Beware of Globilization
The headline "Beware of Globalization" appeared in the Borneo Post last month. In that the HoD is looking into several issues concerning globalization, the article caught my eye. Borneo is a large island situated between mainland Malaysia and the Philippines. That accident of geography means it is rather isolated from the mainstream. According to the article, many businesses in Borneo have not made any effort to take advantage of the global market, and as such are being left behind. I am sure that the writer of the article meant to say "Be Aware of Globalization."
Like Borneo, many of AAPG's Domestic Sections and Affiliated Societies are becoming increasingly isolated. As many of you are aware, they are facing a great many challenges, principally related to declining membership. Indeed, some Societies have barely enough members to sustain themselves. One reason that membership is declining is that many of the larger companies are exiting mature U.S. basins as they go global.
This exodus from mature basins means more opportunities are available for the small companies and independents, it also means they will become increasingly isolated, making it more of a challenge for AAPG to meet their needs. Those entrepreneurs who work the more mature basins look to AAPG to provide them with the same level of services as provided everyone else, even as their numbers decline over time. And, AAPG owes them that service.
The challenge is that as their numbers decline, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain those services in a cost-effective manner. As such, AAPG will need to find more creative ways, such as virtual forums, to help meet their needs without going broke in the process.
One way AAPG can help meet those needs is to add a second Vice President to the AAPG Executive Committee. The addition of a second Vice President will allow one member of the Executive Committee to be dedicated to addressing the specific needs and challenges of the Domestic Sections. The other Vice President would likewise serve the needs and challenges of the International Regions
Another impact of globalization is that there is now more global competition than ever for the resources needed to conduct our business, including geoscientists. The problem, at least in the U.S., is compounded by the fact that there is also a shortage of geoscientists with less than 10 years experience (see the last issue of The Delegates' Voice). Elsewhere in the world, this is less of a problem. In the Asia region for example, there are a number of young geoscientists in the industry.
This shortage of experienced geoscientists will impact our industry. Companies will need to find ways to attract and retain experienced geoscientists and individual geoscientists will have more opportunities available to them. I will address these issues in the next Delegates' Voice.
So, be aware of globalization. It can, and will, provide a great many new opportunities for those of us who are prepared. It also poses some tough challenges ahead, particularly for many of the smaller Domestic Sections. Therefore, I most wholeheartedly urge you to support the addition of a new Vice President to address those challenges. If we fail to meet them, then AAPG could eventually lose some of its Affiliated Societies, and that, in my opinion, would leave us irrevocably diminished as an Association.