September 2014

As chief elected officer of the Society, ASSE's president promotes the advancement of the Society and the safety profession, and represents ASSE before members, other relevant professional societies and various governmental agencies. Professional Safety shares his latest thoughts on the Society, the profession and its practice.

Read past messages in the President's Message Archive.

President's Message - August 2007

Our members recognize the vital role ASSE must perform in today's global economy. As a Society, we have a great opportunity to grow our influence as a world-renowned leader in SH&E.

2007-2008 ASSE President Michael W. Thompson, CSP

Acting Globally: A View to the Future

Consider the possibilities. We are in a time of truly incredible change and challenge in our profession. Many factors are influencing SH&E performance-from changing geopolitical relationships and redistribution of businesses to emerging competition, social and environmental pressures, and demographic shifts.

These trends are transforming how we as SH&E professionals must prepare and practice-they are challenging our knowledge and skill sets and driving us to continually seek to better ourselves.

I work in a truly global organization-one with more than 100,000 employees in more than 75 countries. I view the diversity of this workforce-its many languages, cultures and points of view with respect to SH&E-as a gift, one that continuously sharpens and hones my professional competencies, energy and commitment.

While many ASSE members work for smaller companies or are self-employed, they, too, are affected by what happens worldwide. The emergence of the global marketplace is altering traditional strategies and practices. We are part of businesses that have transactions around the world. As our employers and clients look to developing markets for greater profits, we also are seeing the far-reaching effects of SH&E laws and standards developed in other countries. The recent adoption of the Global Harmonization Standard is a prime example of a standard that crosses national borders.

Thinking globally, we must recognize one fact that affects our profession and our membership, now and in the future: Economists predict that the world population will reach 8 billion by 2030-up from 6.5 billion today-with 95% of that growth occurring in the developing world. As these developing countries seek to grow their economies, protecting people, property and environment is becoming critical to sustaining growth and creating a higher standard of living. As a result, our members are being asked to share their knowledge and expertise by participating in international conferences, seminars and professional development programs.

To meet these increasing demands and expectations, members are looking to ASSE to become an involved leader in the global arena. ASSE's strategic vision declares that we will "be a global

champion of the safety, health and environmental professional, a global leader of the profession and a premier resource for those engaged in protecting people, property and the environment." This vision offers great opportunity for current and future members, and I am pleased that our members recognize the vital role ASSE must perform in the global economy.

As a Society, we have great opportunity to grow our influence as a world-renowned leader in SH&E. There is a growing population of connected SH&E professionals with whom we all can share ideas and information. Today, members in Ulysses, KS, Lima, Peru, or Perth, Australia, can connect through the Society to advance their careers, promote the profession and grow the global SH&E body of knowledge. ASSE also continues to collaborate with international professional organizations, governments and businesses to advance the profession and help businesses improve their SH&E performance.

ASSE members live and work in more than 75 countries. This creates an ever-increasing diversity of views among the membership about what the Society's vision really means to them. As members of various Society councils, committees and the Global Task Force gather in the coming year, they will discuss our global vision statement, strategically and tactically. They will seek to understand the benefits perceived and received by current and prospective SH&E professionals around the world. They will ask, "How will we and our Society be viewed as a viable player in the broader world of SH&E?" And they will consider the promotion of the profession globally and the alignment with members' needs and the needs of their customers.

These discussions and activities will not distract us from our current strategic goals or detract from our service to our members and their customers. Instead, these many discussions and individual dialogues will be additive, bringing new knowledge and perspectives about our vision. They may even lead to a new strategic goal.

All of this energy and momentum will contribute to the realization of ASSE's vision. Our members are ASSE and we will make a difference through our commitment to each other globally. Consider the possibilities!

Michael W. Thompson, CSP