26 October 2020, Nicosia, Cyprus: On Monday 12 October, Phoenix Leaders hosted Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, Co-Chief Executive of Tototheo Maritime and President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association at The Club in Nicosia. In front of an audience of Members of The Club and their guests, Ms. Theodosiou argued that businesses should see the current COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to do good rather than simply as an obstacle to trade.
Over the course of the evening, Ms. Theodosiou explored the opportunities the current pandemic offers businesses, in particular in meeting their sustainability, diversity, and efficiency targets in both the short and long term.
“When the worst is over, and we are able to travel more freely, meet and trade, we have an excellent opportunity to renew our objectives, because we will have the chance to hit a sort of reset button. Business-as-normal no longer exists. We have an opportunity, perhaps even a duty, to do some real good in the wake of this crisis, but we need to plan now.”
Turning to the shipping industry, Ms. Theodosiou highlighted the continued need for a widespread deployment of technologies and digital solutions to tackle the efficiency and decarbonisation challenges within the industry. She also discussed the need for more diversity and inclusivity within the industry.
“Over the past few years, we have begun to see how digital solutions and a new-age of thinking can create real change within our industry. We now have a chance to emerge from COVID-19 stronger and more determined. Whilst as an industry we had momentum before the pandemic, we need to ensure that we keep the pressure on and harness the power of technology if we are to achieve a sustainable future.”
Commenting on the evening, Ms. Theodosiou said “It was an honour to be invited to The Club and talk in front of such an engaged audience addressing serious issues that concern us all – regardless of our industry or sector. These are conversations which need to be happening within our business community and I am thrilled to have been able to take part in this particular discussion at The Club.”
The presentation and Q&A session were followed by an opportunity for Members and guests of The Club to discuss their own views on the pandemic individually with Ms. Theodosiou at a drinks reception at The Club.