Some of the qualities young people offer, such as active thinking, sensitivity to new issues and their powerful innovative potential, are vitally important to the future of the petroleum industry.
The World Petroleum Council, aware of the importance of providing young professionals and students with the significant role they deserve, launched the 1st WPC Youth Forum in China in 2004, the first activity in which young people played a leading role in the WPC's 80-year history.
This event was held in Beijing from 17-20 October 2004 under the theme "Youth and Innovation – the Future of the Petroleum Industry". The Forum was an overwhelming success and won widespread acclaim from its participants. Since then, young professionals and students have been on the World Petroleum Council's agenda as one of its most significant, foremost topics, laying the foundations for international exchange and cooperation in the future.
Members of the WPC Youth Committee and the Executive Committee at the 2012 Annual WPC Council Meeting in Astana
In 2006 the WPC created the first WPC Youth Committee and in January 2007 seventeen members nominated by their WPC National Committees met in Madrid to lay the foundations of the World Petroleum Council's Youth Committee. The Committee was renamed as WPC Young Professionals in 2015 and the members base their activities on the following principals:
To create and nurture a collaborative, global forum for young people to be heard
To champion new ideas within the petroleum industry
To promote a realistic image of the petroleum industry, its challenges and opportunities
To bridge the generation gap through mentorship networks
Shaping the global energy future by bringing together the passion and talents of industry students, young professionals and emerging leaders.
Guided by our core values and commitment to sustainable energy we provide a platform for inclusive dialogue about current energy challenges, seeking to build an energy future that will benefit our generation and those to come.
The Young Professionals Committee actively contributes to the triennal World Petroleum Congress and plays a crucial role by putting together a wide range of interesting youth activities for the 22nd WPC in Istanbul in July 2017.
A highlight of the previous Congress in Moscow in 2014 was the Special Youth Session organised by the Youth Committee to which both young people and senior industry leaders contributed:
Young professionals and students interested in actively participating in the oil and gas industry, found a space to do so at the Youth Lounge where they were able to exchange their opinions, meet other professionals from the industry and share viewpoints with senior representatives of the petroleum sector and top executives from the world's leading oil and gas companies.
Young leaders and professionals in the industry also have an opportunity to voice their interests and provide their perspective of the industry at the WPC Youth Forums.
The next one will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro under the auspices of the Brazilian National Committee. The Future Leaders Forum will take place alongside the Rio Oil and Gas Show, one of the largest industry events in the world, from the 26-27 October 2016.
In 2013 the 4th WPC Youth Forum was hosted in Calgary, Canada. It was organised entirely by young people who selected the theme of "Unconventional Solutions for an Unconventional World" for the event which attracted nearly 1600 participants from around the world. http://wpccanada.com/about/4th-wpc-youth-forum-in-calgary/
China launched the idea in 2004 with the 1st WPC Youth Forum in Beijing showcasing the excellence of the next generation in the industry. The 2nd WPC Youth Forum was held from 18-20 November 2009 in Paris. Under the theme of “Energize your Future” it provided an innovative approach to the challenges and opportunities facing the oil and gas industry. In November 2010 WPC hosted the 3rd WPC Youth Forum in New Delhi. Over 500 young people under 35 participated at the event and in the online discussions and competitions at www.fueltheyouth.com where the best teams and individuals competed for prizes of up to $5,000 each and a trip to India.
The WPC Youth Committee encourages all member countries to actively promote and involve young people in their activities and leadership, be it by nominating a youth from their country to join the National Committee or by forming a their own national Youth Committee to engage with young people in their companies and their country on an ongoing basis.