Xanadium Sustainability Role Play Exercise (2012)



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Xanadium Sustainability Role Play Exercise (2012)
By
Darien Simon PhD MSc BSc AMIEnvSci
And
Evelyn Ang JD MBA
Inspired by the Ugli Orange Negotiation Role Play

(author unknown)



This exercise comes in two versions, one for groups of two and one for groups of three. The initial instructions are for facilitators/leaders ONLY and should not be given to students or participants before the role play exercise.
Basic instructions:
Divide the group into 2 or 3 parts depending on whether you are using the two or three person version of the exercise.
For the two person version you will have a group of Drs. Khan and one of Drs. Shaw. For the three person version you will have a group of Presidents Mnembe as well.
Provide each group with one copy per person of the role description for their role only. (for facilitators: each role description contains sufficient information to perform the role and, with a bit of innovative thinking, to achieve a win-win sustainability result).
Explain to each group:
This is your role description. All of the information required for this role play is included on the page.
Please read carefully, then in groups of Drs. Shaw, Khan (and President Mnembe where appropriate) discuss a strategy to meet your needs. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes. (for the three person version and said ONLY to the Presidents: Presidents Mnembe will have additional time and should use that to formulate questions to pose to the Drs to ensure the needs of your country are being met).
At the end of that time you will be paired up with your opposite (one Dr. Khan and one Dr. Shaw to begin negotiations. (for the three person version, after 10 - 15 minutes of negotiation, announce that the President would now like to join the discussions and have one President join each team of Drs.). Allow approximately an additional 15 minutes of negotation before asking each group to report on their experience including the strategy, what solution(s) were reached, (for the three person version also whether the strategy and solutions changed when the President joined the discussion).
If no group finds the sustainable win-win solution (the xanadium has two equal components, each Dr needs only one of them, and each needs a different one so if they agree to refine the ore and each take their own mineral both can get their full needs met) explain how taking the risk of revealing the key piece of information is not part of traditional thinking, but is an essential part of sustainability.
For more on the fundamentals of win-win role plays, please see:
Barkai, John. 1996. Teaching Negotiation and ADR: The Savvy Samurai Meets the Devil. 75 Nebraska Law Review 704 (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1434176)
For the original Ugli Orange:
http://printfu.org/ugli+orange
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~barkai/aals/ORANGE.doc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH-Cj--b3iA


Xanadium sustainability role play exercise by Darien Simon and Evelyn Ang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Description for Facilitators ONLY

Xanadium Sustainability Role Play Scenario (for two)
Two companies, the Atlantium Company, based in the US, and the Shangrilaria Consortium, based in India, need a supply of xanadium, a rare mineral only found in one place on earth. Xanadium is composed of two unique compounds that are only found in the mineral form. One, granalum, when refined, is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. The other, metabilum, is an extremely active substance capable of catalysing multiple chemical reactions.
The Atlantium Company needs the granalum to build its innovative and economical electric motor to replace internal combustion engines fueled by petroleum and diesel. The Shangrilaria Consortium needs the metabilum to catalyse its new hazardous waste disposal system. The two substances are present in equal quantities in xanadium (that is 1 kg of pure xanadium contains 500 g granalum and 500 g metabilum).
Each company needs 1 tonne of xanadium to meet its needs. There are only 1.25 refined tonnes known to exist. Initial exploration decades ago indicated there might be additional mineral-rich ore, but the exact location and mineral content are unknown.
The only source of xanadium is a small African country, Botsupho, just emerging from decades of civil war, greatly in need of an economic resource but sceptical of promises made by businesses due to the negative impacts of multinational businesses on nearby nations. The new leadership is determined to make wise use of their resources and to ensure their people benefit appropriately and equitably from any resources exploited.
Dr. Shaw of the Atlantium Company and Dr. Khan of the Shangrilaria Consortium, each creator of their company’s new technology, are meeting to negotiate who will get the xanadium in advance of either of them meeting with the new President of Botsupho. Each has a firm budget of US$1 million to spend and must obtain the xanadium within the next 3 weeks or shareholder pressure will force their Boards of Directors to abandon their innovative research projects which will perpetuate the GHG emissions from transportation and eliminate the best option for cleaning up hazardous waste in emerging and developed economies.
Although Drs. Shaw and Khan have never met, their companies have been rivals in the past. On more than one occasion they ended up in court suing one another over patent infringement and industrial espionage. They are currently in the early stages of another legal conflict that does not directly involve either Dr. Shaw or Dr. Khan. Neither company has any prior history with Botsupho or any of its immediate neighbours.

Description for Facilitators ONLY



Xanadium Sustainability Role Play Scenario (for three)
Two companies, the Atlantium Company, based in the US, and the Shangrilaria Consortium, based in India, need a supply of xanadium, a rare mineral only found in one place on earth. Xanadium is composed of two unique compounds that are only found in the mineral form. One, granalum, when refined, is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. The other, metabilum, is an extremely active substance capable of catalysing multiple chemical reactions.
The Atlantium Company needs the granalum to build its innovative and economical electric motor to replace internal combustion engines fueled by petroleum and diesel. The Shangrilaria Consortium needs the metabilum to catalyse its new hazardous waste disposal system. The two substances are present in equal quantities in xanadium (that is 1 kg of pure xanadium contains 500 g granalum and 500 g metabilum).
Each company needs 1 tonne of xanadium to meet its needs. There are only 1.25 refined tonnes known to exist. Initial exploration decades ago indicated there might be additional mineral-rich ore, but the exact location and mineral content are unknown.
The only source of xanadium is a small African country, Botsupho, just emerging from decades of civil war, greatly in need of an economic resource but sceptical of promises made by businesses due to the negative impacts of multinational businesses on nearby nations. The new leadership is determined to make wise use of their resources and to ensure their people benefit appropriately and equitably from any resources exploited.
Dr. Shaw of the Atlantium Company and Dr. Khan of the Shangrilaria Consortium, each creator of their company’s new technology, are meeting to negotiate who will get the xanadium in advance of either of them meeting with the new President of Botsupho. Each has a firm budget of US$1 million to spend and must obtain the xanadium within the next 3 weeks or shareholder pressure will force their Boards of Directors to abandon their innovative research projects which will perpetuate the GHG emissions from transportation and eliminate the best option for cleaning up hazardous waste in emerging and developed economies.
Although Drs. Shaw and Khan have never met, their companies have been rivals in the past. On more than one occasion they ended up in court suing one another over patent infringement and industrial espionage. They are currently in the early stages of another legal conflict that does not directly involve either Dr. Shaw or Dr. Khan. Neither company has any prior history with Botsupho or any of its immediate neighbours.
In addition to the representatives of the two companies, the new leader of Botsupho is personally involved in the negotiations, having campaigned on a platform of transparency, inclusiveness and collaboration.

Role of Dr. Khan:
You are Dr. R.G. Khan. You work as a research engineer for a start up waste disposal company based in India called The Shangrilaria Consortium. The firm is under contract with the government to do research on methods to combat the build up and improper storage of hazardous waste products.
This is particularly a problem in developing economies where multinational corporations have not always been required to meet strict environmental standards. Their legacy is some extremely dangerous hazardous waste that is contaminating surrounding lands used for agriculture and the groundwater beneath the land that is essential to meet the increasing need for clean drinking water.
You’ve developed a mineral-based catalyst (a substance that will begin a necessary chemical reaction) that will neutralize the hazardous waste products in the soil and water, but your company must demonstrate the effectiveness of your method in 3 weeks or lose the government contract. The catalyst is made from metabilum, a component of xanadium which is a rare mineral found in only one place so far: Botsupho, a small African country just emerging from 30 years of civil war under new leadership wary of corporate promises.
You’ve been informed on good evidence that the government of Botsupho has 1.25 tonnes of refined xanadium, half of which is metabilum. You need 0.5 tonne of metabilum (which requires 1 tonne of xanadium) to provide a convincing demonstration.
You have been informed that Dr. E.A. Shaw is also urgently seeking to purchase the xanadium from the government of Botsupho. Dr. Shaw works with a multinational company that may have some responsibility for some of the contamination though they deny this and the court case is still pending. There have been accusations of document shredding and other destruction of evidence which have increased the tension between your two companies.
You have been authorized by your company to approach the government of Botsupho to purchase the full 1.25 tonnes of xanadium. It is understood that the government will sell to the highest bidder who can also demonstrate environmental and social responsibility in the proposed use for the xanadium. You are authorised to bid up to £1 million for the xanadium containing the metabilum you need.
Before approaching the government of Botsupho directly, you decide to approach Dr. Shaw to influence him so that he will not interfere with your plan to purchase the xanadium.

