About this course…
Industry and Communities: A New Paradigm Around Social Performance is a three-day intensive workshop that will provide a comprehensive picture of where mining and oil and gas sit in terms of engagement with the external world, particularly with local communities. The course will argue strongly that achieving a social license to operate is a business imperative and that companies risk not only costs and delays but their very survival in not doing so. It can be done well! The course is designed to be practical with immediate application to participants’ day-to-day work.
One widely held traditional view of business is that, by and large, only customers and shareholders matter. Measurements around success with these involve numbers of customers, short-term profit margins, and share price. The advent of the notion of ‘stakeholder’ heralds a new, much more black and white metric: know who your stakeholders are and manage them well or your business will not survive much less thrive. This message of focusing on longer-term business considerations, stakeholder relations, license to operate and sustainability is increasingly permeating corporate boardrooms and even the investor community. These issues are particularly acute in the natural resource sector where mineral deposits cannot be moved; if there are people — for instance, communities — living on top of these resources, permits are necessary (legal license) but wholly insufficient for establishing and maintaining a social license to operate. Hence, the concept of ‘social performance’ is critical: how well does a business engage ‘outside the fence’ with communities and other external stakeholders, and the business implications of this. These shifts in business thinking along with a corresponding proliferation of standards and best practices necessitate new competencies to deliver on both corporate and stakeholder value expectations.
Methodology of presentation for the course will include active participation tools such as scenario planning, case study analysis, role play and facilitated small group discussions as well as presentations.
The course will use global case studies from all over the world, including the US, to illustrate the typical problems that businesses face in dealing with communities. It will also present solutions. The content will primarily draw on experiences in the natural resource sector, including mining and oil & gas. However, increasingly other sectors and industries are facing similar problems. Hence, the course will include some issues and examples from these, non-extractive businesses. Throughout our course, this will be an important topic for discussion: the similarities and differences between the mining and oil & gas sectors, but also those between these extractives and other industries.
Specific topics to cover will include:
- The concept of social performance, and the business case for its integration into the technical and commercial aspects of a project or operation
- Social license to operate
- Understanding your social context
- Risk and impact identification, mapping and management
- Stakeholder engagement
- Communication/consultation mechanisms
- Shared value, including local content/supply chain and social investment
- Conflict and Outrage, including grievance management
- Sustainable Development Goals and their relevance to each stage of an operation
- Governance, transparency and anti-corruption, particularly at project/ops level (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act)
- Human rights
- Indigenous peoples and Free, Prior & Informed Consent
- Community agreements: A secret success tool
- Global standards including International Finance Corporation Performance Standards
- Dealing with Civil Society/NGOs; regulators
Activities will include lectures, small group case study exercises, scenario/role play and videos. Additionally, participants are invited to bring examples and questions to the course for discussion. There will be two refreshment breaks each day plus a light lunch.
Who should attend?
The Master Class is designed for both practitioners and corporate managers who wish to understand this new paradigm of describing, understanding and implementing a system built around the ‘social performance’ of a company or a project. Participants will typically come from functional areas variously termed Community Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility, External Affairs, Government Relations, Communications, etc. In addition, participants who may in their companies be moving from a disciplinary area such as Environmental to a Social Performance role will particularly benefit from the class. The course is also likely to include participants from financial institutions supporting extractive projects and companies, NGO personnel and government regulators. The workshop generally has participants from all over the world.
Continuing education credits
Colorado School of Mines will award 2.0 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) to participants who complete this course.
Comments from participants
The course will be taught on the campus of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado USA. Learn more…
The course material will be presented by Dr. Chris Anderson, who is one of the extractive world’s leading Communities and Social Performance practitioners. He has worked on some of the most difficult projects with seemingly intractable community issues. Learn more…