October 28-30, 2024 

Golden, Colorado USA

Check-in is required for all participants on the first day of attendance. Class will run from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. A continental breakfast is available before class on each day. Breaks are scheduled in the morning and afternoon. Lunches will also be provided each day.

Communities and the Extractive Sector: A New Paradigm Towards Good Social Performance

October 28-30, 2024

Golden, Colorado, USA

Day One

  • Introductions
  • We want to be liked, but……?
  • Some problems
  • Assertion: ESG: The ‘S’ is king!
  • What is wrong with people?
  • Exercise: Trust
  • Fundamentals: SP 101
  • Definitions
  • How did we get here?
  • The costs of conflict
  • Exercise: Extractives & Society
  • What sort of problems do you have?


Day Two

  • Exercises: Small group role play
  • A new paradigm: Why?
  • Social License to Operate: An important outcome of good SP
  • Engagement
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Understanding the community context
  • Tell us about some of your problems


Day Three                      

  • Summing up Days 1 & 2
  • Conflict and Outrage
  • Grievance Mechanisms: Good practice
  • Agreements: A secret success tool
  • Partnering: Strange Bedfellows!
  • Indigenous Peoples: Free, Prio & Informed Consent
  • Thin and Thick
  • Concluding discussion: What does all this mean for you personally?


Are you ready for the community to determine the fate of your investment? Outcomes can be delays in projects, cost overruns, more expensive capital finance, reputational damage and even a total veto, perhaps supported by violent protests. We will discuss some case studies, among many potential ones, of what can go wrong and the costs. What are the big issues? What is the legal (hard and soft) situation regarding the requirements for extractive projects now? What do NGOs want? The approaches to community by mining and oil & gas are now converging. What can we learn from each other? What are the basic concepts that are useful to your business in the area of social performance?

This day is particularly aimed at corporate, regional and site communities and social performance practitioners and managers, and presents the big-picture understanding of how the world for extractive business has changed and how we need to react to this.


These two days will also be aimed at practitioners who may be transiting to the communities function from other roles (e.g. Environmental). We will look at practical issues and questions such as: are you taking the risks presented by communities seriously? What are the key concepts within good social performance? What is required of leadership for success? What about on-the-ground at site or business unit level? How are you planning for responses to the inexorable advancement of high impact concepts such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)? Is a commodity downturn and reduced revenues sufficient excuses to ignore good social performance? How about high risk, complicated and expensive processes such as resettlement? How will you manage difficult governments?

We look at solutions here: what has worked in the extractive sectors? Case studies and good practice examples will be presented including on stakeholder engagement, agreement-making, grievance management, monitoring and reporting, local procurement, social investment, integrating social performance into your operation and the benefits of partnerships. The aim is to obtain and nurture the social license to operate as a competitive advantage.

Good social performance is no longer about the ‘soft side’ of donations, sponsorships or community development contributions. It can be approached with the same professionalism and rigor as the engineering, finance or geology aspects. This course will focus on how this can be done.

You will walk away from the course with a better understanding of why so many extractive projects have problems, a knowledge of global good practice through select case studies and a set of tools for practical implementation.