What does it take to close a country’s divisions? The question is of course so vast that there can be no single answer. 2018 First Mover Vanessa Ryan, Senior Advisor on Shale Issues at Chevron, approaches it from an often-underexamined perspective: the material basis for economic development.
How do you want to grow as a professional through participating in the fellowship?
The fellowship provides a unique opportunity to step back from the day-to-day and reflect. It is also a rare opportunity to learn from and with a group of people from diverse industries, all passionate about making positive change in their organizations and in the world. I have taken the advice from my fellowship colleagues on storytelling and framing and seen some early successes.
What issue(s) do you think will decide the future of your industry?
Our country is challenged by a growing economic divide. I believe our industry can play a constructive role as energy is essential for economic development. We need energy for everything from charging our devices to running our factories and farms. Access to affordable energy spurs economic development. Our challenge is to provide affordable energy in a socially and environmentally responsible way. This means continuous improvement through innovation.
What do you read, watch and listen for inspiration and insights in your career?
I am inspired by the people I work with each day. I have the privilege of working across our enterprise – from operations and facility engineering to the media team. All bring different perspectives but share a commitment to delivering energy safely and responsibly. Energy is something we often take for granted. The Quest by Daniel Yergin is a thorough history of energy and frames up important questions about the future. At home, my two young sons have taught me far more life lessons than I ever expected.