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LC | Profits and Groninger Earthquakes: business case on social impact

LC social impact assessment



Large extractive projects as mining of coal, nickel, or gold can be beneficial for the companies involved. Besides such financial interests, these extractive activities can have huge consequences in terms of the environment and the related stakeholders. Over the last decades, the effects for stakeholders draw more and more attention. These so-called 'social impacts' need attention and require an integrated approach from the start.

In this Learning Community, you will study the dynamics related to the Groningen Gas Extraction over time. Using Social Impact Assessment as a tool, you will map the chain of events related to the Groningen earth quakes, analyse the social impacts, and develop ideas about alternative approaches. Together, you will use a variety of sources of information (old and recent documents, contracts, interviews with stakeholders, media-footage, experts, etc). Based on this material, you will develop a 'business case', which can be used at other universities to teach students about Social Impact Assessment in general and apply it on the Groningen earthquakes as an example.

For: BSc and MSc students from all programmes within FEB
Lecturers involved: Dr. Kees van Veen (coordinator), Prof. Dr. Frank Vanclay (SIA expert)
External business contacts involved: Considering the nature of the case, a variety of stakeholders will be approached to develop a deeper insight into the nature of the process (NAM, Dutch State, Groninger Bodem Beweging, etc)

Main benefits

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand what Social Impact Assessment as an important tool is about
  • Apply the main concepts of SIA on a real life case (Groningen Gas Extraction)
  • Develop a deep understanding of the social dynamics underlying the lifespan of large extraction projects
  • Develop an understanding of what 'good governance' entails in this context

Skills covered:

  • Methodological skills: to develop a real life case study in detail
  • Learn to collect and summarise relevant information
  • Interview skills: learn to interview relevant stakeholders
  • Project management skills

Schedule and Time Investment

Estimated time investment is 2-4 hours a week for a period of around 5 months. Meetings are every 2 weeks for 2 hours. Examination periods will be less intensive.


If you have any questions or for more information, feel free to contact Marjan van Ittersum: Application details: You can sign up and share your motivation using this web form.

Last modified:23 November 2017 3.58 p.m.