Collaboration takes center stage at OrbitMI Flow

David Levy
May 29, 2023

A couple of weeks ago we held our first ever OrbitMI Flow event in New York City. Our goal for this event was to come together with our customers, advisors, partners and other stakeholders—in some cases for the first time—to build relationships, share a little news, and offer some ideas from our speakers to get us all thinking a little different (to borrow a phrase).  And, we wanted to have some fun with everyone.

OrbitMI team at FLOW @ashleydartphoto

An event like this only happens with the hard work and collaboration of a lot of people.  As maritime continues to embrace the concepts of collaboration and transparency—even the upcoming Nor-Shipping conference is dedicated to “Partner Ship”-- I thought I’d recap OrbitMI Flow as it demonstrates what collaboration looks like.   

To kick off the event, we were happy to announce the successful integration of Orbit and the SEDNA platform, the first significant development milestone in our partnership. Working together, SEDNA and OrbitMI implemented a solution for our joint customer Stena Bulk that has the potential to transform the way the Swedish shipowner works.  You can read more about that here.

We also welcomed, Kenneth Aasland, Managing Director of Maritime Carbon Solutions (MCS). MCS’s is a joint venture between Ifchor / Galbraiths and OrbitMI that offers solutions to shipowners and cargo owners with precise and real-time information on CO2 emissions from ships.  A former charterer at Teekay, oil trader at Equinor and advisor to the CEO at Kazakhstan National Oil Company, Kenneth shared the cargo owners’ perspective on decarbonization as well as insights based on a career in crude oil markets.

Kenneth Aasland @ashleydartphoto

The JV with MCS’s demonstrates how two companies can come together, leverage their individual strengths, and create something of greater value together than they could individually. MCS showcases how Orbit can be used as an innovation platform on which we and our partners can build solutions for different markets quickly and with minimal investment. 

Something worth noting:  The combination Galbraiths, a traditional shipbroking house founded in 1845 with OrbitMI, a SaaS company founded in 2019, to create MCS represents the kind of collaboration (see “think different” above) that will move maritime forward.  It’s a testament to the innovative leadership of CEO Bjorn Andersen, who was also in attendance.

Another maritime player—one that’s been around even longer than Galbraiths—was in attendance. Paul Delouche and Laurent Hentges from the Marine and Offshore division of Bureau Veritas (BV) were interviewed by Ali Riaz, CEO of OrbitMI.

Ali Riaz and Paul Delouche @ashleydartphoto

You may know BV as a so-called class society, but it is so much more than that.  Bureau Veritas is a worldwide leader in Testing Inspection and Certification that provides solutions and services help its clients reduce risk, improve their performance and meet the challenges of quality, health & safety, environmental protection and social.  In addition to Marine and Offshore, BV operates in multiple segments including agri-food; automotive & transport; buildings & infrastructure, consumer products & retail, cybersecurity, commodities, cross-market services, oil & gas; power & utilities.  Created in 1828, the Group has more than 82,000 employees located in more than 1,600 offices and laboratories around the globe and $6b in revenues (2021).

Paul and Laurent shared their point of view on maritime and the challenges facing our industry.  Their main client needs are in the areas of Monitoring, Performance and Simplification. 

  • Monitoring: Cost reduction such as fuel consumption and increasing requirements for regulatory compliance related to environmental footprint are driving the industry to centralize supervision of their operations and reinforced monitoring of their processes. More control is needed due to increasing demand for transparency. Digital tools are needed.
  • Performance: The frontier between compliance and performance has grown thinner with new environmental regulations, such as meeting CII thresholds. Value lies in how to support clients to optimize operations and asset management to pass under the thresholds. Doing so requires them to collect data accurately and perform the calculations in a seamless and effortless manner.
  • Simplification: New regulations oblige owners and managers to perform calculations on a daily or weekly basis. This can become an overwhelming task. There is an industry need to simplify workflows.

Digital transformation of maritime belongs not just to start-ups but to all like-minded companies who are committed to collaborating.  They come in all shapes and sizes: software companies, shipowners, class societies, data providers, brokers.  And the fact that we had them all together, sharing, ideas, meals, and a few beers is as good an embodiment of collaboration as I’ve seen.

Someone commented “On Wednesday we had a class society, broker, ship owner, and technologists all in the same room discussing and aligning on what are the key priorities of the industry. Open and transparent. This does not happen.” 

Flow also presented thought leaders who provided perspectives on maritime and supply chain that you usually don’t see at maritime conferences. One of them was Lisa Morales-Hellebo. Lisa is a VC, seasoned entrepreneur, strategic futurist, and community builder as well as CEO and Founder of REFASHIOND OS (rOS), which acts as a digital agent for local fashion value chains, from fibers to finished goods; delivering sustainability, living wages, and better margins. She is also a founder of The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation, an organization that is changing how supply chain professionals learn about, collaborate, and adopt early-stage supply chain innovation around the world graduate.  Lisa has received numerous awards, including being selected as the 2022 Top Woman in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine; and is profiled in the bestselling book; Disrupters: Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold.  

Jess Hurwitz, OrbittMI, and Lisa Morales-Hellebo, @ashleydartphoto

She discussed changes in the supply chain as it relates to the fashion industry, focusing on the implications of recycling materials and sustainability.  Lisa shared the story of Evernu, a Seattle-based textile company that converts textile waste materials into ‘new’ engineered fibers, which can be recycled again and again. 

Tim Stock also joined us. Tim is the co-founder of scenarioDNA, a foresight consultancy that uses a social science approach for analyzing cultural change and advising on speculative design futures.  He is also the co-inventor of a patented methodology of Culture Mapping that uses computational linguistics, machine learning, and generative AI to uncover archetypal patterns and develop speculative prompts to inform future strategies. Additionally, for the past 18 years he has been an associate professor at the Parsons School of Design in NYC 

Tim Stock, @ashleydartphoto

I met Tim about 15 years ago when I was running the digital division at an advertising agency that focused on consumer-packaged goods.  We needed someone to give us a unique view on consumer behavior and he was referred to me by a colleague.  I was blown away by his thinking; we’ve been friends ever since. 

“Our world is shaped by stories,” Tim says and those stories impact industry and policy making.  You can see Tim’s presentation here.

Look to this space for additional material from OrbitMI Flow, including follow up webinars.

OrbitMI will be at Nor Shipping next week, working with our partners SEDNA and Kongsberg Digital.  If you are interested in connecting with us, please reach out to me at


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