sharing in governance of extractive industries
New Tech, New Deal Topic 4: ADDRESSING THE POTENTIAL LOSSES: WHAT COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICIES CAN MAKE THE GREATEST DIFFERENCE? For instance, should companies increase their community investment activities? Should governments establish development funds for local communities? Should governments and companies negotiate shared infrastructure like roads, water supply, or Internet?
I am confident that we are on the cusp of a new era for policies that will support diversified economies during and beyond the life of any mine and any country's mining sector. Our collective approaches to new technology (the New Tech, New Deal) can support community economic development and social progress.
Development funds, community investment, and negotiating shared infrastructure all have roles to play as countries and communities seek to realise their potential. To achieve the full promise of new technology (and overcome the fears), we need policies that create more opportunity for human innovation and collaboration. To reap long-term benefits across the full spectrum of our resource endowments, we must enable sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and technology to thrive long after mineral deposits are exhausted.
Mining can enable diversified economies to rise, through non-traditional partnerships that cross sectors and between companies large and small, governments, development agencies, and civil society. Surprising partnerships can be a crucible for pioneering thinking and new ways of operating.
To move beyond the theoretical and truly achieve benefits such as shared infrastructure (water, energy, roads), we need to create new business models that respond to both community and company needs with jobs that leverage the full spectrum of infrastructure. We need to build capabilities so that specialists can cross between sectors such as mining, energy, and agriculture. To redraw this economic landscape, we must consider other aspects such as transparency, fairness, environmental impacts and benefits, and we must expand access to business opportunities for women and other vulnerable populations.
If we want to innovate, we will also need to explore new ways of engaging with one another. Change calls on us to seek common purpose among diverse stakeholders. This will be fundamental for success.
We need to carve out neutral spaces for dialogue, where stakeholders can explore each other’s aspirations and needs. Our experience shows that we can find unity of purpose if we keep people at the centre of decision-making. For new, respectful partnerships to be the foundation for economic diversification, we may also need to confront our deeply-held beliefs and cultural assumptions about power, status, and entitlement. We may need to invent new models for ownership and access.
I will be interested to hear your varied perspectives and I am particularly interested in your examples of economic diversification and new paths to both commercial development and social progress. I am optimistic about the opportunities ahead.
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