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Conference Themes and Call for Papers

The evolution of the global shipping industry has been characterized by long periods of relative stability (marked by an underlying current of conventional cyclical change) time and again disrupted by short periods of radical uncertainty and fundamental transformation during which the existing business models and forms of organization were seriously challenged. The forces of change have been many and varied and include technological breakthroughs, ingenious organizational innovations, institutional amendments, the entry of new competitors (whether new companies or new countries catering to world shipping markets) and more.

Having profited for an extended period of time from favorable economic conditions, the global shipping industry now clearly faces a new and complex situation that will have long-lasting effects on its competitive and organizational dynamics. This situation may best be described as one of fundamental shipping industry change. Some current challenges call for reconsiderations of the way to conduct everyday business, whereas others call for more deeply transformative and often-collaborative technological, conceptual and organizational responses. The former challenges would include, among others, the credit crunch of late 2008 (which gravely curtailed ship owners’ access to capital) and the current economic recession (which has resulted in considerably lower levels of global goods flows, changes in the patterns of international trade, as well as growing national protectionism). And greatest among the latter type of challenges is the growing concern about the negative environmental and climate impact of seaborne shipping, which threatens life above and under water and presents serious requirements to ship technology and shipping operations.

This international conference is devoted to enhancing our understanding of how to deal with the sources and responses to fundamental transformation in global shipping, and especially in relation to the impact on the climate and the natural environment. The conference accommodates social science researchers (particularly in economics and business administration, business history and organizational and institutional analysis), regulators, maritime companies and cargo owners with an interest in addressing current shipping industry-wide changes and their innovative responses. It will run in two complementary tracks; one devoted to academic research dialogue and one devoted to practitioner meetings and presentations by leading maritime companies and organizations. The conference is organized so as to assure widespread interaction between the two tracks.

As for the academic track, we invite theoretical and empirical research on this topical matter to be presented within one of the following ten themes of the conference:
1. Maritime clusters and their importance to the national economy
2. Innovation in the maritime industries
3. The transformation of maritime industries and their architecture
4. Managing a sustainable shipping company/fleet/pool (e.g., tankers, bulk, container)
5. The dual relationship between shipping and economic globalization
6. The political economy of global shipping and the new world economic order
7. Maritime policy (European, IMO)
8. Green corridors and new logistics structures in world oceanborne trade
9. Structural change in the organization of transportation in Europe (Motorways of the Sea)
10. The sustainable ship (ECO ship/green ship)

As for the practitioner track, we organize workshops and invite presentations broadly around the same themes, but with a more narrow focus on innovative solutions within the following topical areas:
1. Sustainable ferry transportation
2. Ship finance
3. Upholding short sea shipping in the Baltic Region after 2015 (within the current regulatory scenario)
4. Motorways of the Sea/Marco Polo projects
5. Port development in the Baltic Region
6. Optimal vessel/fleet operation
7. Piracy

The official conference language is English.