Conversations: Making Our Vision a Reality
- Behrooz Fattahi (2010 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 14
- 2010. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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- 23 since 2007
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Like other organizations, SPE has a mission: “To collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources, and related technologies for the public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.” Our mission statement clearly defines our purpose.
But all organizations should also have a vision. SPE’s vision is “to be a society of professional excellence, providing its members the highest quality lifelong learning, and continuous personal and professional growth.”
This is a statement that stretches our organization’s capabilities. It is about shaping our future. It is a statement of hope. It makes us proud. A story about Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, is worth remembering. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Toward the end of her career, as she was speaking at a college, a student asked, “Miss Keller, is there anything that could have been worse than losing your sight?” Helen Keller replied, “Yes, I could have lost my vision.”
In accomplishing our vision, we are bound to a set of guiding principles or values. Our values represent our organization’s culture and its core priorities. As a result, our organizational goals are grounded in these values. SPE’s values are excellence, integrity, professionalism, life-long learning, diversity, volunteerism, innovation, and social responsibility. These define our beliefs and guide our decisions.
Through technical meetings, lectures, short courses, and publications, SPE is involved in many knowledge transfer activities. These are designed and, with the SPE staff’s assistance, implemented by our volunteers. At any given time, SPE volunteers somewhere in the world are engaged in making decisions on the details of such activities.Unlike most corporations in the business world, SPE is a member-driven organization. This simply means that every SPE member can have a role in everything that our professional society is intent to accomplish. When I visit our sections and student chapters, and talk with our members, some ask me what SPE can do for them. But SPE is us, all 90,000 of us together. Our volunteers range in age and in years of experience. They are students and professionals; managers, engineers, and geologists or geophysicists; and some preside over large industry companies and institutions. But they each do find a little time in their daily lives to contribute to SPE’s mission. So rather than being an indifferent observer, join the SPE family in bringing new ideas to reality. Let us ask ourselves how we can help with SPE services and products. I look forward to a day when signing up as a member becomes synonymous with enrolling in our SPE volunteer army.
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