Conflict Minerals EDGE: Compliance Questions Answered

MetalMiner and Spend Matters are holding what might best be described as a “pop-up” conference on Conflict Minerals on May 6, 2013, in Chicago: Conflict Minerals EDGE. That’s less than two months from now (compared with the usual planning cycle for events at six months or more!)

Yet our reasons for putting the event together so quickly shouldn’t come as a surprise for those tasked with managing conflict minerals in their organizations: the deadline to pursue and implement a compliance program is fast approaching. Plus our readers have been outright asking for an event like this (but more on that in a minute).

Earlier this week, I spoke to MetalMiner’s Lisa Reisman about Conflict Minerals EDGE:

Jason Busch (Spend Matters): So why are we doing this so quickly?

Lisa Reisman (MetalMiner): Sorry to mobilize our troops (and you) so fast on this one, but I think it’s top of mind to metals buying organizations this year. As MetalMiner looked at the market of available information to support conflict minerals initiatives outside of our own reports (which by nature are limited as well), we saw few places for practitioners to turn to for help with the specifics of implementing a conflict minerals programs. Moreover, we don’t see an unbiased source of information on this subject.

We have seen plenty of content on the legal side, and there’s a lot of content on the non-profit side, too; much of it is extremely helpful. But we haven’t found a source of holistic, unbiased content within a procurement, supply chain or supplier management framework.

Jason Busch (Spend Matters): Who put you team over the “edge” to do Conflict Minerals EDGE?

Lisa Reisman (MetalMiner): We had a reader from a $10 billion manufacturer ask if we could do an event on the topic because there were so many questions. This was just a few weeks ago. In the spirit of how quickly markets and topics move today, we pulled together the initial event plan and conference line-up in a matter of days.

The conference plan is coming off an extremely popular piece of MetalMiner content: The Definitive Guide to Conflict Minerals Compliance for Manufacturers. The paper has received 700+ downloads in less than six weeks and we want to continue the discussion not as a monologue, but as a two-way dialogue. Many paper downloaders are manufacturers struggling to put together the right program.

Jason Busch (Spend Matters): What’s the approach to the event?

Lisa Reisman (MetalMiner): Forget about PowerPoint slides. Our goal is for attendees to come away with an actionable blueprint for conflict minerals compliance. This will enable them to begin to implement programs on their own without requiring consultants or third-party subject matter experts to bring them up to speed. One of the biggest value propositions we can offer is to have people walk away with the tools they need (including a take-home tool kit) to implement conflict minerals compliance programs on their own. Others may opt to work with consultants and experts as well, but the day will serve as an accelerator for their learning to help make their overall program strategy that much more effective in practice.

To be continued. Be sure to sign up for Conflict Minerals EDGE, taking place in Chicago on May 6, 2013 at Hotel Sax. 

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