Earning and nurturing a social license
Bringing harmony to New Zealand’s fishing community.
Community distrust of the aquaculture industry had resulted in increased operating and governance costs. Government research and analysis on public perceptions of the industry did not deliver a pathway for the industry to resolve community distrust of its operations. Aquaculture New Zealand identified that public relations and advertising alone would not solve this challenge over the long term.
Kate presented a plenary session translating the theory of a ‘social license’ into understandable concepts and deliverable actions for members of the aquaculture community. Over a series of workshops an understanding of individual circumstances developed, helping to devise actions plans that benefited regional members and subsequently the entire industry.
The industry was re-energised with a commonview of community engagement and knowledge of the necessary tools to improve communication and relationships across their communities. In just eighteen months, regional members are more connected with tools to better understand alternative ways to interpret behaviour, respond to criticism and distrust, and foster partnerships and relationships with key influencers such as government and environmental groups.
“Kate is an absolute pleasure to work with. She takes the time to understand the issue and then tailors a solution based on her seafood sector expertise. An inspiring public speaker, she is also a highly capable facilitator of group work. Qualities which have helped bring a step change to the way our industry builds community support and understanding. Kate has become a key touchstone for the industry’s social license efforts.”
Adam Hicks
Communications Manager Aquaculture
New Zealand
“The concept of social license is of interest to the UK seafood industry. In order to learn more about it Seafish arranged a workshop for UK seafood industry stakeholders to explain what the concept of 'social license' means for the seafood industry, how it works, why we need to be aware of this as a means of engagement, how it affects the industry and ultimately the reasons for attaining and building high quality stakeholder relationships in this way. Dr Kate Brooks designed the content, set the objectives and presented the programme. We were delighted by Kate’s professionalism and ability to communicate successfully to a wide range of participants. We would not hesitate to recommend Kate and would be keen to work together again in the future.”
Dr Tom Pickerell
Technical Director, Seafish
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