Voconiq is an employee-led CSIRO spin-out technology and services company, that brings the voice of communities at local, regional and national scales inside the companies, industries and institutions that work alongside them. Voconiq is built on world-class science foundation, with more than 10-years of CSIRO research establishing the theoretical, analytical and then practical fundamentals of what it means to hold a ‘social licence to operate’ for companies and industries operating alongside and within communities of people. Through that time in CSIRO, we worked with large mining companies in particular, such as BHP and Rio Tinto, to understand and define the challenges they face in managing their social risk, building meaningful relationships with communities of interest, and comparing the social performance of multiple mining operations across diverse and vast geographies. Voconiq was developed as a solution to these challenges and commercialised to scale its ability to deliver this science-based solution globally within and beyond the mining industry. To solve these challenges, Voconiq uses structured questionnaires delivered online, in-person or via trusted intermediaries to collect community sentiment data. Advanced data science methods, including AI tools, turn these data into actionable insights delivered via secure online dashboards. What information we collect, how we collect it, and what we do with that data is shaped by the science that Voconiq was built on, informed by the customers that now use this data every day to manage a key risk to their businesses and industries (i.e. social rejection). Voconiq collects this data consistently and systematically across time, matching the timing of data collection to the nature of the relationships we are examining. This allows our customers to: ‘see around corners’ as issues emerge in our data and are addressed before they become conflicts; inform and refine their local and national social investment strategies; coordinate functions within their organisational structures to ensure social risk is considered in every meaningful decision, and; effectively respond to community needs in times of crisis as occurred through the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic using Voconiq data. Voconiq data is embedded within a framework of community engagement and customer support to ensure our insights are used most effectively for greatest positive impact. Our offering to mining is called Voconiq Local Voices. Local Voices is currently deployed in 40+ communities in five countries providing mining companies with real-time, longitudinal social data. Our data science methods mean these customers understand not only what communities think about a whole range of interaction points they have with the company, but why they think this way, and what levers to pull to improve this relationship and reduce social risk right down to the neighbourhood level. Its longitudinal nature tells them when an issue is forming, when an intervention is working, and when an investment is paying off. Having created a consistent process for doing this work regardless of context, Voconiq Local Voices customers can compare social performance across sites, allowing them to hold local teams accountable and identify outstanding performance to embed enterprise wide.Voconiq is a team of 10 with people based in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Sao Paulo and Harare. Voconiq is committed to being an inclusive and supportive workplace, with 50% of the team female (including a female founder). Our strategy to date has been to identify and/or build the parts of our business required to create a significant, Australian-based global company.
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