Get Involved

Join others in organizing a forum

Everyone plays a role at a forum. The Forum Series Coordinating and Implementation committees select topics based on trends in the industry. Responsibilities are unique for each role, and each person is essential to coordinate such powerful collaboration. Learn how you can contribute by downloading details listed under each position.

Forum Series Committees

The committees governing SPE Forum Series work between two hemispheres and five regions to host up to ten forums annually.

Click on titles to expand details about each role:

The FSCC is responsible for the oversight of the SPE Forum Series program including the planning and conduct of forums under policies and guidelines as approved by the SPE Board of Directors.

Comprising of five members, terms for the chairperson and committee members are three years and subject to renewal. Committee members include each chairperson of Forum Series Implementation Committees (FSIC) plus three at-large representatives.

Current committee members:

Basak Kurtoglu, Quantum Energy Partners, Chairperson
Paul Francis, Fenten
Oscar Eduardo Ramirez Lamus, Schlumberger
Thomas Major, National Oilwell Varco
Rick Stanley, Kore-Optics

Members of the FSIC report to the FSCC and are responsible for identifying current trends in the industry to suggest relevant, future-focused topics for new forums.

The committees are responsible for recommending topics for the forums, reviewing the plans and schedule with forum chairpersons, and ensuring that the scheduling and planning for each forum is handled in accordance with forum policies and guidelines. Committee members are also responsible for submitting recommendations to the FSCC for revisions to Forum Series guidelines and policies.

Comprising of six to nine members, terms are three years and subject to renewal. FSIC chairpersons also serve as members of the FSCC.

Current committee members:

Americas

Thomas Major, National Oilwell Varco, FSIC-Americas Chairperson
James Cunningham, Schlumberger
Jairo Corredor, Devon Energy
Reza Fassihi, BHP Billiton
Basak Kurtoglu, Quantum Energy Partners
Claudia Molina, Encana
Jeff Moss, ExxonMobil (Retired)
Chet Ozgen, Nitec LLC
Rick Stanley, Kore-Optics

Europe

Paul Francis, Fenten, FSIC-Europe Chairperson
Hernan Buijs, Wintershall
Jack Colborn, NOV
Mark Laws, Shell
Alex Mackay, Welltec
Ekaterina Minyaeva, Accenture Consulting
Abdulatif Omair, Saudi Aramco
Oscar Eduardo Ramirez Lamus, Schlumberger

How are the sessions distributed within a Forum?

Day 1
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Session
Day 2 Day 3
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Relaxation and Recreation
  • Evening Session
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Relaxation and Recreation
  • Evening Session
Day 4 Day 5
  • Morning Session
  • Afternoon Session
  • Morning Session

 

Roles and opportunities

Participants of forums are selected to fulfil roles based on the structure of the forum, giving members opportunities to contribute to discussions based on his or her skills and experience. Click on titles to expand details about each role:

The Chairperson sets the stage for the entire Forum, through their management of the overall sessions and the content, based on the abstract.

How is the Chairperson’s Role Successfully Achieved?

  • Select Steering Committee members who are committed and well connected (both inside and outside the industry) and able to involve solid Discussion Leaders. The balanced composition of your Steering Committee is pivotal to a successful dynamic of your forum.
  • Select committee members based on:
    • Knowledge on the subject (but not experts or gurus).
    • Well‐connected individuals within the industry.
    • Self‐confidence and self‐motivation, and who you are sure can control an unruly session effectively!
    • Target technical managers who make things happen.
    • Availability on dates of meetings and forum.
    • Geographical and company representation (service company members tend to know more people).
    • Integrate both expertise and diversity to properly weigh the composition of your Steering Committee.
  • Plan for about 12‐18 committee members. This number allows committee members to act as Session Managers.
  • Contact a relevant SPE Technical Advisory Committee to identify individuals who are interested in joining your Steering Committee. Consult your Liaison if you need assistance in contacting this committee.
  • Establish objectives at the first Steering Committee meeting

Discussion Leaders facilitate discussions among an elite group of industry experts. The Discussion Leader works with the Session Manager to establish advantages and pitfalls of current technologies while garnering constructive evaluation and brainstorming among participants.

