Without a grasp of the narrative and a sound exploration of the social sphere, a vast gray space emerges. If left unbridged, the impacts to revenue and brand can be catastrophic. A quick examination of domestic hydraulic fracturing or international energy operations reveals the multitude of potentially devastating scenarios. In these and other cases, the roots of dispute lie squarely in competing narratives. Corporations have frequently failed to speak “the local language.”
Every place in the world has a distinct local culture, with traditions and values. There are common fears and desires that compel people toward or away from potential outcomes. Collectively, these become the motivations that define the community and form the local narrative.
Consider the hydraulic fracturing debate. In spite of potential benefits to the US economy and security, energy companies face significant resistance in some local areas. The scene is familiar: Concerned residents rally, emotionally citing empirical evidence to reject hydraulic fracturing outright. Energy firms dispatch world-class engineers to counter the concerns using complex technical data and use other methods to undermine local resistance. Rather than acknowledging the public’s concerns, lowering the tone of the debate and building cooperative trust, these firms accelerate the collision.
Join us on ICOSA’s Driving Force radio for Part I and Part II and to listen to more about how Spatial Terra is working with companies to tell their stories in a way that will mitigate risk, and maximize profits.
ScottKesterson: CEO of Spatial TerraConsulting Group, LLC. He is an award-winning combat videographer/filmmaker. For the past 6-years, Kesterson has worked as a Subject Matter Expert and Consultant for the Department of Defense, US Special Operations, Department of State, and private corporations pioneering work in the areas of cultural narrative, visual education and social media program development. He has worked in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Europe. A graduate of Oregon State University, he currently lives in Portland, OR.