The People Behind TOOL

From farmers, musicians, senior and junior interns, we are a team & advisory board of people from diverse backgrounds, engaged in building a different grass root driven resource for Generation Cleanup. Mobilizing the next generation of change agents passionate about sustainable ocean industry development.

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Our Founder and CEO

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Birgit is a self-made entrepreneur who has worked to push sustainability, entrepreneurship, next-generation & diversity across the maritime industry for almost 15 years. 

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Meet the Rest of the Team

Our Arctic alibi, project manager, film producer and musician. Entrepreneurial soul with special interest in sustainable food, founder of Farmest. Former Project Mgr at Katapult Future Fest and OBR, founding partner/CEO of Klikkmonster and Spoon Train, editorial lead at Radio Nova. Jury member for student startups regional award, Ungt Entreprenørskap Oslo & Akershus 2020.

Charlotte is a former project & event manager at Stratos, Sales & marketing manager for Servos Group, Sales consultant for Megaprint, and has worked on hotel and sales support, banquette & front desk for Thon Hotels. She has a bachelor in creativity, innovation and business development from Høyskolen Christiania. Charlotte is a board member and former Secretary General of the Norwegian Entrepreneur Association.

Lydie holds a BSc in Shipping & Logistics from The University of South-Eastern Norway. Last fall, she undertook a placement at The Ocean Opportunity Lab as part of her degree, while doing her report on innovation in business models for short-sea shipping. She works with TOOL’s digital projects and community building.


Per recently retired, and is a heavyweight finance director and former Global SVP Shipping, Offshore & Logistics at DNB. He worked in DNB for 34 years in various roles, and after leaving his SVP role at DNB, he has been a senior credit officer on Energy in the globally leading ocean bank. Per has recently been consulting on the establishment of a new shipping bank, and is a board member of Econa Oslo & Akershus. Before joining DNB, he was Head of Budget and Analysis at Saga Petroleum and Contracts Coordinator at Aker. Per joins TOOL to share his extensive financial experiences while building new competence on sustainability and digital collaboration solutions.

Ann Therese has spent several years working as a project manager and coordinator for various cultural events, including Tall Ships Races Bergen, Kirkens Bymisjon, Vill Vill Vest and Kulturoperatørene. She has her education in business management (NTNU), biology (UiB), digital media design (USN) and just finished a one year project management program at Emergence School of Leadership, which is among the more recently joined TOOL partners. She is a problem-solver at heart, with passion for culture, the ocean and sustainable development.


Half Mexican, half Norwegian, but mostly a global citizen. Her first dream job was to be a marine biologist and luckily she ended up making content about marine life and the oceans at TOOL. She has worked in politics, as an intern for Gjensidige and The Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C., and lastly, with communication for Innovation Norway. She lives with her boyfriend and her cats in Tøyen.

Julia is an aspiring environmental engineer who is interested in exploring green tech, and has been working on this through hands-on projects in her free time. Moreover, she’s helped organize local school demonstrations for the climate strikes and co-founded TutorTree Growth, an initiative that aims to pair kids with learning differences with high school/college tutors who have similar learning challenges. She is currently taking a gap year before joining Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA this fall, where she plans on studying engineering with a focus on environmental analysis.

Meet Our Opportunity Agents

Our opportunity agents help multiply opportunities with new partners and members across the seven seas.  They function as collaborative business developers and have key account responsibility for strategic partnerships around the globe.

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Gina is the Founder and CEO of Oceans Arena, creating outstanding concepts for females, start-ups, NGO’s and personal brands across the oceans industry mainly. Additionally, she is the Concept Founder, host and producer of the online broadcast “It’s ALL about shipping,” which focuses on youth empowerment and raising awareness of shipping as a key industry, while as a passionate advocate of ESG, she also co-hosts the “Shipping & Sustainability” and “Maritime Insights” Clubhouse rooms.

Gina has been shortlisted for the Greek International Women Awards 2021 and awarded the first Young Leader Award in Cyprus, for being a vigorous “Brand ambassador” of the shipping industry. Serving this mission consistently, she has acted as communications content liaison for maritime related NGO’s such as WISTA Cyprus and WISTA UK, while she is also WISTA UK representative in the WISTA International Trade Committee.

An experienced maritime lawyer, Gina has been acknowledged by Legal 500, GC Powerlist Greece and Cyprus, as one of the Top 100 in-house counsel driving innovation within their sector. She has held numerous senior roles; ranging from Legal Manager of a shipowning company, Global Head of Shipping & Energy in a multijurisdictional law firm, to in-house legal counsel of an international cruise manager. Her main focus is in in transactional work, legal strategy and policy.

She has acted as Project Manager and Chair of various conferences, including among others, the International Maritime Organisation IMO 2020 & Fuel Symposium 2019 conference, ShipCon 2018, various Maritime Informa Connect events, Digital Ship & VPO, as well as the Lloyds Maritime Academy.

A self-development enthusiast, any free time she has is devoted to personal growth, which she feels is key in shaping a person into a “change agent” of substance & purpose, facilitating the transition from dreams to reality.

Sanjam is an advocate for Diversity in the Maritime Industry. She is the “go to” person for gender issues in the Indian maritime industry as well as overseas. 

When people used to pitty Sanjam’s father for having no sons to take over the family business, her father would proudly answer – «My daughters are the equivalent to eleven sons.»

Since 2001 Sanjam has been working within the shipping business of her parents and is now the director of Sitara Shipping, specialising the company in oversized cargo. She is also board member of WISTA International and & World Maritime University, as well as founder of WISTA India.

