Education and Training to Solve the Challenge of Tomorrow

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), delivered remarks by video, and participated in a panel discussion, on the topic of “Education and Training to Solve the Challenge of Tomorrow” at the Maritime SheEO conference that took place 23 November. Maritime SheEO is a concept that works towards creating the next generation of women maritime leaders. It focuses on the business case for diversity and works with stakeholders to create solutions that impact the entire maritime industry. 

In her remarks, President Doumbia-Henry emphasized that in looking to the future, it is necessary to provide information on what is being taught today. Rapid technological changes and globalization mean that maritime education must be geared to imparting knowledge as well as changing attitudes to support the creation of jobs through an “entrepreneurial and sustainable mindset.” 

Although it is impossible to predict the future, she maintained that the “human element” should remain at the forefront of discussions in any national maritime and oceans endeavour saying, “This is true whether we are speaking of maritime or ocean industries; fishing, ports, shipping, logistics, offshore drilling – all have to be underpinned by well trained, well educated people.” 

Technology can be a facilitator in spreading knowledge, enabling access to a larger and more diverse group of people. Dr. Doumbia-Henry however acknowledged that technologically-mediated solutions are not the be-all and end-all for everything. Social interaction is key to human development and that must be taken into account with respect to education and training systems that seek to implement educational improvements with technology. 

Dr. Doumbia-Henry underscored the challenge of developing a global consciousness for a sustainable planet, and the importance of better education and training that is accessible to a wider community, building a sustainability mindset as well as skills needed for adaptability and resilience. To support a sustainable maritime industry, Dr. Doumbia-Henry proposed that the wider maritime community needs comprehensive education - both cognitive and affective - in policy, law, optimum management and administration. She emphasized that this should go hand in hand with education and a reflection that goes beyond technical expertise to values of empathy, emotional intelligence, compassion and awareness of the rights of others. 

President Doumbia-Henry emphasized the importance of gender equality and diversity which need every person on the planet to be an agent of change. She said, “The challenge is to have diversity mesh together in an equitable way that advances global goals underpinned by appropriate values. Meeting this challenge starts with mutual respect and the consideration and shared appreciation of the challenges that humanity faces.” 

To view Dr. Doumbia-Henry’s full speech, click here.

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