced soon

12:30 - 13:30: Networking lunch

13:30 - 13:40: Finnish Seamen's Service 50th anniversary

13:40 - 15:10: Session 3: Inclusive culture

  • Panel Host: Karen Waltham - ISWAN Trustee; HR Director/Independent People Management Consultant
  • Dr. Caitlin Bentley - Lecturer in AI Education, King's College London
  • Susanne Justesen - Project Director, Human Sustainability, Global Maritime Forum
  • Georgia Allen - Projects & Relationships Manager, ISWAN
  • More speakers to be announced soon

15:10 - 15:30: Networking break

15:30 - 16:30: Session 4: Changing technologies - Impact on wellbeing

  • Panel Host: Sue Henney - ISWAN Trustee; Head of Marketing, IDWAL Marine
  • Rob Parkin - Business Development Specialist, BazePort
  • Catherine Logie - Direct to Consumer Services Director, Ocean Technologies Group
  • Chirag Bahri - International Operations Manager, ISWAN
  • More speakers to be announced soon

16:30 - 17:00: Final thoughts

17:00 - 18:00: Free time

18:00 - 19:00: Welcome drinks

19:00 - Late: Networking dinner & drinks

Our sponsors

We are extremely grateful to our sponsors, who have made this event possible:

Silver: Bahri, Nautilus International and Isle of Man Ship Registry

Bronze: BazePort, Emarat Maritime, GENCO, Haque & Sons, London P&I Club, NorthStandard and Scorpio Group

Travel: ATPI

Sponsor this event

Delegates from shipping companies, welfare organisations, unions and other maritime industry stakeholders will attend our seminar and we can offer some exclusive promotional benefits both before and at the event to sponsors. For more information, please download the sponsorship brochure below.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Alan Croft at

© Scandic Marina Congress Center

Our venue

The ISWAN 2023 Seminar will be held at the Scandic Marina Congress Center in the heart of Helsinki, by the sea in Katajanokka and a short walk from Helsinki railway station.

Address: Katajanokanlaituri 6, 00160 Helsinki

Visit the website

© Scandic Grand Marina

Book your stay

For those wishing to book accommodation in Helsinki, we can offer a discounted rate on rooms at the Scandic Grand Marina, which is across the road opposite our event venue.

Please visit the Scandic Grand Marina website and enter the discount code BMER161123 when booking - this offers room rates of €129 per night for a single room and €149 per night for a double room, and is valid for bookings from 15 November to 18 November 2023.

Address: Katajanokanlaituri 7, 00160 Helsinki, Finland

Visit the website

Contact us

If you have any questions about this event, or if you require assistance in arranging a Schengen visa to attend, please e-mail us at or call +44 (0)300 012 4279.

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We are grateful to our main funders for their continued support: