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LC | Profits and Groninger Earthquakes

A business case on social impact


Large extractive projects like mining of coal, gold or extraction of gas, 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: 2nd and 3rd bachelor students and master students from all FEB- programmes. Motivated students from Spatial Science and from the Faculties of Law and Arts are also welcome to register. A brief interview will be part of the procedure.
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: learn 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 Investement


  • Meetings are every 2 weeks for 2 hours for a period of around 5 months (exam periods will be less intensive)

Day and time of the meetings is not yet set; this will be defined based on the availability of the eventual participants.

Time investment:

  • meetings: 2 hours every other week
  • self study: approx. 2 hours every week


Sign up via the blue button below!

If you have any questions or for more information, feel free to contact Marjan van Ittersum:

Last modified:14 February 2018 1.45 p.m.