Best-Selling Author, Energy Thought Leader, Industrial Policy Expert
Founder | Center for Industrial Progress
Alex Epstein is a philosopher who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress. He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement.
Alex’s philosophy as “anti-pollution but pro-development” immerses audiences in his eye-opening thoughts into how fossil fuels and technology will improve the lives of people—safely, cleanly, and effectively—for years to come. Epstein draws on cutting-edge research and original insights which earned him the title of “most original thinker of the year” by political commentator, John McLaughlin in 2014.Read more
His New York Times best-selling book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, argues that fossil fuels, despite popular perception, have improved every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water. Believing that the public only hears one side of the story, he discusses how we are programmed to only concentrate on the risks and side effects of fossil fuels rather than their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy to a world of seven billion people, most of who are in developing countries and have no access to alternatives.
He has made his moral case for fossil fuels at dozens of campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Duke (his alma mater). He has also spoken to employees and leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero, Enbridge, and TransCanada.
Executive Director | ARC Energy Research Institute
Peter is an economist, investment strategist, advisor, author and public speaker on issues vital to the future of energy.
He has clocked over 30 years of experience in the business of energy, spanning all systems from oil and gas to renewables. Peter’s passion is studying how society evolves its energy use and applying the lessons of the past into today’s strategic business issues. His holistic knowledge of physics, innovation, finance and economics allows him to give audiences thought-provoking advice on how to think about pressing issues on the transition to sustainable energy solutions.Read more
An accomplished author, Peter’s two best-selling books, A Thousand Barrels a Second (McGraw-Hill, NY 2005) and The End of Energy Obesity (John Wiley & Sons, NY 2009) provide insight into the dynamic world of energy transitions through a thoughtful and highly readable examination of economic, environmental and geopolitical pressures. He has written over 600 weekly columns, current issues of which are distributed through various media channels.
In 2015 Peter was seconded to the four-person Royalty Review Panel for the province of Alberta – the world’s 8th largest producer of oil and gas – where he led the redesign of the fiscal policy. In 2016 Peter was inducted into the Alberta Petroleum Hall of Fame.
Peter has an undergraduate degree in Geophysics from the University of Alberta, a graduate degree in Econometrics from the University of Southampton UK, and a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. In addition to his principal roles at the ARC Energy Research Institute and ARC Financial, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary and has lectured at many leading universities and conferences around the world.
Managing Director | Techstars Energy Accelerator
Audun Abelsnes is the Managing Director of Techstars Energy in partnership with Equinor, Kongsberg and McKinsey. For several years, Audun Abelsnes has been part-responsible for the master-level course “New Venture Creation” (5th year) at BI Norwegian Business School (one of the Top50 business schools in Europe). He also founded and sold one company and he has been instrumental in funding and scaling up a medical diagnostic company. Audun Abelsnes has spent several years in PWC management consulting and holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from BI Norwegian Business School and City University in London.
Equinor’s Corporate Liaison | Techstars Energy Accelerator
Jens Festervoll has 17 years of experience in the energy sector as a consultant and professional across the energy value chain, primarily in oil and gas. He has worked as a Program Manager to set up Statoil’s recently established Digital Centre of Excellence. Prior to that, Festervoll was Vice President for Corporate Strategy in Statoil. In addition, he has held a number of positions from gas trading, business development and analysis in Norsk Hydro and Statoil. Festervoll has a keen interest in innovation, digitalization and change management; and holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Oslo and University of Essex. Festervoll sits on the Board of Subsea Valley Cluster, a Norwegian Centre of Expertise technology cluster delivering world leading engineering from subsea to space.
Author | Tip of the Spear
Co-Founder | Rainforest Alberta
Veteran Entrepreneur, Active Innovation Leader and Author Jim Gibson to Keynote at #PROPEL2018
Calgary-based entrepreneur Jim Gibson is an active leader in the Alberta innovation ecosystem. With 30 years of experience at the forefront of technology and change, Jim is a passionate advocate for “paying attention” to what’s coming and providing concrete examples of how we can all be leaders and role models for change. His talk will take themes from his forthcoming book, Tip of the Spear, and challenge the #PROPEL2018 audience to understand and respond to a new world that sees infinite possibilities meeting serious global problems head on.
