Chief of Navy Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior and all authorities already nominated by the President of the Maritime Court
What a joy to be able to gather around the festivities for the 85th anniversary of the Maritime Court in this special year of 2019, when the theme of the International Maritime Day is “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” and the technological innovations of the 4th Industrial Revolution are witnessed one by one for all of us: Artificial intelligence, internet of things, 3D printing, alternative energies, quantum computing and MASS to mention just a few of the new technologies that are revolutionizing our way of living.
At the top of its 85 years this Court, as well as all of us, has already experienced many changes. But what differs the present times from the past and this Revolution from the previous ones is not only the changes, but their speed and amplitude.
To give you an idea, the current disruptors - Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba - that are now popular names were only recently unknown and even the iPhone was launched in 2007, reaching the mark of 2 billion units in only 8 years.
The question of our era then seems to be how can we prepare future generations if there is a total disruption between the future and the present? And while I truly believe in the relevance of the past, I also believe that now it is time to be a Darwinist and accept change as a natural part of the evolution, adapting to it as quickly as possible even if we cannot yet fully understand it.
Let us look at the example of the Norwegian Maritime Authority and the Norwegian Coastal Administration who have signed an agreement to test MASS in the Trondheim fjord while bureaucrats (including myself!) are still trying to understand whether an unmanned ship is a ship or not!
In Latin America there is still no leader in this innovation race, for various political and economic reasons that we will not discuss and I do not believe are even relevant for the discussion, but the fact is that we are facing a huge window of opportunity for Brazil with its characteristics, as a large consumer market with natural resources and entrepreneurial attitudes, as highlighted in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, being the time to Brazil to assume once and for all the role of great leader of Latin America and Global Political Actor that is its vocation by nature.
But the secret of innovation, dear friends, is not just about technology and acceptance of change, inclusive and diverse companies are 11 times more innovative and have employees six times more creative than the competition, as verified by a global survey conducted by the consultancy Accenture, to mention only one of the researches with the same conclusion.
This is why in 2019 we cannot afford to have the help of only half our population, we need to involve all our talents, men and women, as do the most innovative countries in the world such as: Switzerland, Sweden, Finland In our case, we have already done the most difficult part: our women already have a higher level of education and are in strategic positions in several national and multinational companies and available to serve our Nation during these challenges. There is not a Brazil of men and another of women, there is only one Federative Republic of Brazil, which we all have the honour to serve.
It is a fact that if in the 20th century the main challenge was to translate economic power into political power in the 21st century, the main struggle of the people will be to combat irrelevance since much of what gives meaning to our life today can be considered totally irrelevant and obsolete in very little time.
Such a destiny, however, must not be that of Brazilian society and that of this Court, which, after serving our society at the top of its 85 years, finds itself in the strategic position of guardian of what machines will hardly have: empathy with the men and women of the sea. This is the spirit, for example, of Rule 2 of the COLREG, which authorizes men and women of the sea to interpret and even rule out all other rules to avoid danger according to good seamanship, which will hardly be granted to an algorithm, and makes this Court even more relevant as a Temple of the Maritime Humanity.
In the end this is what evolution seeks, to preserve the best version of our humanity with the least efforts and help of technology so that the world after us becomes better than it was before and so that together, men and women, civilians and military, judges and lawyers, and this beloved Court as members of the Brazilian Nation, will be able to face the challenges of the future, protect our wealth and care for our people.
Count on us, Admiral Ilques, Admiral Lima Filho, colleges and friends, let us stay together and strong towards the future and to an already prosperous 85th anniversary of this Maritime Court.
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