How Do You Prepare for Your Discussion Leader Role?

  • Work with your Session Manager to determine the flow of your discussion and maintain continuity with the other Discussion Leaders in your session as well as with all of the discussions for all of the sessions.
  • Develop your discussion slides with your Session Manager well before the forum to resolve any issues.
  • Realize that you are a facilitator rather than the subject matter expert:
    • Direct the participants’ focus to the topic discussion and each other.
    • Limit the time that the participants are focused on you ‐ speak for a maximum of 10 minutes total.
    • Cover the background of the discussion.
    • Present the problem at hand.
    • Stay away from proposing solutions.
    • Limit slides to 3‐4; never more than 4.

How is the Discussion Leader’s Role Successfully Achieved?

  • Be concise during your initial discussion statements.
  • Be enthusiastic, motivated, and self‐confident.
  • Encourage controversy while focusing on the future.
  • Be flexible; adjust with the flow of the discussion.
  • Use your listening skills to guide people and the discussion.
  • Encourage people to talk.
  • Conclusions and consensus are not required.
  • Ask open‐ended questions.
  • Do not answer questions.
  • Frame the discussion, and explore options.

Forum Liaisons are members of the Forum Series Implementation Committee (FSIC). They are assigned to act as the Forum Liaison of a particular forum. They provide advice and guidance on the process of developing a forum, the guidelines, and best practices gained from his/her experience attending and developing past forums.

What is the Role of a Society of Petroleum Engineers Liaison?

During Forum Planning and Implementation

  • A member of the Forum Series Implementation Committee.
  • Assigned to act as the Forum Liaison of a particular forum. The Forum Series Implementation Committee (FSIC) monitors individual Forums through these assigned Liaisons.
  • Provides advice and guidance on the process of developing a Forum, the guidelines, and best practices gained from his/her experience attending and developing past Forums.
  • Coaches Forum Chairpersons on how to develop and implement the Forum Steering Committee and the Forum itself.
  • Meets with the SPE Forum Chairpersons prior to the first Forum Committee Meeting, and coaches them on the rules and expectations associated with the Forum.
  • If there are indications that a Forum Chairperson is leading the Forum away from the guidelines either the Forum Liaison and/or the SPE Staff are expected to identify the problem and coach the Chairperson. If coaching fails the matter should be raised with FSIC.
  • Acts as coach and mentor to the Steering Committee, and when required, enforce Forum Series guidelines.
  • Represents the FSIC during any slight modification to the abstract and title during the first Steering Committee meeting. The re‐approval of the abstract and title would be by the FSIC Liaison.

At the Forum

  • Attends the Forum itself. 
  • Curtails extensive note taking.
  • Controls commercialism.
  • Upholds the integrity of the forum by maintaining the Forum Guidelines.

After the Forum and Across the Year

  • Submits recommendations on how to improve the Forum Series to the Forum Series Coordinating Committee (FSCC).
  • Acts on behalf of the Forum Series Implementation Committee (FSIC) as needed. 
  • Submits a forum report on the Forum. This report is reviewed by the Forum Series Implementation Committee (FSIC) and the Forum Series Coordinating Committee (FSCC).

Forum participants are selected by the Forum Steering Committee, based on qualifications and ability to contribute to discussions. Review currently scheduled forum topics and submit an application to participate.

What is Your Role as a Participant at a Society of Petroleum Engineers Forum?

  • Collaborate with your fellow participants to generate ideas and innovations about future challenges facing the E&P industry.  
  • Take the 5 days to explore the future.
  • Discuss new, unpublished, and incomplete work.
  • Keep the topics as international in scope as possible.
  • Envision where the technology could or should go.  
  • Raise issues rather than try to solve problems.
  • Discuss concepts rather than expect presentations.
  • Discuss the controversial issues that could move the industry out of the past and into the future.
  • Use lessons of the past only to bridge to the future.
  • Network, network, network.
  • Enjoy your time at the forum.
  • Leave with new ideas, perspective and contacts.

