Archive for October 2009

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Susan Collin Marks of Search for Common Ground: Media & Peace

Susan Collin Marks is the Senior Vice President of Search for Common Ground (SFCG). In this interview with the European Journalism Centre, she describes some of the goals of SFCG and specific projects involving popular media to reach millions of people in war-torn countries. The mission of Search for Common Ground, founded in 1982, is […]

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How Do Consensus Groups Make Choices?

How Do Consensus Groups Make Choices?

As in any other field, public sector consensus building always gets to the critical moment when choices have to be made. In my experience, how a group accomplishes this reveals more about motives behind decisions than any other step in the process. Several years ago, I worked with a large group to build consensus on […]

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Implementing Agreements: The Ordeal of Change

Implementing Agreements: The Ordeal of Change

The real test of a collaborative agreement only begins when the changes it requires hit the streets. That’s when it gets personal. Carrying out an agreement usually means that particular people will have to do things differently, pay costs they’re not used to paying, live with new restrictions, new requirements. The negative side of change […]

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Collaborative Implementation of Consensus Agreements

Collaborative Implementation of Consensus Agreements

Collaborative agreements often come together after seemingly endless sessions of hard negotiation. When reached, they may well represent a breakthrough achievement, finally getting long-time adversaries to agree on the toughest issues dividing them. After that triumph, though, implementation may require continuing collaborative work for years. While there are many examples of success, others produce disappointing […]

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Web Resources for Online Meetings - 1

Web Resources for Online Meetings – 1

Amid the excitement surrounding the Obama Administration’s use of the internet for massive public engagement, I’ve been looking for web-based applications that can be used on a much smaller scale to support collaborative policy projects. While online services can’t yet take the place of in-person dialogue, there are many applications that can offer significant support […]

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Online Voting for Public Policy vs. Consensus Building: Is That a Choice?

Online Voting for Public Policy vs. Consensus Building: Is That a Choice?

Although I haven’t seen a lot of discussion about this so far, the emergence of interactive tools for online citizen engagement poses interesting questions for the future of public policy consensus building. It’s still early days in the development of the web technology, and experiments so far have been spotty. Despite the high orbit of […]

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