MŒA One-to-One Interviews: Our Oceans are the fluid connection between our nations

Update of the Interview held by MONACŒCOART® founder Maurizio Abbati Interview with Jochen Werne, Co-Founder & Expedition Leader at Global Offshore Sailing Team & CEO at Experian D/A/CH.

Find the original interview and much more here at MONACŒCOART®

Updated: Feb 11, 2024

Jochen Werne: Innovation and Business, Society and Diplomacy, Ocean and Passion strongly aim at a positive change for the future.

Photo >> Jochen Werne (2022) © J. Werne

International expert in finance and blockchain, head of several private and corporate Banking divisions, keynote speaker, actively committed in diplomacy and economy transformation following the current shift to Sustainable Development as wished by United Nations and major political, technical and business bodies, he is extremely fond of communicating his passion for oceans and the virtuous interlink between human beings and nature.

Jochen Werne strongly believes in the vital role of individual diplomatic efforts in maintaining peace and a balanced approach to preserving natural ecosystems. He asserts, „Innovation and business, society and diplomacy, ocean and passion are all intricately linked. In today’s interconnected world, our diverse talents can collectively drive positive change every day.“ His insights reflect a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of various elements in fostering international relations.

Werne’s adventurous spirit and deep respect for the scientific community’s contributions to nature have led him to organise numerous ocean missions. These missions have gained significant recognition from esteemed figures such as H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the President of France, and the President of Austria, enhancing his knowledge and experience.

Furthermore, Werne co-founded the Global Offshore Sailing Team, an international group comprising members worldwide with significant naval experience. This group is dedicated to preserving naval traditions and emphasizing the importance of ocean expeditions and people’s diplomacy for supporting international understanding

MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to collect a meaningful feedback directly from Jochen Werne (J.W.), Co-Founder & Expedition Leader at Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST).

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MONACŒCOART®: Jochen Werne, how did your passion for the oceans and sailing come about?

J.W.: As a child growing up in the countryside on the border with Switzerland, the world outside my parents’ home always had a great attraction for me. Notably, the Sea with its magical sense of endless freedom, adventure and beauty has always been a trigger in my life. And this fascination still inspires me even though I have sailed the seven seas. Maybe it will never disappear. I had my first contact with sailing during school holidays on Lake Constance. Then, I joined the navy, where I had the privilege to serve for almost two years as a navigator on the three-masted sailing ship ‘Gorch Fock. That finally ignited my passion for the oceans and sailing.

Photo >> The Expedition Blue Ocean 2022 crossing the Tower Bridge in London © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: What values have you learned after so many years of shipping?

J.W.: The most important one is RESPECT. Probably every ocean sailor and mariner would confirm it. As a sailor you experience the marine element in its most breath-taking calm and beauty and its most deadly and dangerous brutality. Respect helps to enjoy one side of the coin and survive the other. Respect leads to this deeper understanding that Nature is in many ways more important and also more powerful than ourselves. The fact that makes us feel humbly is to understand that Nature can always live without us, but we cannot live without Nature. Moreover, a sailor learns how to use Nature to benefit from its power in the best and most sustainable way and to emotionally experience its pure and infinite beauty.

Photo >> Environmental Awareness & Offshore Sailing within ‘Arctic Ocean Raptor’: Sailing to the most northern reachable, partially ice-free points on Planet Earth. Public awareness about the real meltdown of pack ice in Arctic summers will be raised by sailing with a fiberglass sailing yacht to a point just 540 nautical miles or 1.000km away from the North Pole © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: Which marine expedition has shaped you more than others? Why?

J.W.: Every expedition has its uniqueness and therefore it is difficult to prefer one over the others. However, the ‘Arctic Ocean Raptor’ was very special to me. It took us from the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø across what sailors call the ‘devil’s playground’, the Barents Sea, to a spectacular natural habitat called Spitsbergen at 80° North. Despite its up-north location, the climate is quite mild due to the Gulf Stream. As our expedition approached Svalbard after three days of sailing through dense fog, we encountered a huge ice barrier that broke away from the cold eastern side of the island due to the warm conditions and drifted on with the current. This, combined with a 9-bft (= Beaufort scale) storm, made the voyage a real challenge, but also impressively demonstrated the fragility of our ecosystem.

Photo >> H.S..H. Prince Albert II of Monaco welcoming Jochen Werne and other members of GHOST at the Monaco Yacht Club © YCM

MONACŒCOART®: Which measures do you think are most important to preserve marine ecosystems? Why?

J.W.: There is no doubt that before starting a movement or action, awareness must be raised. This step is of utmost importance, otherwise one remains lonely and therefore a committed but silent to action interlocutor. The Principality of Monaco has a long tradition of identifying problems for our marine ecosystem and taking action to make many aware of them. H.S.H. Prince Albert I of Monaco immediately recognised the dangers of bottom fishing with the new means of steam technology. Jacques Cousteau not only served science but brought the beauty of the sea into everyone’s living room with his work behind the camera and inspired new projects to protect the oceans. Last but not least, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is the perfect example of how this has not only become Monaco’s heritage but a lived tradition. We are grateful that he has supported us in our expeditions to raise awareness and thus contribute to the conservation of our marine ecosystems. 

