Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Oil and gas companies must embrace sustainability in today’s transforming energy landscape or risk losing to competitors who are redefining their approach to business, says world renowned thought-leader Jon Duschinsky.

The globally acclaimed thinker and speaker on engagement, leadership, and the future of business will be coming to the capital to give an exclusive speech at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), with insights on how oil and gas companies can leverage current market challenges as opportunities to drive long-term profitability.

The industry is “at a crossroads”, according to Duschinsky. Either it can stay attached to the status quo and lay low until oil prices rise, or it can embrace that sustainability and profitability are now part of the same whole.

“You can’t have one without the other,” he said. “In the long term, those that choose the first path don’t have a future. Whether it is the next market fluctuation, or the one after it, or the next technology step-change, at some point they will see their market share and profitability eroded to the point where they are taken over or put out of business by companies who have made the investment in changing now.”     

A devoted philanthropist and humanitarian, Duschinsky also leads The Conversation Farm, a specialist agency that works with brands and causes around the world to help harness the power of people to drive profitability and solve big problems.

“Challenge makes you creative, it make you innovative and strive harder to come up with new and better ways of doing things. Ways that are not just cheaper but that are better for all of us,” said Duschinsky.

“This economic environment marks the industry’s opportunity to change not just its capital and operating bottom lines, but its mindset. Because however we spin it, we are collectively consuming our planet in ways that are simply not sustainable nor healthy. And this needs to change.”

By working closely with stakeholders to give back to the community, not only through a streamlined corporate social responsibility programme, but also through transparency and ethical practice, companies can help paint a positive picture of the industry, says Duschinsky.

“The only way to be able to change this is to set out a vision for an energy industry that is a force for good,” he said. “Engage people in working out what that means for them. Work out how your companies, how oil can set a path for a better tomorrow. Be part of the solution, not the problem. And be honest about what you do and how you can do it better.”    

As demand for energy continues to increase and operational efficiency becomes a growing concern for the industry, research and development on its own will not be sufficient to stay competitive, Duschinsky warns. Rather, it must be complimented with the disposition to challenge the paradigm that “oil moves all things”.

“In Canada, there is an oil company that is applying Silicon Valley thinking to its work. It offers a young, dynamic workforce a chance to collaborate, innovate, be creative and fail. It has a flat organisation – with few hierarchical levels, a meditation room, lego blocks, creative spaces in its offices… The company has no problem hiring and retaining talent,” said Duschinsky.

“And it’s producing new thinking that is both more sustainable and more profitable: installing solar panels to provide the energy for two of their wells, for example, to reduce operating costs, but also provide an additional sustainable income stream once the well runs dry. This is the kind of thinking that can emerge from a different paradigm. This is where you need to be focusing.”

The world’s admired thinker on business will be giving his presentation as part of ADIPEC’s VIP Programme, a dedicated and exclusive conference for members of the Middle East Petroleum Club, the definitive club for senior oil and gas executives.

Hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and organised by dmg events, ADIPEC is the global meeting place for oil and gas professionals, business innovators, and industry decision makers. ADIPEC 2015 will take place from 9-12 November at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and is expected to host more than 2,000 exhibitors, 7,000 delegates, and 85,000 attendees from more than 120 countries.