Over the past year, during my many travels under the CIM umbrella, one thing has become very obvious to me — people make things happen. Corporations do not set policy or create action, but rather, it is the people within who do so. This was very much the theme at a Corporate Social Responsibility workshop at the University of Calgary in early March: an event organized by the students at the Haskayne School of Business.
As a keynote speaker, I spoke about my experiences at Fording and Elk Valley Coal. My focus was on corporate philanthropy, primarily related to our “Caring for Children” campaign. There were also a number of other speakers talking about diversity in the workplace, labour shortages, relationships with aboriginal communities, as well as discussions on fair trade and investing (beyond quarterly results). I was very encouraged to witness the interest expressed by the business students in these areas. I see a solid future for our industry with a very pragmatic approach being taken by many in the upcoming generation.
Our theme at this year’s CIM Conference and Exhibition is similar: “Moving Beyond: Innovation for a Sustainable Future.” Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss both the technical and the softer side of the challenges we face and explore practical solutions for our minerals industry throughout all aspects of our business.
As my term as CIM president winds down, I wish to say thank you all for the support you have given to me and to CIM. With your commitment, we can continue to add value to the experiences of our members and the industry as a whole, as CIM has a significant role to play in promoting best practices.
I congratulate Jim Gowans as he takes on his new role as president of CIM. I know you will give him the same support I had. I look forward to seeing you around in the future in my role as past president!
Jim Popowich, CIM President