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For the last 15 years Bruce has been at the forefront of developing communities and social performance as a professional discipline in the extractive sector. For seven years Bruce was Global Practice Leader – Communities and Social Performance at Rio Tinto, leading a Social License team of achievement and distinction. More recently he was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Australia.
Well published, Bruce maintains that earning Social License is essentially a matter of cultural recognition and economic development. Companies want to operate in peoples’ backyards with irreversible changes to natural and social landscapes, some induced by industrial development and some occurring anyway. In return, local people want economic opportunity whilst preserving their idiosyncratic cultural norms and local environmental integrity. Bruce believes strategy is important, but that lack of capability is the weak link in answering this challenge. He believes that many companies attempt to earn Social License through inappropriate approaches at great expense with little success.
Bruce advocates and teaches an approach based on mobilising the unique competitive advantage of each business itself, seeking insights through fieldwork and delivering value to businesses and host communities alike. He has a unique ability born of many years’ field experience and front line social innovation to help clients develop business-driven Social License success.