“There is substantial research that shows that diversity enhances business performance. Gender equality still remains a major issue in the maritime world. Fewer women than men are hired at entry level and extremely few women are in leadership positions” She says.

In 2019, she launched MaritimeSheEO, supporting women leadership within the maritime sector. Her organization conducts leadership accelerator programmes and works with employers to create an environment conductive for women to rise to leadership roles.


Emelie is the co-founder of Hedy, a tech innovation agency with the aim of making a tech imprint for a better world. 

She is a true entrepreneur who has created social impact projects in Uganda, founded a company developing a vaccine against genital herpes to stop the spread of HIV, pitched for the Sultan of Oman how to go from oil to marine biotechnology as main resource and gained 21 MEUR in funding.

Emelie has led teams over main parts of the world and grown profitable tech companies as CEO. Her passion is to challenge status que and make a difference – creating tomorrow’s businesses.

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Brent holds a background as Sales & Marketing Director from Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Bus.Dev Manager at Wallem Group Hong Kong and Regional Sales Mgr for Grand Bahama Shipyard. He’s educated from Oxford.

Brent is a forward-thinking and experienced key account management and new business development specialist. 

An experienced and highly innovative Business Development Manager, Brent has a strong analytical mindset, innovative problem solving and decision-making skills and is able to translate vision into success. He has extensive experience at forging long-term mutually beneficial partnerships through honest and clear communication.

When he’s not working, Brent can usually be found on the golf course or watching one of the many sports he takes an interest in. He also enjoys travel and walking/hill climbing.

Meet Our Advisory Board

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Christina works as Innovation Manager Maritime at DNV GL, where she has held a number of roles since 2012, including Head of Section Maritime Technology and R&D, Programme manager Safety Technologies Maritime and Project Manager Program Mgt. Office Oil & Gas. She has worked for U.N. on projects in Kenya, Sudan and Rwanda, and at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Uganda.

Dagny Thurmann-Moe developed the design concept, palette & colour selection at TOOL, inspired by Life Aquatic. Founder of KOI Color Studio; Creative leader, global top 25 colour designer and planner of urban spaces & architecture. One of Norway´s most influential color designers, with 10+ years experience in the field. 

Susanne is Head of Climate & Sustainable Finance in SEB Norway, and Founder of Sustainable Insight / The Sustainable Opportunity Initiative. She is a Board member at Kjeller Horisont, with background as Sustainability Strategist at Formuesforvaltning, ESG Analyst and Nordic Responsible Investment & Governance team at Nordea Asset Management, and Jr. Stock Analyst & Research Assistant at Carnegie Investment Bank.


Jan Peder is Head of Shipping & Inbound Logistics, Norsk Hydro. His background spans from MD of Höegh Autoliners Shortsea Americas, Board member of Shiplog, Deputy MD of Euro Marine Logistics, and Head of Operations Region Europe & Oceania in Höegh. 

Javad is a serial entrepreneur and investor, CEO of MAK, and former Business Developer in Aker Solutions. He is founder & CEO of JM Ventures – Norway´s first investment company with diversity as core focus. Javad is Global Lead for the Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee of Global Shapers in World Economic Forum, and lead of Global Shapers Oslo. He is on the Advisory board for REV Ocean / World Ocean Headquarters, and Deputy to the Board of Directors at USN. 

Matthias has a background as Product Manager Digital Business for Porsche Digital, Manager Digital Transformation Finance Trucks in Daimler , Dual Student at E.ON Ruhrgas AG in Germany, in the consulting department of the German American Chamber of Commerce in New York City and as Management Consultant at PwC in Germany. He is currently on an ocean sabbatical, and also fills the role as Startup Scout for Katapult Ocean. 


Knut has wide experience from a variety of shipowning and ship finance companies through more than 20 years.Hos track-record includes Investment Manager at Australis Maritime Ltd., SVP Shipping & Offshore at Pareto Bank ASA, GM Shipowning at Western Bulk ASA, VP Treasurer at Gearbulk (London) Ltd, Wilh. Wilhemsen ASA (Shanghai) and Salomon Smith Barney (Citibank – New York). 

Monaco/London based Roberto is Chairman of Fraser Yachts, a company he has been involved with since V.Ships bought it in a joint partnership with Azimut Benetti in 2004. He is a Board member of Scorpio Bulkers Inc., and Committee member (Board) of Skuld P&I Club. Roberto is former founder and President of V.Ships, the world’s largest ship management company, and former President of InterManager.

Hege is an agile business leader with a broad international experience in running shipping operations in a number of countries. For the past 9 years she had lived and worked in the Middle East, Black Sea and South East Asia as Regional Director for Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS). Her background also include VP Liner & Business Director Maritime Logistics in WSS, and has worked for Atlantic Container Line and Ivaran Lines.


Tine Viveka Westerberg is an Assistant Professor of Maritime Management at the University of South-Eastern Norway and Liverpool John Moores University. She is currently a member of the EU expert group on “Skills and career development in the Blue Economy”. She is also a member of the Ocean Industry Forum Oslofjord Competence Committee. She has a background as Head of the International Office at Nord University, and Project Manager and Competence Advisor for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.

Liané is the founding CEO of Aquaai, an impact-driven B2B startup using AI, computer vision and eco-friendly robotic fish platforms to gater data from the ocean. Aquaai technology currently monitors sustainable Norwegian salmon farms. Prior to Aquaai, Liané spent 20 years as a global journalist, TV producer and media executive, with background from The New York Times and National Geographic Channel´s Explorer series. She has 3 Prime Time Emmy nominations, and Forbes recently listed Liané as an innovative woman in AI/Blockchain to follow in 2019.

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