Photo >> Thorsten Glauber, Bavarian Minister of State, handing over the States Medal to Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of GOST © TMUV

MONACŒCOART®: You have already pointed out several times that scientific and fact-finding missions are particularly effective for intercultural and diplomatic exchange. What makes them instruments of dialogue?

J.W.: Our oceans are the fluid connection between our nations. And even though we are citizens of nations, we all belong to one Planet. As seafarers, we are directly dependent on nature and national thinking takes a back seat. In the daily challenge at sea, nationality, race or gender are not important. What really matters is to achieve our goals as a team, otherwise we will all fail. This also applies to us as a human race. The challenges before us are global challenges that no single nation can solve alone. We need a collective effort, and we have so many examples where the global community has done it together. One of my favourite examples is the Antarctic Treaty, which was negotiated at the height of the First Cold War and still provides the basis for joint peaceful governance of Antarctica today.

Photo >> Antarctic Blanc expedition: the international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island, in the name of all supporting states and the United Nations. a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: What place does the Principality of Monaco have in the international expeditions that you carry out as part of the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)?

J.W.: We are more than grateful to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Yacht Club de Monaco, its Board of Directors with Bernard d’Alessandri, Gerd Ziegenfeuter, the staff and members as well as the press for their excellent support in our common tasks. Together we were able to achieve outstanding results. Starting with the expedition ‘Antarctic Blanc’ 2018, which resulted in a state act supported by 19 nations including the United Nations, to the Prince Albert I Memorial Expedition ‘Navigators Heritage’. Together, we have succeeded not only in supporting science, but also in bringing people and nations closer together and raising awareness of the needs of our oceans.

Photo >> Maximino Gómez Alvarez, Vice-President of AIDHNC, giving the “Ancla d’Oro” to Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of Global Offshore Sailing Team (Maritime Museum, Hamburg, 8th May 2016) © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: GOST expeditions have been awarded the highest honours by heads of state and international institutions. What is the recognition to which you are most attached? Why?

J.W.: We are more than grateful to have been honoured with a State Medal for our commitment to environmental protection or with the Ancla d’Oro (Golden Anchor) of the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba and the Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce Award for promoting international understanding. Among all the awards, the highest recognition for me is the fascinated smile on a young person’s face when one of the stories of the sea lights the flame of passion for marine elements. It is their spirit that will form the basis for future action. Just as others in the past like Jacques Cousteau have lit a fire in us for the Sea. It is the quote attributed to the brilliant Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the beautiful novel Le Petit Prince, that probably describes it best: If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to long for the vast, endless sea. ***

👥 ✒By Maurice Abbati 

To know more about Jochen Werne’s ocean expedition project please visit:

Global Offshore Sailing Team

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The ”High Seas Treaty”

Congratulations to all who have continuously worked to protect our oceans, paving the way for a unique global agreement.

March 2023 is a month of hope, a victory for diplomacy, and a ray of hope for our oceans and us humans living on this beautiful blue planet.

Jochen Werne commenting on the “High Seas Treaty”, the historic agreement reached by UN delegates to protect marine biodiversity in international waters

UN delegates reached a historic agreement to protect marine biodiversity in international waters, referred to by many – though not officially – as the „High Seas Treaty.“ The agreement reached by delegates of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, better known by its acronym BBNJ, is the culmination of UN-facilitated talks that began in 2004.    

Following the 1951 Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Protection of Marine Biodiversity in International Waters is an important step towards achieving UNEP’s SDG targets and thus a better world for us all.

As members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team, which has been working to promote environmental awareness since 1999, we are very grateful to the dedicated diplomats for reaching such a milestone in history.

For everyone interested please read more on the “High Seas Treaty” here:

  • United Nations: UN delegates reach historic agreement on protecting marine biodiversity in international waters https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/03/1134157

Mission NORTH SEA ENDURANCE – the Trailer

Enjoy a glimpse of the thrills awaiting the men aboard their expeditionary sailing yacht in the North Sea with this introductory trailer featuring moments from previous GOST missions.

NORTH SEA ENDURANCE TRAILER

Countdown: Mission NORTH SEA ENDURANCE 2022

AN OFFSHORE SAILING CHALLENGE PROMOTING THE MOST EXCITING STORIES ON THE SEVEN SEAS.

#InternationalUnderstanding #CleanSeas #CleanEnergy


The challenging tides, rough weather and dense ship traffic of the North Sea will be the first chapter within the Global Offshore Sailing Team‘s Expedition Blue Ocean
In 2022, GOST will undertake various missions to all Seven Seas to learn about and promote the most exciting #CLEAN ENERGY & #CLEAN SEAS projects and the driving forces behind them.