Role of Dr. Shaw:
You are Dr. E.A. Shaw, a research engineer employed by the Atlantium Corporation, ad multinational company based in the US with divisions that manufacture vehicles from consumer automobiles to commercial heavy duty vehicles. You have recently developed a new electric engine battery that could, if it proves out, eliminate the need for internal combustion engines in your company’s products.
Unfortunately, the key component of the battery is a metal called granalum, a component of xanadium which is a mineral found in only one place so far: Botsupho, a small African country just emerging from 30 years of civil war under new leadership wary of corporate promises.
You’ve been informed on good evidence that the government of Botsupho has 1.25 tonnes of refined xanadium, half of which is metabilum. You need 0.5 tonne of granalum (which requires 1 tonne of xanadium) to provide a convincing demonstration for upper management and potential government agencies.
The electrical engine batteries you have developed are completely reuseable or recycleable, production requires a fraction of the energy and water used in aluminum production, and all of the waste products from manufacturing can be captured through your innovative waste processing system.
Unfortunately, the stakeholders are somewhat sceptical and are pressing you for an early demonstration, with some of them – possibly with connections to internal combustion engine manufacturers – pushing strongly for termination of your research programme.
You have been informed that Dr. R.G. Khan is also urgently seeking to purchase the xanadium from the government of Botsupho. Dr. Khan works with an India-based waste disposal company which has provided evidence in a court case against The Atlantium Corporation, which is still pending. There have been accusations of document shredding and other destruction of evidence on the part of The Atlantium Corporation because the data provided to the court by your company does not match that provided by The Shangrilaria Consortium and other parties accusing your company of responsibility for the contamination. These accusations have increased the tension between your two companies.
You have been authorized by your company to approach the government of Botsupho to purchase the full 1.25 tonnes of xanadium. It is understood that the government will sell to the highest bidder who can also demonstrate environmental and social responsibility in the proposed use for the xanadium. You are authorised to bid up to £1 million for the xanadium containing the granalum you need.
Before approaching the government of Botsupho directly, you decide to approach Dr. Khan to influence him so that he will not interfere with your plan to purchase the xanadium.

Role of President Mnembe, Botsuphan leader:
You are the newly elected President of the Republic of Botsupho. Your country has suffered from 30 years of civil war, after 80 years of colonial occupation. You are the first democratically elected leader of your nation. Your campaign was focused on bringing lasting peace and prosperity to your people through transparency, inclusiveness and collaboration with the range of representatives elected to your new Parliament.
During the colonial occupation the resources of your nation were exploited without regard for the impacts of corporate profit taking on the people and landscape. In part your civil war was fought over the internal distribution of those same resources.
Many of your people continue to suffer from the environmental degradation from mining especially, since during the colonial and civil war years there were no environmental controls on business, and even had there been, there was no central authority strong enough to enforce them.
Your democracy has been hard won and the voters and current government situation is fragile and touchy. A wrong move could cause the collapse of the system. You need to make good decisions that both respond to social and environmental issues, and place responsibility for them appropriately. You also need to find a way to get your economy moving forward, to provide jobs, business opportunities, social support mechanisms and physical infrastructure as well as educational services. All this costs money which you do not have since your treasury and readily movable resources were looted by the departing leaders as the civil war ended.
You have been approached by two research companies both of which are interested in a mineral you have in plenty: xanadium. One of the companies, the Atlantium Corporation, represented by Dr. Shaw, is a multinational engaged in manufacturing vehicles currently developing a new electric engine battery. Botsupho needs good transportation including safe vehicles, but also needs to improve the roads and find ways to provide fuel especially outside of the capitol city. According to your information, the Atlantium Corporation was not one of the multinationals responsible for the environmental damage in Botsupho, but some of the members of the Board of Directors also sit on other corporate boards, some of which were engaged in resource extraction activities, which may explain the court case against the company.
The other company is a start up waste disposal company based in India called The Shangrilaria Consortium and represented by Dr. Khan. Their business focuses on technologies to prevent the build up and improper storage of hazardous waste products and they need metabilum to make their new technology work. Botsupho has a number of places that have been contaminated by improper waste disposal, which is impacting not only environmental health but also the health of the people around those sites and downstream from some of them due to contamination in the rivers.
Botsupho currently has 1.25 tones of refined xanadium. Both companies have approached you confidentially to negotiate a private deal for the xanadium. You have responded that any deal must include not only maximise economic considerations, but also provide social and environmental benefits and assurances not only for their actions within Botsupho, but also in terms of the global benefits of their product. If you can reach a good agreement with a company over the xanadium already mined, and for more to be mined later, it will help provide a secure foundation for your administration to begin the work it was elected to do.

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