Conference Programme & Themes

UPDATE – 12 January 2018 – The MSC18 conference themes and discussion topics have been updated. More details on panel participants and speakers will be released in the coming months.

Maritime Security Challenges 2018: Pacific Seapower
A Strong, Secure, and Engaged Maritime Future
October 15-18 – Victoria, British Columbia
The sea has long been the basis of prosperity and security. A stable and secure ocean commons has been the foundation of the massive expansion of trade, communications, and wealth across the world. This expansion has seen a significant accumulation of seapower in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, a progression that been accompanied by new challenges brought about by strategic, political, environmental and technological change. Change is expected, but not predictable. It is therefore critical for lawmakers, naval planners, academics and industry operators to reflect on the past, assess the present, and think critically about the future in terms of the evolution and application of seapower. Are maritime stakeholders prepared to anticipate, adapt and respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly dynamic maritime environment?
Panel Discussions and Presentations:
Striking a Balance in the Full Spectrum of Maritime Operations
The range of roles and responsibilities assigned to navies has never been wider. Modern navies are expected to fight wars, protect exclusive economic zones, combat drug trafficking, respond to humanitarian disasters, and serve as ambassadors of their home countries. Has our understanding and application of seapower kept pace with the evolution of political, legal, and security considerations in the maritime domain?
The Evolving Seascape: Understanding the Future Maritime Environment
Change is a constant in the maritime realm. The first decades of the 21st century have witnessed rapid shifts in the global balance of seapower, the emergence of new transnational threats, and alterations of the strategic seascape. How will trends such as the opening of the polar seas and new intercontinental basing and infrastructure projects impact the world’s seafaring states, and how will states respond to the growing list of maritime risks that surpass national jurisdictions?
Building Strategic Resolve: Policy, Platforms, and People in Maritime Security
The development and employment of maritime forces requires the mobilization of a large cross-section of partners. Successful maritime strategies must be informed by strong government policies, supported by national publics and local communities, and sustained by trusted relationships with industry. In what ways can coordination between these various groups be strengthened? What gaps exist in our ability to build and sustain strategic resolve in the maritime realm?
The Future Fleet: Investing in a New Maritime Era
Introducing new platforms, capabilities and competencies is a complex undertaking. In an era of increased demands and new challenges, navies must be forward looking in their strategies and adaptation of technology in order to sustain highly responsive, agile and deployable fleets. Will unmanned and automated systems support the drive for greater efficiency, and how are navies navigating the quality-versus-quantity debate? In what other ways can the potency of the future fleet be enhanced across the air, surface, and subsurface dimensions of maritime operations?
The Innovation Imperative: Enabling Flexibility Through Technology & Transformation
The creation and application of new technology can be the hallmark of an agile and adaptive organization. Indeed, the scope and speed of technological change is presenting unparalleled opportunities to pursue smarter, faster, more cost-effective ways of delivering success at sea. However, improved effectiveness requires more than hardware alone. How will technological innovation change the seascape? And how must navies re-think the way novel solutions to complex problems are generated and incorporated as a transformative agent of change?
The Cooperation Coefficient: Multinational Efforts to Secure the Ocean Commons
It is rare for maritime security challenges to affect one state alone. For the most part, states recognize that cooperation with others is not only beneficial in addressing challenges, but perhaps even essential. What are areas where countries can meet shared challenges? Are existing structures sufficient to address evolving challenges, or do they themselves need to evolve? 
Other Presentations and Sessions:
  • The South China Sea: A Power Struggle in Asia
  • Debate: The Continuing Relevance of the Aircraft Carrier
  • Cyber in the Maritime Domain
  • Changing Ocean Dynamics
Individual speakers and panelists are TBA.
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