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     One of the greatest creations of the 21st century, of which there have been many, was Google Earth.  Not since the photo “Earthrise” has anything been able to so vividly imprint upon us how connected we all are.  Like that photo, we are now able to see Earth as it is: a planet without borders, without nations. This notion that we are not restricted by the lines on a map is one that is ever more imperative to the prosperity of individuals and the success of industries. In an age where technology has enabled anyone, anywhere to connect with someone else, the value of such an understanding cannot be overstated. From some of the tallest mountains to the depths of the oceans, and now even the stars, we in the mining industry ply our profession across every corner of the globe.  Over the next century, our demand for resources and innovation will only strengthen the need for collaboration among industries worldwide. It will be up to us to not only identify and analyze the needs of a global economy, but connect with and engage people the world over.

    A company’s greatest asset is its people. Today, it is technology that enables those same people to ensure their company’s success.  There is no doubt that technology, and the global trend toward digitalization, will create the opportunities that current and new companies capitalize on to succeed.  In the mining industry, where one of the largest obstacles is its inherent rigidity, digitalization offers flexibility. Where projects are extremely susceptible to changes in commodity markets, national regulations, and public perception, technology allows for real time market analysis and risk assessment. Most importantly, technology provides a limitless means to connect with consumers, partners, and the public.  How does a local mine improve its community? How does that same mine affect the international marketplace?  With today’s technology and a global perspective, answers to these questions are not only feasible, but lay the groundwork for future success.

    The growth and prosperity of the mining industry irrevocably lies on the shoulders of those who will soon be the leaders in this industry.  Where once companies rarely ventured outside their native countries, today their success is dependent upon it.  Today, thanks to technology, we are drowning in data.  However, this wealth of information enables the achievements that will undoubtedly come with new, skilled leaders.  Leaders who use technology in ways that bring industries and people together in a global community.  A community built upon a simple, undeniable fact: we are all connected.

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