Innovation through co-creation in contemporary mining relations: a new paradigm for stakeholder engagement at resource extraction projects.

CCRD (co-create for resource development)

In business, co-creation is a management initiative, or a form of economic strategy, that brings different parties together in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). The term is commonly used to refer to a process through which new value (concepts and solutions) is developed in close collaboration with stakeholders. It describes a participatory mechanism through which different groups collaboratively solve problems and cross-fertilize knowledge assets – leveraging existing and creating new knowledge in the process (Bagayogo et al., ‎2014).

This project explores the contemporary practice and future potential of co-creation models in stakeholder engagement in resource development contexts in Papua New Guinea. It takes up the challenge of identifying, investigating and developing potential for enhanced participatory mechanisms, leading to a more workable, responsive and respectful forms of stakeholder engagement. The project aims to offer new insights to the nature of relations between stakeholders, identify unutilised spaces for industry innovation, and propose new solutions to stakeholder engagement at mining projects, contributing to successful agreement making and Sustainable Development outcomes in resource relations in Papua New Guinea.

The project uses an interdisciplinary toolkit of research methods capable of reaching and engaging comprehensively with a wide spectrum of corporate, indigenous and governance stakeholders at exploration and mining projects in PNG. It mediates the nexus of resource host, industry, governance and academy, moving beyond the dominant paradigm in resource relations, marked by demarcation and taking sides. It is co-hosted by the Centre for Pacific Studies (University of St Andrews) and the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (University of Queensland) – a globally recognised hub of innovation and research excellence into resource relations (www.csrc.uq.edu.au).

The project is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Horizon 2020 framework, and is being conducted over a period of three years, between August 2017 and August 2020.

Project lead: Dr Emilia Skrzypek

Emilia is a social anthropologist with a background in sustainable development and interdisciplinary interest in corporate social responsibility. She holds an MA (Hons) in Sustainable Development, as well as an MRes and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews. She has 10 years’ experience in conducting targeted social research in government, non-governmental and industry settings. Her doctoral fieldwork looked at local forms of stakeholder engagement at the Frieda River Project in Papua New Guinea, and her work continues to investigate issues related to broadly conceived resource relations and interdependencies; stakeholder engagement in mining contexts; and social impacts of exploration and mining operations.

 

[Feature image by Emilia Skrzypek © 2018]