On May 14, 2020, YPAC met with our advisors to ask what industry needed from our organization during this time and to kick off a two way dialogue between young professionals and senior leaders. We really enjoyed engaging in discussion about challenges in the industry.

We asked our advisors three questions:

  1. What major challenges is your organization facing at this time? 
  2. What once in a generation opportunity is there for the pipeline industry right now?   What role can YPAC have in making that opportunity into reality?
  3. What gaps do we see in YPAC’s goals?

Question 1:

YPAC heard that in the short term, ensuring safety of people, and the reliable operation of assets is critical. Many projects are on hold right now as a result of COVID-19, and this is challenging for the industry as a whole. Budget cuts are being seen across the industry. We are also seeing significant stakeholder engagement challenges emerging.

From a long term look, we expect that there may be changes to how people work and live, but these are hard to predict right now. We are learning a lot about how to be effective virtually, and we anticipate that some of these behaviors will be permanent. Within our YP community, we’ve heard many stories of maternity and paternity leave being facilitated and eased by virtual and flexible work – we hope this kind of trend continues.

Question 2:

We heard from our advisors that there is a huge opportunity for YPAC to articulate it’s vision of the future of the pipeline industry right now. We believe that pipelines have a significant role to play in the energy transition and we want to ensure that young professional leaders are ready to take on challenges. The government is looking at designing post-COVID stimulus, and the voice of young pipeliners needs to be heard. We also heard that there is an opportunity to spearhead technology, digital transformation, and innovation in construction, engineering, and operations.

There is also an opportunity to challenge the conversation around Indigenous participation – beyond consultation. To evolve the industry conversation, the industry must challenge the politics involved during pipeline development. Also, spearhead a different conversation as to what role Indigenous folks have during pipeline development. YPAC’s vision of the future asks us all to question how pipelines move us towards Reconcillation.

Engagement with academia and existing knowledge is a significant opportunity during this time. We need more knowledge transfer to occur. Getting operational knowledge from different aspects of Oil and Gas industry and other sectors and applying it to the pipeline industry to improve current technology is critical to enabling YPAC’s vision of the future.

Question 3:

We heard the need to update some of our goals to ensure that they more closely match with our passion around our missions. We also heard that our goals could be even more ambitious. We are taking these comments away and are re-evaluating our strategy to ensure we meet the challenges.

We want to extend our gratitude to our advisors! Thank you for shaping this organization!

What’s your “call to action” in your own organization as a young pipeliner? How can the next generation take on these challenges, embody them, and drive change within our own organizations?