We recently kicked off our Maritime R&D efforts in the Office of the CTO. As part of that, our team christened our boat. Representatives from the Port of San Francisco, the U.S. Navy, the California Maritime Academy, and private maritime industry attended the event as did National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence and TED Prize winner Dr. Sylvia Earle, and Erika Bergman, a National Geographic Young Explorer. Here is how Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jonathan Knowles, kicked things off before Executive Assistant for Corporate Strategy & Engagement, Kerry Ann Levenhagen, uttered our boat's name for the very first time.
"The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat."
— Jacques Yves Cousteau
It all began here. As we know, the sea is the origin of humanity's story. Up to 80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface, and the oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet. The oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface and contain 97% of the Earth's water. And less than 10% of the sea has been explored by humans.
One billion people rely on fish as their primary protein source. Weather and climate are the result of the transfer of energy from the sun and our oceans. Nearly one-third of the world's oil comes from offshore fields in our oceans.
We are 7 billion human beings here on our ironically named planet Earth. Nearly half of us live near the coastline. Our over 100,000 ships move more than 90% of the trade between countries, and about half the communications between nations use underwater cables.
So yes, oceans are important. And we hope to get to know all of you as we begin to think about the application of design tools that help people to imagine, design, and create with this perspective. We hope you will join us at Pier 9 and our Gallery at One Market to continue the conversation.
For thousands of years, we have gone to sea. We have crafted vessels to carry us and we have called them by name. These vessels have nurtured and cared for us through perilous seas, and so we affectionately call them "she."
Egyptians are credited with popularizing the practice of naming boats, it was the Babylonians who performed the first recorded boat christening in 300 BC. The Vikings marked the occasion with human sacrifice. [Kerry Ann, I have some bad news for you.] The ancient Greeks had a more festive take on the matter, wearing wreaths of olive branches on their heads and pouring water on the boat to bless it. They saved the wine for drinking toasts to Poseidon.
Today we come to name this vessel “Kraken", and send her to sea as we seek to better understand our world.
Kerry Ann: “I christen thee Kraken!"
In terms of our efforts, Director of Applied Innovation, Maurice Conti, Jonathan Knowles, Technologist Shaan Hurley, and Commander Thomas Kneale of the United States Navy will be leading an Autodesk initiative to conduct research, experiments, collaborations, and development in relation to seafaring commercial or military activity. Our team will be working closely with other parts of the company, e.g., the Autodesk Recap team, to coordinate our activities.
The ancient mariner is alive in the lab.