Jim has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, a B.Comm from the University of Toronto, and holds his Certified Management Consulting Designation. Jim lives in Calgary, Canada with his family, and travels the world sharing his experience, business acumen, and start-up wisdom.Read more
Tip of the Spear
Passionate, experienced, and an infinitely curious entrepreneur, Gibson shares his cautionary tale of innovation and disruption in a human world. Tip of the Spear is the product of his life’s work – spanning over 30 years at the forefront of technology and change. Tip of the Spear is a comprehensive study of the state of technology and its impact in the near term on the fate of our species. The three Laws of Disruption are at the center of the story which recognizes that:
It takes a look into the future through the eyes of two thirteen-year-old girls from very different parts of the world. And concludes with a message of hope that is focused on creating a new social contract with those around us and a new definition of innovation that speaks more to Innovation of Ways than to Innovation of Things.
Don’t miss Jim Gibson Keynote #PROPEL2018 – Register today!
Tip of the Spear is a comprehensive study of the state of technology and its impact in the near term on the fate of our species – Pre-Purchase online now
Former President & CEO | Total E&P Canada
CEO | NextTier Energy Solutions
Oil Patch Exec turned Innovation Leader, Jean-Michel Gires Keynotes #PROPEL2018
With over 25 years of experience in the energy, mining, heavy oil, and sustainable development industries – innovation has always been top of mind for Jean-Michel Gires. Best known as the man who led Total E&P into the oil sands, this O&G executive is now in the business of breakthrough innovation, investing in new technologies that aim to radically disrupt the energy sector. A born leader, Jean-Michel is set to change the way we think about the innovation economy.Read more
Over two decades, he’s been a sustainability leader around the world and was instrumental in creating best practices for Total’s projects, specifically in the area of environmental responsibility. Gires was also named a Chevalier of the Legion d’ Honneur, in 2003, one of France’s highest civilian honours.
In 2009, Jean-Michel Gires launched the Total Ecosolutions label as his strategic vision to further support Venture Capitalism. The program offers customers ecologically efficient solutions, to help better control their environmental impact by consuming less and consuming better. At the end of 2016, over 90 products and services had received the “Total Ecosolutions” label and the sales helped save 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the product life-cycles.
This former co-chairman of the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) and former founding member of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) stepped down from CEO at Total E&P to pursue a long standing passion for Energy Innovation.
Don’t miss Jean-Michel Gires Keynote #PROPEL2018 – Register today!
Join us at #PROPEL2017 as these O&G heavyweights discuss their respective company mandates for adopting and developing clean hydrocarbon technologies. The global market for a cleaner hydrocarbon is ever growing. These companies are tasked with minimizing energy inputs to maximize output, in a low carbon economy. The answers lie in tech-driven innovation.
Hear it straight from these Titans of Technology as they share their new solutions, creative methods, and tangible approaches to clean hydrocarbons.
Founder & CEO
Atanu has 20 years of experience in software and high-tech industries. His entire career has been focused on conceptualizing, developing, selling and deploying emerging technologies. He holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering.
Ayata (which means “future” in Sanskrit) invented and refined the technology for Prescriptive Analytics over a decade of R&D. Ayata’s software ingests all types of data – Videos, Images, Sounds, Text and Numbers – to Predict what’s ahead and Prescribe how to improve this predicted future, without disrupting other priorities.
National Director Oil & Gas Transformation
As Director of Cisco Canada’s Oil and Gas vertical business, Brad Bechtold is responsible for developing and leading Cisco’s go-to-market strategy for Energy. In this role Brad is working with industry partners, educational institutions, and Oil and Gas organizations to align Cisco’s technology solutions to the critical challenges facing the industry today. With more than 25 years in Oil and Gas, Brad brings industry relevant knowledge to Cisco Canada’s Industry Transformation Team.
Brad currently sits on several technology boards and is a member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Prior to joining Cisco, Brad spent 18 years with Halliburton, a global leader in the Energy Services Sector. During his tenure with Halliburton, Brad spent the past 13 years in a global capacity. As Director for Halliburton’s GeoGraphix product line, Brad was responsible for Global Operations, R&D and Sales and Marketing.
Richard Stoneburner is currently a Managing Director for Pine Brook Partners, a private equity firm focusing on investments in the energy sector. Richard has over 35 years’ experience in upstream oil and gas exploration and production. Mr. Stoneburner is a former co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Petrohawk Energy Corporation (2009-2011) and President – North America Shale Production Division for BHP Billiton Petroleum from 2011-2012.