Dublin Castle · 15th & 16th November 2022

Navigating to 2050

A safe and sustainable maritime future

15th & 16th November 2022
Dublin Castle

A two-day online and in-person event at Dublin Castle, the conference brings key national and international leaders together to debate a safe and sustainable route to 2050.


Safely navigating to a decarbonised maritime sector by 2050 needs extensive knowledge building, investment and holistic approaches. Even more importantly, it needs immediate action.


The issues stretch across the entire marine sector incorporating shipping, ports, energy, supply and storage of fuel, environmentally friendly and safe navigation, operations and effective regulation.


At a time of major challenge, but also very significant opportunity, this conference will bring together a diverse range of key national and international leaders to debate a safe and sustainable route to 2050.


The conference will identify the gaps, synergies, levers and opportunities that will enable progress on this critical journey.


Anthony Gurnee

Anthony Gurnee is the founder and CEO of Ardmore Shipping, established in 2010. From 2000-2008, he was CEO of Industrial Shipping Enterprises, Inc., a container ship and chemical tanker company, and COO of MTM Group, a chemical tankers operator. From 1997-2000 he was President of Nedship International, the Americas arm of a major European shipping and offshore bank. Gurnee was also the CFO of Teekay Shipping Corporation (1992-1997), where he led the company’s financial restructuring and initial public offering. 


He began his career as a financier with Citicorp and served six years at sea as a Surface Warfare officer in the US Navy, including a tour with naval intelligence. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, he earned an MBA at Columbia Business School, is a CFA charter holder, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. Gurnee is a director of Simply Blue Energy, engaged in the development of offshore floating wind, wave energy, and sustainable aquaculture projects.

Maja Markovčić Kostelac

Maja Markovčić Kostelac is a graduate of Maritime Law with a Master of Legal Science. She started out as a maritime lawyer and has over 20 years’ long-standing experience in the maritime field, in both the public and private sector.


Prior to joining the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Maja Markovčić Kostelac was State Secretary for Croatia’s Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure. She took up the position of Executive Director on 1st January 2019.

Francis Zachariae

Francis Zachariae is Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation & Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). After school he joined the Royal Danish Naval Academy, followed in 1983 by service aboard several naval ships. From 1988-1990 he was Aide-de-camp to the Minister of Defence. In 1990 he went back to sea and while still working with the Danish Ministry of Defence, completed a Masters of Science in Public Administration. He was then promoted to Captain and appointed to Brussels to become Branch Chief and Advisor of the EU Council Secretariat. From 1993-1994 Zachariae attended the Collège Interarmées de Défense in Paris. 


In 2006 he was back at the Naval Academy, this time as Commandant. From 2007 he was the Deputy Director General of the Danish Maritime Safety Administration and in 2011, the Deputy Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority. His main tasks were related to maritime regulation, safety of navigation and pilotage in the Danish, Greenland and Faroese waters.

Aoife O'Leary

Aoife O’Leary is the founder and CEO of Opportunity Green. A lawyer and economist with deep environmental expertise, she founded Opportunity Green to realise her vision of working closely with governments, other NGOs and worldwide industry to seize on the opportunities that come with solving the climate crisis. 


O’Leary has worked in and advised various NGOs on the environmental impacts of international shipping and aviation, EU environmental governance and UK community energy. She has also provided legal analyses of the interaction between the different jurisdictions at national, regional (especially European Union) and international (especially the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization) levels to unlock progress on climate regulation. 

Ann Till

With a varied background in the marine industry, Ann Till started her career working in deep-sea shipping before switching to short-sea shipping, in both the ferry and offshore sector. After making the jump ashore, she became a vetting inspector and surveyor based in the Middle East before undertaking various roles in offshore ship management in Europe and Africa.


She is currently Chief Vessel Operator for Ocean Infinity. Ocean Infinity currently operates a number of 8m uncrewed surface vessels in various jurisdictions as well as a fleet of sub-surface robotics. They have a sizable fleet of larger vessels under construction that will be capable of being operated with crew located either onboard or based in shore Remote Control Centres.

Till is a Master Mariner, Chartered Marine Technologist and Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. She is also a proud mentor to a number of junior seafarers, who represent the next generation who will need to adapt to the implementation of new technologies and methods of vessel operation.

Pat Keating

Pat Keating joined Shannon Foynes Port Company in 2002 as its Financial Controller and in 2008 was appointed CEO. With the successful transition of the Shannon Foynes Port Company into a world-class facility with global connectivity widely recognised by the port community, future objectives include the establishment of a port-side national logistics hub and the construction of deep water port infrastructure to service our rich Atlantic offshore renewable energy resources. 


Keating commenced his career with the legacy accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and was admitted to Chartered Accountants Ireland in 1994. He subsequently held a number of management positions in the financial services sector, gaining national and international experience at Citigroup and Bank of America. 


He recently chaired the IBEC Regional Executive Committee for the Mid-West and Kerry and is currently chairman of the Irish Ports Association. Keating is also a member of the Limerick Economic Forum and the Clare Economic Forum as well as a director of the Limerick Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Kirsi Tikka

Dr. Kirsi Tikka has over 30 years’ experience in shipping and offshore. She is an independent director on shipping and technology company boards and until July 2019 was Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor at the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) with a focus on shipping sustainability. She was with ABS for almost 20 years in various senior positions both in Europe and the US. 


Dr. Tikka is actively involved in environmental and sustainability projects and currently chairs the Committee on Oil in the Sea: Inputs, Fates, and Effects for the United States National Academies, where she is a member. She was an advisor to the Maritime Transitions project which launched a report, Practical Playbook for Maritime Decarbonization, during the UN Oceans Conference in June 2022.

Dr. Paul Little

Dr. Paul Little is the founding principal and CEO of City of Glasgow College – Scotland’s Super College. A Harvard Business School graduate and distinguished academic, Dr. Little brings a wealth of experience in tertiary sector transformation, curriculum innovation, change management, and performance excellence. 


He is a past President of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and was recently appointed by HM The Queen to the senior rank of Honorary Royal Navy Captain. Dr. Little is Chair of the European Foundation for Quality Management and was appointed as Chair of the UK’s first Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce in May 2022. 


He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House, Fellow of the Nautical Institute, Chair of the UK Merchant Navy Board’s Futures Committee, and member of: the UK Merchant Navy Training Board, UK Chamber of Shipping, Merchant Navy Association, the Royal Navy’s Strategic Studies Board and Navy Command. 


Dr. Little is also a Board Member of the Scottish Maritime Cluster, and helped shape the Scottish Government’s maritime strategy. A veteran HM Coastguard Officer (30 years), holding various roles including being selected as part of an elite team to train with the US Coastguard, he completed three tours of duty and was subsequently made an Honorary Member of the US Coastguard (Fifth District).