Archive for March 2009

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Open Space-Online

Open Space-Online

How is it possible to accomplish an Open Space Technology (OST) meeting on the web, working only with text and limited visual aids through a desktop browser? That is the aim of Open Space-Online, and by many accounts it does the task effectively. Given the structure of an OST meeting, it would seem difficult to […]

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A Collaborative Mindset

A Collaborative Mindset

When trying to assess the feasibility of a new collaborative project, I often run into a few people I’d like to get into the process who regard the whole thing as wrong-headed and doomed to failure. While there may be objective and sound reasons for the rejection of a collaborative strategy, there are times when […]

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Community and Technical Knowledge in Public Involvement

Community and Technical Knowledge in Public Involvement

Public involvement sometimes presents a stark contrast between community and technical knowledge. Often public agency representatives, with the best intentions of gathering information about local concerns, may arrive at a community meeting, make a presentation, but find itself facing a lot of frustrated and angry people. The meeting might end with members of the community […]

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A Collaborative Mindset - 2

A Collaborative Mindset – 2

In the earlier post on mindsets, or mental models, and how they affect collaboration, I focused on what Judith Innes and Judith Gruber call, in Planning Styles in Conflict, the technical and bureaucratic model of planning and decision-making. This is one of four models they describe in their classification. The four are: technical/bureaucratic social movement […]

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Open Space Technology - 1

Open Space Technology – 1

In the mid-90s I attended a conference that assembled about 50 members of the environmental conflict resolution field. Although mediators and researchers had been developing, testing and adapting the theories and methods of the practice for 20 years, it was still a young and emerging field, and there were constant debates about its best practices […]

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Martti Ahtisaari: What Is a Good Mediator?

Martti Ahtisaari, a Finnish diplomat and international mediator, won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize for his conflict resolution work around the world. Namibia, Northern Ireland and Kosovo are three of the crisis situations where he helped to negotiate settlements. Although the world of international conflict seems remote from the collaborative public policy work at domestic […]

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