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The Geological Society Business Forum

Mark Steeves reports on the Geological Society Business Forum, a Professional Scientific Interest Group

12 December 2022

In March 2020, what was called the City of London Geoscience Forum (CLGF) changed its name to the Geological Society Business Forum (GSBF) so as to better convey its aims.  Around this time, the Geological Society restructured the format of its groups and networks, so that the Business Forum became what is referred to as a Professional Scientific Interest Group (PSIG).

The CLGF was founded in 2011 by Dr Peter Dolan with the support of non-Fellows Richard Palengat, a specialist upstream oil and gas (O&G) insurance underwriter in the City of London, and me.  The aim was to build bridges between the Society and the City, so that the City might better understand the Society, and vice versa. The CLGF took a while to get going, with only a handful of events between 2011 and 2013, but after that we consistently staged three or four events a year, principally about the oil and gas industry. In addition to this topic, we also held events on Trust and Transparency in the Extractive Industries (in 2017), Ethical Investing in the Extractive Industries (in 2018), and Diversity and Social Mobility in the resource sector (in 2019). Many of these meetings were generously hosted by City of London-based firms.

In 2020, along with the name change, Peter Dolan stepped down as chair and Mike Armitage, latterly of SRK Consulting, took the helm. Mike is steering the GSBF towards a wider audience,  not just focussed on the City but on other users of geological information including the mining industry and those interested by it.

Between 2020 and 2021, we held five events; four online and one hybrid, on Critical Minerals & The UK’s Green Industrial Revolution, which was accessible both online and in-person, at Burlington House. In 2022, we held three further hybrid events, on Carbon Capture & Storage, Mineral Rights in the UK, and Critical Minerals – the latter of which will become an annual event. More events are planned for 2023.

Despite the name and structural changes, our aim remains to inform the business community, advise and lobby government, and engage with the general public on geological issues. We welcome input from more Fellows, in particular those representing other industries, so we can extend our reach.

To get involved, attend our meetings, or help convene events, please find more information at: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Groups-and-Networks/Specialist-Groups/Geological-Society-Business-Forum

The Geological Society Business Forum committee members:

Dr Mike Armitage (Chair)          Fellow of the Society      Mining

Dr Peter Dolan                              Fellow of the Society      O&G

Mark Steeves                                 Businessman                    O&G

Richard Palengat                          Underwriter                     O&G

Mike Bridden                                Fellow of the Society      O&G

Nick Sorgo                                     Risk & Insurance             Natural Resources

Ollie O’Donnell                             Investment Banker         Mining

Edward Prescott                           Fellow of the Society      O&G

Kirsty Benham                              Critical Minerals Assoc   Mining

Dr Sarah Gordon                          Fellow of the Society      Mining

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