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OTC Event, d5, Inspired Professionals to Identify the Next Big Step for the Energy Sector

OTC Event, d5, Inspired Professionals to Identify the Next Big Step for the Energy Sector

Second event’s diverse speakers discussed managing current industry challenges, preparing for the future.

Houston, Texas, USA (6 May 2016) – The Offshore Technology Conference’s (OTC) event, d5: The Next Big Thing, happened Friday at Rice University after OTC 2016.

Launched in 2015 to bring together game-changing, forward-thinking innovators to speak and lead group discussions, d5 again sparked the creativity necessary to identify “The Next Big Thing” for the energy sector.

“We’ve enjoyed continued success in the second year of d5. It’s so good to learn about alternate views, technologies and societies from people looking in from outside of the oil and gas industry,” said John Bartos, d5 advisory board chairperson “Everyone I spoke to was inspired in some way and intend to take their learnings back to their day-to-day jobs.”

The day-long event attracted more than 250 global energy professionals and featured a collection of seven speakers, each of whom discussed innovative ideas and how to implement them. 

Serving as masters of ceremony were Libby Cheney, partner at TRIO Global Partners, and Sammy Haroon, d5 program committee chairperson. Throughout the day, there were breakout sessions for questions and answers with the presenters. The event concluded with a networking reception.

Speaker Recaps

  • Gindi Vincent, author, speaker, blogger and counsel at ExxonMobil Corporation. In her presentation, “Brave Leadership,” Vincent detailed how to create an engaging workplace and how employees should be willing to recognize knowledge gaps. “You have to be willing to be real,” she said.
  • Larry Tesler, Silicon Valley consultant who has led innovation in user-centered computing for more than 50 years at places like Stanford, Xerox PARC, Apple, Amazon and Yahoo! In his presentation, “Failure in Pursuit of the Next Big Thing: Identifying the Better Next Thing,” Tesler gave a history lesson on technologies that were on track to be the better next thing but had bad outcomes due to a failure to innovate or bad timing. “When you pick a next big thing to chase, you can’t expect it to get done in the next six months,” he said.
  • The keynote speaker, Vivek Wadhwa, discussed recent advancements, as well as predicting technologies on the horizon within his topic, “Wiped Out: How Old Industries Will Become Toast – While New Industries Will Bring Home the Bacon.” . “Exponential is how technology is moving; it’s not linear,” he said. He gave examples of forthcoming innovation in education, health care and energy. “Imagine being able to deliver payloads to certain parts of the body,” he said while explaining the future of surgeries and medication. “We have become data, and our doctors are becoming software.” He concluded by expressing that every industry will be disrupted, which presents great opportunities.
  • Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot, which develops robots for the industrial, consumer and military markets, and CEO of multi-rotor drone developer CyPhyWorks Said, “Never do a job that a robot could do”. She was also an advocate of encouraging the next generation to be involved in STEM. “Once a kid has built a robot, they are no longer afraid of technology. They don’t look at technology as something to buy, but rather something to create,” she emphasized.
  • Derek Mathieson, vice president, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer at Baker Hughes. Mathieson spoke on how executive decisions drive personality changes at organizations. He also addressed balancing discipline and agility in product development and making product commercialization a core discipline. “People find it very hard to work outside of organizational structures,” he said. He added that sometimes decisions made in real-time don’t look as they will make any sense in the long run, but it’s the grey area where innovation can occur.
  • Judson Jacobs, senior director, upstream, with IHS Energy, talked about turning technologies into capabilities, becoming connectors within your own company. “The solutions will come just as much from the service companies as they will from the oil companies themselves,” he said. He also shared how E&P technology priorities are changing and about the emergence of digital technology.
  • Ram Shenoy, former ConocoPhillips chief technology officer and current principal of Innovation Impact spoke about how older technologies and processes are destroyed to make way for newer versions. Shenoy believes that “Technological innovation is the prime drive of creative destruction,”.

For more information about d5, visit http://2016.otcnet.org/d5/


The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. Founded in 1969, OTC’s flagship conference is held annually in Houston. OTC has expanded technically and globally with the Arctic Technology Conference, OTC Brasil, and OTC Asia. For more information, visit www.otcnet.org.

Offshore Technology Conference

Megan Magaña
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