The participant may receive an optional summary report after the forum at the discretion of the steering committee and SPE approval. This document is a high-level summary of the forum, and is distributed to the participants only.

What is Your Role as a Forum Series Poster Chairperson?

A Steering Committee member is assigned to chair the submission and acceptance of posters for the Forum if the display of posters or a poster session is desired.  The Poster Chairperson will solicit and review the posters, and manage the poster organization during the Forum.  

SPE staff will include a Poster Participation Form in the Forum materials that are sent to invited participants. This form asks participants to notify the Poster Chairperson if they would like to submit a poster, and describe the content of the proposed poster.

The Poster Chairperson reviews all poster ideas, and approves or declines the poster before the Forum. Introducing new products and services within the poster is acceptable, but posters should not contain excessive commercialism, company logos, trademarks or specific product names.  

Why Are There Posters At the Forum?

Posters are a good way to review technical details and case histories that provide Forum topic background. This background is particularly useful for multi‐disciplinary Forums with participants from many technical backgrounds who require a better understanding of the other technologies to improve their participation in the Forum.  

Poster Content Guidelines 

  • All poster session materials will be reviewed by the Poster Chairperson (and the Forum Steering Committee as needed) before permitting the poster to be displayed. The Poster Chairperson reserves the right to refuse permission to display any poster considered to be inappropriate or commercial in nature.
  • The posters will be on display for the duration of the Forum. Poster presenters should plan to mount their poster presentation to the poster board at the Poster Briefing.
  • Posters should not exceed 36 inches tall and 48 inches wide. If needed, a poster display board (36 inches tall x 48 inches wide) with easel will be provided by SPE. SPE will provide mounting materials (Velcro and tape).
  • The poster display may include graphs, tables, photographs or illustrations. All the material should be sufficient size to be easily read. The poster should generally be prepared in the following manner:
    • No excessive commercialism, company logos, trademarks or specific product names.  If excessive, the poster may be modified, or if the poster is determined to be inappropriate, it will not be displayed.
    • Identify topic by title, presenter, contact information, and affiliation.
      • Place the title prominently at the top of the poster to allow easy identification.
      • Presenter name and affiliation could be written below the poster title. Use of company logo is allowed for the purpose of affiliation only.
      • In addition to your name, we suggest that you attach a recognizable photograph of yourself to your poster.
    • Keep illustrations simple by using charts, graphs or photographs.  Contrasting colors, drawings and pictures create interest and visually explain a point.

Session Managers are key members of the Steering Committee who are responsible for selecting effective discussion leaders and establishing the strategy for each session.

What is the Session Manager’s Role in the Forum?

Define the structure of the forum topic through the content of your session and its continuity with the other sessions.

How Should the Session Manager Interact with the Discussion Leaders?

  • Tell Discussion Leaders they will serve as facilitators of discussion and will not be making a presentation.
  • Work with your Discussion Leaders to determine the flow of the discussion and its continuity within the session as well as with all of the discussions for all of the sessions.
  • Review the discussion slides with your Discussion Leaders prior to the forum to resolve any issues. Common faults are too formal, too many slides, and too conclusive.
  • Put emphasis on the subject instead of the Discussion Leader.
  • Identify key points to the Discussion Leader.
  • Alert the Discussion Leader to their role as a facilitator rather than the subject matter expert.  Their role is to:
    • Direct the participants’ focus to the topic discussion and each other.
    • Limit the time that the participants are focused on you ‐ speak for a maximum of 10 minutes total.
    • Cover the background of the discussion.
    • Present the problem at hand.
    • Stay away from proposing solutions.
    • Limit slides to 3‐4; never more than 4.

How is the Session Manager’s Role Successfully Achieved?

