Archive for facilitation

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<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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Collaborative Planning for Groundwater Management

The collaborative approach to water resource planning has been growing over the past 15 years, especially where urban, agricultural and environmental needs are straining the local supplies. Like many other public water managers, the Sonoma County (California) Water Agency faced a decline in groundwater supply throughout the Sonoma Valley as pumping steadily increased because of […]

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Mediating on Two Tracks: the Rational and the Rest of Human Nature

Mediating on Two Tracks: the Rational and the Rest of Human Nature

Robert Benjamin’s essay on the place of irrationality in mediation, discussed in the previous post, urges mediators to focus as much on the emotional and even illogical motives contributing to conflict as on the rational analysis of issues. Many practitioners do this, in so far as they can, because they not only recognize the importance […]

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Whole System Change: The Future Search Conference

Whole System Change: The Future Search Conference

The Future Search Conference is one of several collaborative planning methods that take a “whole system” approach. These processes try to replace shelf-bound plans with agendas for action that are developed collaboratively in the course of intensive large-group meetings. Key Concepts To do this, Future Search insists on the basic starting principle: “Get the whole […]

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Open Government Initiative - Phase 2: Enhancing Citizen Engagement

Open Government Initiative – Phase 2: Enhancing Citizen Engagement

The Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative has been holding its second phase at the blog of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The initial brainstorming phase has generated hundreds of ideas and comments relating to five major categories: Transparency, Participation, Collaboration, Capacity Building and Legal and Policy Challenges. While there have been problems with […]

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Peter Adler and The End of Mediation

Peter Adler and The End of Mediation

Peter Adler has written an article of compelling interest on the core values and direction of mediation. Provocatively entitled, The End of Mediation, this ambitious essay sets out a powerful vision for the future of the process and its practitioners. His basic point is that mediation is not a “field” or “profession” but a set […]

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