About this course...
Communities and Social Performance in the Extractive Sector: A New Paradigm 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.
Days one and three of the course will comprise classroom and workshop presentation and participation; half of day two is a field trip to the Edgar Experimental underground mine in nearby Idaho Springs (facilitated by Colorado School of Mines). The tour is optional (but most exciting!) and we very much encourage you to take advantage of this activity as it is a chance to get to know each other and to discuss pertinent issues from the course in a real-life setting.
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.
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. The course is also likely to include participants from financial institutions supporting extractive projects and companies, NGO personnel and government regulators. Also, the workshop generally has participants from all over the world.
The course program highlights topics that will be covered in the course. Learn more...
A one-page flyer with information about the course is available for download. Download...
Continuing education credits
Colorado School of Mines will award 2.0 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) to participants who complete this course.
Comments from participants
I have learned more in these three days than in my eight months in the mining industry.
Strength was the variety of topics, extremely engaging, wonderful group of varying experiences.
What a wonderful learning experience.
The instructor was a perfect mix of industry expertise and academic background.
Very valuable and broad; good examples from a variety of contexts
I was thrilled with the overall course.
The instructors were very knowledgeable and personable.
Great to have such a vast list of resources to utilize.
Very open and inviting
Significant strength of the program was the role play and other practical activities; also the bibliography
Instructor has incredible experiences and it was great to learn from his vast knowledge. Loved the relatable experiences to the class content.
Very knowledgeable instructor, great layout and content
Experienced instructor, great communicator
Great interplay between the work group sessions and the topics covered.
Experienced instructor with real life examples
Significant strength of the course was the experiences of the facilitator that allowed us to see each topic from different perspectives.
The program is great! Content was wow, wow, wow!
First of all, thank you so much for a wonderfully informative and thought-provoking workshop. I learned a great deal from you, and from colleagues in the fantastic group. I hope the Masterclass was seen as a great success by the CSM and that we can all look forward to this becoming an annual event!
Registration for this course is open now. Enrollment is limited; therefore, applications will be accepted in the order received. Full information about fees, options, and payment methods is available. Learn more...
The course will be taught on the campus of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado USA. Learn more...
Travel and accommodations
Registrants are responsible for their own travel arrangements, transportation, lodging, and meals. Additional information is available through the links below.
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...
Further technical information
For more information about the course content, please contact: