Projects and method

Werkbezoek Adviesgroep Waddenzeebeleid

Working visit of the Advisory Group on Wadden Sea Policy on Ameland Gas Exploration

De Gemeynt’s energy and climate projects often start out by elaborating a vision, a perspective on the future with which multiple parties can identify – perhaps only after an intensive process. That vision needs to be rooted in factual knowledge. In that way the support of crucial stakeholders can be gained who can then together embark on a quest for solutions that not only serve their own interests, but benefit all concerned and so serve the interests of society at large. This working method ensures that stakeholders in De Gemeynt projects are willing to listen to the standpoints of other stakeholders – some of whom may be long-standing opponents – and discuss the interests and ideas behind those positions and hold them up to critical debate in order to arrive at workable solutions. De Gemeynt organises the process in such a way that daring to make a move is of greater value than clinging to long-held positions.

Running through De Gemeynt projects are a number of common threads:

  1. Energy, climate and biodiversity. The projects carried out for and with government, industry, NGOs and scientific institutes all relate to the energy system and its impacts on climate and biodiversity – and how climate and biodiversity policy can steer that system. De Gemeynt has a wealth of know-how on the interrelationships between energy, climate and biodiversity, allowing us to enter into dialogue with all potential stakeholders.
  2. Multi-stakeholder. These are all projects for which there is no immediately obvious solution. Rather, results emerge from a process in which a variety of stakeholders together embark on a quest for solutions. Those stakeholders are industries, branches of government (local, regional, national, international) and NGOs. They may sometimes also include scientific bodies, but these act above all as suppliers of know-how on which the stakeholders can base their arguments.
  3. Vision-driven. While projects may be initially motivated by a concrete problem – a company losing its license to operate, say – it’s always of the essence to move from problem to vision. And that means not just a vision of sole importance to the client, whether they be a company, an industrial sector, a branch of government or an NGO, but a vision with appeal for broad swathes of society, too.
  4. Shared knowledge base.Stakeholders hold opinions and positions that aren’t always rooted in solid facts and can’t always pass the test of scientific critique.
  5. Public support. The results achieved stand in direct ratio to the level of trust among the parties involved. Trust is something that takes time to evolve; what helps is a growing realisation that behind (public) positions lie shared personal concerns and ideas on solutions.
  6. Systems analysis. In every project there comes a moment when the effectiveness of the chosen solution or solutions needs to be viewed from a broader perspective, at a systems level. The question that then needs to be answered is whether the solution(s) contribute(s) to progress in the broader context of the systems level.
  7. Results. The aim of every project is to arrive at concrete results with respect to solutions, agreements, strategies and possibly validation methods. These agreements are made, formally or informally, with all the stakeholders.

While the role and phasing of these elements need to be tailored to the situation at hand, they generally feature in just about every project carried out by De Gemeynt.

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