See you soon folks
Every year at this time I write about how much I am looking forward to the new conference season. It’s a moment of anticipation as I ponder the exotic spots the industry will take me over the next couple of months. But this time it seems different. It seems a little disrespectful to be off enjoying ourselves when so close by our friends are firing missiles at each other.
But I guess we should always remember the Serenity Prayer, you know, the one about having ‘the wisdom to know the difference’. I have been astonished to see the selfless acts performed by many members of the industry in their efforts to help those in need. They, as do all of us, try their best. We should not beat ourselves up about those things we cannot influence. So, although I will be attending the conferences this year with a heavier heart, I will also try to remember that me being miserable will help nobody, but spreading a little joy might make a difference. I’ll do what I can. I trust also that, should our friends from Russia join us, as I hope they will, we will all remember that they are victims too.
I am approaching the conferences slightly differently this year for another reason. Of course we have all been starved of contact for so long that it really will be a joy to see everyone again. But that absence, I wonder, might have taught us that we can manage OK without quite so much globetrotting. Indeed as the environmental pressure and now the cost of energy increase, maybe people will be reassessing their policies. For that reason, and the ongoing reluctance to travel and additional documentation requirements, I suspect attendance will be lower. Will that be permanent or temporary? I don’t know. But if you are interested in this issue, I urge you to read my piece on page 36 as I speculate about what the future might hold. I would value your opinions.
Finally, I wanted to acknowledge the passing of two industry leaders this month: Jim Putt and Sir Alastair Stewart. I have offered my modest tributes to them both in these pages. Both influenced the industry in different ways and from different continents. Their passing marks, once again, a slipping into a different age. Let us hope that we can do justice to their legacies.