Engage mining industry leaders in extensive dialogue on what the upcoming National Benefits Sharing Framework should encompass
Convening Mining Industry Players to Steward the Future of National Benefits Sharing in Canada
In 2022, the Government of Canada announced its plans to develop the National Benefits Sharing Framework.
The framework aims to provide greater structure and economic certainty for Indigenous right-holders and communities impacted by natural resource development, so all parties can nurture mutually beneficial relationships that progress Canada’s economic and environmental goals, and uphold Indigenous rights and treaties.
For the mining industry and Indigenous communities alike, the National Benefits Sharing Framework brings up many important questions, including:
- What standards will this framework set, and what voice will impacted stakeholders and Indigenous rights-holders have in its development?
- How will value creation be defined and deployed within this framework?
- How will this framework impact the future of major mining projects in Canada?
In the spring of 2022, Coeuraj, in partnership with Environmental Resources Management (ERM), worked with the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to facilitate a virtual roundtable for representatives of the mining sector to share their insights and questions, and find common threads to take forward in future conversations around the National Benefits Sharing Framework.
Taking a participatory design approach, Coeuraj first interviewed and polled mining stakeholders to collect data on the most important elements of the upcoming National Benefits Sharing Framework that need to be addressed. We used this data to build the roundtable agenda to focus on what industry members felt was most relevant and urgent.
To deliver a generative 90-minute session, Coeuraj designed a virtual roundtable that engaged diverse industry perspectives, and enabled participants to explore what the National Benefits Sharing Framework could entail from a place of shared understanding.
Twenty-five participants from the mining sector attended the virtual roundtable representing a diversity of perspectives in the industry, from regulatory experts, to engineering firms, to corporate social responsibility leaders, to vice-presidents of corporate affairs.
As part of this dialogue, participants were asked to engage with backcasting, an exercise in strategic foresight, to place themselves in the future and unpack the objectives accomplished that enabled them to arrive to a particular future state.
Participants were invited to place themselves in the year 2030, after they had successfully collaborated on a National Benefits Sharing Framework that realized positive outcomes and value for communities, governments, and industry.
"'The future is only rational in hindsight.' It is 2030 and, as a sector, we've been able to co-create a National Benefits Sharing Framework (NBSF) that is realizing positive outcomes and value (in all its forms) for Communities, Governments and Companies. You were part of the activity that enabled our sector to align around important aspects of this framework that is creating these shared outcomes today."
- Roundtable Scenario
Together, in small working groups, participants were challenged to reflect on current trends and emerging signals of change that provide clues to what may unfold for the mining industry, involved communities, and the country as a whole.
By leveraging the power of strategic foresight, participants are able to look inward and decide what is most essential to take with them into the future and what role they want to play in making this future happen.
After the roundtable, participants were provided with a synthesis report that captured key participant insights as well as emerging themes and areas of further exploration for the sector to take forward in future conversations about the National Benefits Sharing Framework.
The outcome of this work was rich dialogue that infused the creativity and rigor of design with the tangible, real-world experience of industry members committed to contributing better policy-driven action.
"The Coeuraj team was able to effectively design a session that facilitated meaningful dialogue on a complex subject. The backcasting approach encouraged us to shift our perspective. Rather than trying to look ahead and plan, it challenged the group to consider what elements were needed to arrive at that future state." - Tara Shea, Senior Director, Regulatory and Indigenous Affairs, Mining Association of Canada