Methods & Tools

<em>Standing in the Fire:</em> The Inner Art of Facilitation

Standing in the Fire: The Inner Art of Facilitation

Facilitation is too often an underrated art. Both the practice and its practitioners are often characterized with some disdain as all process, no substance. Yet, everyone knows facilitation is necessary for tough meetings when the room is expected to bristle with tension, and a lot of skill will be needed to get a good result. […]

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Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Consensus Building and the Unshakable Rightness of Belief

Anyone who’s worked at building consensus on public policy knows the frustration of trying to reason with someone who just won’t change a position or even consider alternative possibilities. They may refuse to accept any evidence that seems to disprove their positions and become aggressive and disruptive in the face of challenges. Sometimes, it’s possible […]

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Consensus Building: Changing Minds to Reach Agreement

Consensus Building: Changing Minds to Reach Agreement

For a diverse group to reach consensus, at least some of the participants – perhaps all of them – have to change their minds. They come into the room with differing, often fundamentally conflicting ideas about the challenges they face. They likely disagree on how to define problems, technical methods that should be used to […]

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<em>The Back of the Napkin:</em> New Approaches to Visualizing and Communicating Ideas

The Back of the Napkin: New Approaches to Visualizing and Communicating Ideas

[HTML1] As I discussed in the last post, effective visual presentation of technical data allows collaboration participants to understand and remember information quickly and efficiently. Visual explanation is just as important in conveying key concepts that guide a group in defining its goals and creating options for consensus agreements. In recent years, several masters of […]

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Hans Rosling: Effective Presentation of Visual Information

Some Rights Reserved by GapMinder.org Information Overload Members of a collaborative policy process usually need technical information on major issues before setting to work. For a layperson , however, most of the presentations that try to provide this background are – let’s face it – boring. The content is fine, but it’s offered up in […]

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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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