This article relates to a new group posted on linked-in.
Why another linked-in group and why that title?
Pass the Retsina would you?
Have you ever had one of those great field trips, where at the end of five or six days, everybody is really quite exhausted, but at the same time having a great time enjoying the scenery? Everyone more or less knows each other by that time – warts and all, and any pretensions are gone. People are too tired to be anything but themselves, and are relaxed. Especially after a long hot day in the field - you get back, freshen up, and then head for the food and drink. Hopefully sitting outside with some sun and a bit of great scenery to soak up too.
People feel comfortable then, talking casually and openly, and often frankly too. It’s great fun, and nobody remembers it for too long if there are disagreements or “outlier” views. There is no such thing as a stupid question, it’s just a chat after all. There are always a few “characters” to liven things up. I’ve enjoyed many good field trips in that mould. Not every trip is like that, but the best ones, and the most educational, are always these ones where people relax into honest conversation, and where people come from lots of different walks of life and disciplines. People that are normally siloed into different places and times, or typically only come together in make/break situations that are high-pressured and closely scrutinised.
You know you never know y’know.
I’m sure I’m not alone, in that the older I get, the more I realise how much I don’t know. Despite all the vanities we collect over the years, geology, the earth, is a great humbler and constantly brings us all down to size. Heck – if we get it right 40% of the time in our industries we crack open the champagne! The thought of being wrong sometimes, or having a goof moment shouldn’t worry us too much though, or stop us from kicking off conversation! I’ve always said to students I work with that it’s preferable to sound stupid than stay stupid (many would agree that I have succeeded!). We should ask away – I suspect people actually quite like it when one of us says something dumb – it loosens the atmosphere for everyone! (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…).
Linked-in is just plain fun in that you are empowered to connect, even in just a small way, with all sorts of people from all walks of life. It’s a genuine privilege. There are of course loads of groups out there already, many I suppose on a similar theme, so the ambitions for this group are modest. It is not out to take over the world. If it manages to replicate that end of field-trip honest, safe & relaxed discussion, amongst some diverse people that have been kind enough to connect, then it’s done its job. It aspires to be that chat in good company at the end of the day, with no subject matter too crazy to be off-limits.
As for the subject, “Holistic Subsurface” - I wanted to pick one subject that would capture the thing I most want to achieve in geoscience, and it is just that. The holistic view that arises when you get all sorts of people from all sort of disciplines, relaxed in each other’s company, together and talking. Specifically, knowing the things we do today - what can emerging economies do to maximise the efficiency of all their subsurface resource exploration and production? I'm sure there are applications in mature economies too, but the places where various subsurface industries are just in the throes of getting started - stand to gain most.
Hydrocarbons, Minerals, Geothermal, they all share certain things in common – not least the ground. There is a geoscience theme to the group, but anyone who has something to offer regarding the commodities the subsurface involves - should feel free to contribute. Financial, investors, transport, HR, environment, health & safety, legal, engineering, geoscience, data management, marketing, IT, management - whatever - go for it! Things that are most educational are never the things on the agenda. Things that are obvious to one group, aren’t to another. The biggest breakthroughs often come from the most surprising quarters. The biggest breakthroughs often happen when people who don’t normally get together, do.
It’s about crashing down boundaries between industries and disciplines and seeing what we have to learn from each other, both simple things, and complex things, that we never suspected. And sharing news. If you witness something out there in the bww (big wide world) that is crashing through subsurface barriers, and it doesn’t bust any confidentiality agreements to do so, please share it!
I’ll be aiming to review the group’s moderation queue several times a month, but if there are no new conversations, I might search around for a thought provoking topic and start one myself. That said, it doesn't have to be popping off every day to be enjoyable. Take a little detour every couple of months and see what it has to offer. Be warned though, if you want to keep me quiet, the best way is to kick a conversation off yourself.
All the best,