New ACE Committee Structure Welcomes Diversity, Innovation

Opportunities still open for Houston 2020

With technological advancements driving exploration toward an AI-aided future and companies’ business strategies constantly shifting the roles of geoscientists, AAPG must transform its Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) to remain relevant to a new generation of energy professionals. Accordingly, the Association’s Global Events Oversight Committee (GEvO), with endorsement from the Executive Committee, has initiated a remodeling of the ACE Organizing Committee, effective with next year’s event in Houston.

“ACE is still the crown jewel in an events portfolio that generates some 70 percent of the Association’s annual revenues,” noted GEvO Co-Chair Jim McGhay. “Our committee members thought it essential to address important issues like diversity, volunteer fatigue and broader subject matter, and keeping the conference content fresh and robust. It’s just one step, but we believe the new structure will help move us forward.”

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With technological advancements driving exploration toward an AI-aided future and companies’ business strategies constantly shifting the roles of geoscientists, AAPG must transform its Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) to remain relevant to a new generation of energy professionals. Accordingly, the Association’s Global Events Oversight Committee (GEvO), with endorsement from the Executive Committee, has initiated a remodeling of the ACE Organizing Committee, effective with next year’s event in Houston.

“ACE is still the crown jewel in an events portfolio that generates some 70 percent of the Association’s annual revenues,” noted GEvO Co-Chair Jim McGhay. “Our committee members thought it essential to address important issues like diversity, volunteer fatigue and broader subject matter, and keeping the conference content fresh and robust. It’s just one step, but we believe the new structure will help move us forward.”

AAPG President Mike Party added, “It’s not just the ACE technical program that we expect to benefit from the new committee structure. We’re hoping the expanded, global volunteer engagement will also help us with earlier identification of changes in the industry – technologically, culturally, etc.”

Coordination of ACE will now reside with a Global Organizing Committee with extended, staggered leadership terms beyond one ACE. While still encouraging local affiliated society volunteers, the organizing committee will comprise industry professionals from IOC/NOC/independent operators and services companies worldwide. The planned benefits from the new committee structure are:

  • Global engagement
  • Diversity of experiences, thoughts and views
  • Broad science, technology and business excellence
  • Fresh, timely content
  • Lead volunteer continuity
  • An offset of local volunteer fatigue

“This new committee framework allows us to recruit well-known specialists with excellent reputations and incredible global networks,” said GEvO Co-Chair Pinar Yilmaz. “We’ll not only be bringing more members together with wider collaboration around our scientific and business objectives, but the multi-year terms and built-in succession options for key positions should help us retain our momentum and focus year over year.”

The foundation of the ACEprogram will still be abstracts, talks and posters on a variety of pre-set themes, submitted by practicing E&P professionals, the academic and research community, and students. However, the committee will also oversee the recruitment of speakers covering new and emerging technologies and trends, as well as the interdisciplinary connections that represent industry best practice.

The new model benefits from a core global committee of experts – one to manage and recruit interested contributors in each of the subgroups – as shown in the blue flow chart.

Once the new structure is implemented, it is envisioned that one of the conference committee chairs will ascend to the general vice chair role and the general vice chair will ascend to the general chair position each year. This succession plan will eventually ensure general chairs with at least four consecutive years of ACE committee experience.

If you or anyone you know would like to volunteer to work with the ACE 2020 Organizing Committee, please contact Jan Simpson at .

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