It may seem like an impossible challenge, crowdsourcing a narrative to build a better future for Canadians and their chemistry sector, but there is clearly a need for better narrative connectivity between stakeholders. Can the first steps be a stakeholders’ group who come together to create a compelling and co-ordinated narrative coalition around Canada’s petrochemical and biochemical opportunities as an example? It’s critical to ensure a future free of adversarial and divisive debate through more productive and constructive communications – in other words, a co-ordinated narrative.
“Narrative”, of course, is a word introduced of late into the energy sector’s lexicon; its acceptance the result of recognition of two realities: first, industry has been inept at best at creating a narrative that defines and illuminates the value of “oil and gas” and “chemistry” to Canadians; and second, forces oppose the sector’s very existence at every turn are extraordinarily adept at the confrontational narrative game.
In addition to changing the narrative, the need remains for raising awareness of the continued investment gap in our sector between US and Canada, addressing the old economy perceptions that persists, and the modern chemistry’s sector contribution to lower carbon economy. There is a nationwide need for co-ordinated federal/provincial action to create a competitive environment.