Inspired by the great Prince of the Sea Albert I and his strong commitment to international understanding, the environment and our oceans, we will carry out various missions with our supporters around the globe to promote international understanding and environmental awareness around #cleanseas and #cleanenergy


I’m proud commanding the 1st Mission with an outstanding experienced team: 

NORTH SEA ENDURANCE 600+nm Offshore (Expedition Blue Ocean) Departure Zeebrugge, Belgium – 14 May 22: Into the Night – 271 nm Offshore to Wilhelmshaven/Bremerhaven – Meet the drivers of the #CLEAN SEAS initiatives of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Beach Cleaner and many more. Sail from Wilhelmshaven North-West to the major offshore wind farms. Meet Northern Helicopters and others who keep these breathtaking #CLEAN ENERGY projects running in such challenging conditions.


Other missions to come: GOST-Senior Officer Wolfgang Händel will command parallel to NORTH SEA ENDURANCE, the MEDITERRANEAN ENDURANCE MISSION in the Thyrenian Sea. With the great support of the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba projects with the Yacht Club de Havana (CARRIBEAN ENDURANCE) are in planning. Same with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club (ATLANTIC ENDURANCE), our Californian team mates (PACIFIC ENDURANCE) and many more.

Please find updates at www.ExpeditionBlueOcean.com

International Understanding. Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce Prize presented for the first time

This prize to be awarded to the person, group or team that contributed the most to the goal of creating international understanding within the year, of the Lord Warden Trophy and it was unanimously agreed by a panel of judges that this should be presented to Jochen Werne (a founder member of GOST as well as a member of RCPYC) for his outstanding work in reaching across national boundaries and promoting and advancing the spirit of sailing around the world both through his work with GOST and the various other organisations he represents, not least his organising the Lord Warden Challenge race. Congratulations to you Jochen.

Geoff Dunne esq., Commodere, Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover
Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Boyce and the Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover, Geoff Dunne presenting the Award for special engagement in International Relations to Jochen Werne

It was a great honour to receive the Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Prize, awarded for the first time for international understanding, on behalf of all those who, through their commitment, have helped to unite people from different countries of our beautiful planet. 

A great privilege to receive the prize from the hands of one of the people I greatly admire for his life’s work and especially for his brilliance in bringing people together. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Boyce is a shining example for so many and a great inspiration.

Official GOST 20th Anniversary Trailer released

Official GOST Trailer – 20th Anniversary

I’m proud having the opportunity to publish today this homage to all on- and offshore members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST). They created in the last 20 years a unique example of people’s diplomacy. Founded in 1999 by Jochen Werne and Guido Zoeller, the Global Offshore Sailing Team, acts today as an international group of dedicated sailors comprised of members from all over the world. GOST which navigates on oceans worldwide and in which many teammates have naval backgrounds, have made it a priority to keep naval traditions alive and to use expeditions as instrument for the creation of international understanding and peoples’ diplomacy.

Jochen Werne
Co-Founder GLobal Offshore Sailing Team

Navigators Heritage Challenge – Connecting Generations

The NAVIGATORS HERITAGE CHALLENGE is a 360 nautical mile OFFSHORE SAILING CHALLENGE from the bay of Palma de Mallorca to the coast of Monaco IN REMEMBRANCE OF the unique explorer, seaman and statesman PRINCE ALBERT I of MONACO.

Prince Albert I of Monaco

What makes this challenge special is that it is open – by invitation – to all types of sailing yachts, but for the participating crews it is only allowed to use navigation technologies invented before 1900. While the navigators on board give their best to determine their position at sea as accurately as possible, the spectators worldwide can follow the yachts and their tactics live on the Internet thanks to modern GPS tracking devices.

Therefore, the result of this challenge at sea is not necessarily based on the best technological equipment, but, as in the times of the great explorers, on the CAPABILITIES of the NAVIGATOR and THE PRECISE CONTROL OF THE SHIP THROUGH ITS CREW.

THE GOAL

By combining TRADITION and FUTURE in today’s hyper-connected world, the initiators of the challenge will bring together people and sailors from around the world, to remember peacefully not only the great seafarers and explorers of the world – who were the first to unite our nations and people around the globe – but also to raise awareness and sensitise civil society to the importance of our MARITIME ECOSOCYSTEM in relation to the UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

With a wreath-laying ceremony at sea off Monaco on Tuesday, 2 July 2019 at 1800 CEST, the Challenger Yachts will commemorate the great merits of Prince Albert I, who symbolises all those who today work for our seas and international understanding.

Navigators Heritage Challenge Commemoration ceremony planned for Tuesday, 2 July 2019 art 1800 CEST off MonacoOCEAN HERITAGE EVENT

On Friday, June 28, 2019, one day prior the start of the NAVIGATORS HERITAGE CHALLENGE a unique event to create awareness for the importance of preserving our beautiful oceans will take place in our beautiful host city Palma de Mallorca.

The OCEAN HERITAGE event will be a call for action for supporting the UN Sustainable Development goals featuring cinematic performances by Martina Hirschmeier – Producer of Oceans in Danger and an outstanding music performance by Tom Huber