The World Economic Forum on Latin America took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 5 – 7. The WEF ran a live blog covering the events, which ranged from Latin America’s energy transition to practical solutions for poverty reduction. The blog served up four trends that will shape Latin America’s Economies in 2017: U.S. Interest rate hikes, Regional integration, Corruption scandals, Innovation to adapt.
Between the identification of economic trends and the implementation of new developments, however, comes a vital, fragile, and sometimes unchartered step, the implementation process.
How, we wondered, might these trends bode well for the mining industry, which drives economic growth in many Latin American countries? Might new business models, ways of communicating, of generating power, and of increased connectivity enable mining companies to move minerals to market, faster, while reducing poverty and plugging local jurisdictions into the low-carbon economy?
Or, does hyper-connectivity mean more social-and-environmental risk?
We believe what WEF called the Fourth Industrial Revolution—disruptive new technologies—can, and should, be leveraged to design unconventional, productive, even irreplaceable relationships among corporations, communities, and governments.
Based on the WEF Latin America Forum, companies, especially those in extractive industries, that shift from scrambling for the elusive “social License to operate” to scaling up a genuine journey toward stakeholder balance will thrive in Latin America’s emerging markets.
WEF Argentina, it seems, points businesses toward practices that create shared visions, flourishing ecosystems, competitive enterprises, and thriving countries.
And while you can find scores of different (and contrasting) methods to help you minimize environmental impacts or speed up construction, when it comes to strengthening stakeholder relations, there’s one clear trail map: Design a Shared Vision. You can get that job done without corruption, setbacks, or scandals.
Wayne E. Mayer, Ph.D.