Glenn Sigurdson – 2024 – Pivotal Choices: Risks & Rewards; Reciprocity & Relationships


Complexities challenging the mining and energy sectors on multiple fronts are longstanding. Over the past 30 years, a dense cloud of norms, standards, metrics, and acronyms reflecting a broad range of sustainability themes has emerged, attempting to organize, guide, and measure this complicated world. On the ground below, where people and resources interact across divides of values, rights, and interests, power dynamics have shifted. Companies with their projects and armed with their “business case” are now confronted by communities with their own “community case,” seeking to protect their lands and waterways, and share in the benefits. Each views the world through their own lenses and distinct currencies of value.

Armed with rights and expectations, communities are demanding new ways of interacting based on respect, reciprocity, and relationships. The pendulum is swinging from confrontation to collaboration, from consultation to consent, recognizing that relationships are assets, no less significant than mineral reserves or gas fields. Building these new pathways together is also enabling the parties to transform risks into opportunities in a spirit of mutuality. A new value equation has emerged that is based on understanding the relationship between the “how” of engagement and the potential for achieving resilient outcomes.

Understanding the pivotal choices and their implications will be critical to building “a good way to a good place” for communities and companies alike. This will also require “drilling up” from the relational to the abstract, to reconcile top-down approaches with ground-up realities, and to challenge the world of standards and norms to be more understandable and practical in supporting the building of resilient relationships and creating mutual values.

Glenn Sigurdson,© April 2024


Appointed to the Order of Canada* in 2020, Glenn has a long track record providing solution driven leadership across divides of values, interests, & power in the diverse world of people and resources. As a mediator of complex multi-party challenges involving resource, environment and land use issues, often involving indigenous rights and interests, he has worked in many contexts from mining to oil and gas, fish to forests, energy and water etc. Internationally recognized, he was profiled by the Program Negotiation at Harvard Law School: Public Dispute Mediators: Profiles of 15 Distinguished Careers (2000).He is a Senior Dialogue Associate at the Simon Fraser University Center for Dialogue, a former Adjunct Professor in the School of Business, and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of RESOLVE Inc. Washington D.C., a global leader building solutions through creative partnerships. He is the founding principal of the Energy, Minerals and Markets Global Dialogues, ( ) His career includes teaching, writing, speaking.Currently. Honorary Consul General of Iceland in BC, he is also the author of a recent Memoir Vikings on a Prairie Ocean. (