  • Develop your sessions with your Co‐Manager.
  • Define a structure for your session and be aware of its continuity with the other sessions.
  • Place breakouts as early as possible in the session.
  • Remember that the proper selection of your Discussion Leaders is the key to the success of the Forum. These people should possess flexibility, motivation, self‐confidence and the ability to facilitate.   
  • Please provide the SPE Staff with the names and contact information of confirmed Discussion Leaders at the second Steering Committee meeting or as soon as possible.
  • Realize that invitation letters will be sent to all Discussion Leaders by SPE Staff, including a “Discussion Leader’s Role in the Forum” document.  

The SPE staff manages the forum along with the Steering Committee and the Liaison during the forum planning and implementation phases. They are present at the forum for all on-site logistics, and distribute final documents post-event. Some staff work year-round with the Forum Series Governance Committees.

What is the Role of the SPE Staff?

During Forum Planning and Implementation

  • Manages details of Forum planning in advance.
  • Selects site, facility, and service contractors. Complete the contracts.
  • Establishes registration fees based on Forum budget.  
  • Manages Forum planning production schedule.  
  • Develops tentative Technical Program with the Steering Committee.
  • Develops marketing brochure and initiate targeted distribution.
  • Coordinates publicity on SPE website, through mailings, and in e‐mail campaigns.
  • Attends Steering Committee meetings and document minutes.
  • Supports the Steering Committee in developing the Technical Program and selection of participants.
  • Manages application and registration process.

At the Forum

  • Attends the Forum and manage on‐site logistical details.
  • Manages room blocks.
  • Handles all communications with hotel representatives and contractors.
  • Facilitates every Forum arrangements on‐site.

After the Forum and Across the Year

  • Coordinates any post‐forum documentation distribution and archiving.
  • Submits recommendations on how to improve the Forum Series to the Forum Series Coordinating Committee (FSCC).
  • Works with the FSCC and FSIC to plan new forums.

The Forum Steering Committee establishes the structure of a session based on the content and relevance to other topics during the forum.

What is Your Role as a Forum Series Steering Committee Member?

Develop the technical program for the Forum, and implement it onsite at the Forum with a goal to achieve the objectives of the Forum Series. These goals include stimulating thought, innovation, and discussion. Actively participate in a week‐long, joint exploration of the future of the Forum topic.

How Do You Prepare for Your Steering Committee Member Role?

  • Review Forum Series Guidelines.  
  • Attend the milestone Steering Committee (SC) meetings that are required before the Forum. Meet between these milestone meetings to reach your technical program goals.
  • Use your connections within the field to invite other Steering Committee members (as needed), discussion leaders, and participants.  
  • Help choose the best discussion leaders and participants to generate new ideas and innovation during the week‐long joint exploration of the future of the Forum topic.
  • Contribute before, during, and after the Forum toward the goal of achieving the objectives of the Forum Series to stimulate thought, innovation, and discussion.

How is Your Role as a Steering Committee Member Successfully Achieved?

  • Fine tune the abstract and title if necessary.
  • Develop an outline for a Technical Program with specific titles and a 2‐3 sentence session description for each of the 9 sessions.
  • Divide the responsibility for the 9 sessions among the Steering Committee members. Steering Committee members will function as Session Managers/Co‐Managers.
  • Finalize the tentative Technical Program and session descriptions. Submit to FSIC Liaison for approval and to SPE staff for publicity.
  • Agree on the discussion leader selection. Avoid using same person more than twice. Determine preferred participants.   
  • Determine if an optional Forum Summary will be created for possible distribution.   Distribution is dependent on unanimous approval by the participants at the forum.
  • Discuss facility needs such as room setup, audiovisual equipment, and breakout rooms with SPE staff.
  • Market the Forum to key colleagues.  Explain the Forum goals and the Forum Series guidelines clearly so that they are prepared to contribute and so that they objectives are aligned with Forum expectations.
  • Be an advocate for the Forum and the Forum Series now and in the future.

How the FSIC selects topics

Both FSICs meet annually to discuss hot topics for future forums. The committee members brainstorm ideas and narrow down a short list of topics and abstracts are written. The topics are then submitted to the FSCC for their review and approval. This list is submitted to the SPE board for final approval. Topics are planned up to two years in advance.