An interesting discussion at this year’s National Safety Congress (NSC) this week in Atlanta takes place today at the Executive Forum. The topic is “Beyond Engagement: Innovations for Sustainable Success” and it is presented by the Campbell Institute.

The session will offer advice from three top leaders from organizations with a history of EHS excellence. They will share their stories and perspectives on how they gone beyond engagement. World-class performers in environmental, health and safety know that engagement is critical to sustainable success, yet engagement is in many ways a starting point. Innovators develop new approaches to caring for the health and wellness of their employees as well as their organizations.

The speakers are: Sam Smolik, SVP Manufacturing at LyondellBasell; Aaron Walsh, director of the Immersive Education Initiative; and Todd Conklin, human and organizational performance expert and adviser to Los Alamos National Labs.

Attendees will get the opportunity to interact with the speakers, ask questions and learn how to better engage with employees.

Smolik is the senior vice president of Manufacturing for the Americas and Refining Operations at LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies. In this role, he has responsibility for all manufacturing operations in North and South America.

He also has served as global vice president of Health, Safety, Environment and Operational Excellence. His responsibilities included oversight of the company’s Operational Excellence management system.

Smolik has held a number of leadership positions with organizations including The University of Texas at Austin (Engineering Advisory Board); Antwerp International School Foundation (President, Board of Directors); Ducks Unlimited (Conservation Programs Committee) and the World Environment Center (Board of Directors). He is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association and the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way.

Walsh is director of the Immersive Education Initiative, a nonprofit international consortium of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that work together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems.

In the 1990s, Walsh coined the term Immersive Education. In 2006 he received the Teaching with New Media award receiving highest honors in the competition for pioneering the use of Immersive Education at Boston College. In 2007 he was named one of the forty most innovative people in the Information Technology industry by Computerworld.

Walsh has been featured in a number of leading technology and mainstream publications, including Newsweek and Newsweek International, for his work in international technology standards and Immersive Education. He will discuss his ideas on Immersive Education at the NSC forum.

Conklin spent 25 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Senior Advisor for Organizational and Safety Culture. He has been working on the Human Performance program for the last 15 years of his 25-year career. He enjoys the best of both the academic world and the world of safety in practice. Conklin speaks all over the world to executives, groups and work teams who are interested in better understanding the relationship between the workers in the field and the organization’s systems, processes and programs. Conklin defines safety at his workplace like this: “Safety is the ability for workers to be able to do work in a varying and unpredictable world.”