294 Resources found

  • Pipeline Construction: When Safety Goes Global

    CBI and its partner Environmental Resources Management embarked on a project to determine better practices for addressing conflicts related to pipeline construction. The results of this project – practical, actionable approaches to addressing conflict – are outlined in our recently released report, "Stakeholder Engagement and Conflict Mitigation in Pipeline Construction."

  • Breaking Through to the Table: New Thoughts on a Perennial Problem

    CBI is employing four critical elements of its breakthrough collaboration framework – trust building, creativity, negotiation, and joint action – to support stakeholders who are facing what seem like intractable disagreements on a public issue. These ingredients are powerful catalysts for collaboration, but they beg the question: how do we get stakeholders to the table in the first place? Using a challenging case in a New Jersey community as an example, CBI Managing Directors David Fairman and Stacie Smith discuss enabling conditions and catalysts needed to bring parties together to consider the possibility of collaboration.

  • Could SONGS offer a sightline to solving our nuclear waste dilemma?

    In its recently published book, Resolving Energy and Land Conflicts, CBI tackled one of the toughest and perhaps most intractable land use and energy dilemmas: where should we put the nuclear waste that is building up through decades of generation from our fleet of nuclear power plants? There is no licensed permanent repository for nuclear waste in the U.S., but a settlement agreement in California to relocate fuel from the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) may offer important lessons on how to find temporary or permanent locations to store nuclear waste. In this blog post, CBI Senior Mediator Catherine Morris draws on CBI's land use and energy siting expertise to propose a roadmap for successful collaboration to address this challenge.

  • Taking Our Headphones Off

    In the midst of social and political upheaval in Chile, CBI’s Chile Director and Senior Mediator Betsy Fierman discusses the importance of actively listening to one another as a starting point for dialogue on some of the key reforms being called for by citizens. Riots erupted in Chile in mid-October in response to a metro fare increase and have led to more than a million people protesting and calling for a new constitution and improved pension, health, and education systems. Read Betsy’s account of her experiences on the ground in the midst of the unrest and insights on how Chile’s citizens might begin to engage in dialogue, across ideological differences, to help the country move forward.

  • We are All in it Together: Collaborative Governance Advancing Water Management

    Challenges around water management in the American West are deepening, as weather becomes more variable and, at times, severe. CBI has been working on water issues with communities in the West for a decade and has found “collaborative governance” to be a very helpful approach to bringing people together to address management of critical water resources. Collaborative water governance assumes that managing water is most effective when everyone is in support of the decision-making process and has a voice in critical issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. In this blog post, CBI West Director Gina Bartlett and CBI Senior Mediator Tania Carlone discuss the benefits and challenges of collaborative water governance in the American West.

  • Reflections on a Collaborative Documentary Experiment

    In early 2019, in collaboration with the Colombian Center for Responsible Business, CBI envisioned and co-produced a documentary film as a medium to give voice to the experience and concerns of community stakeholders living in the coal-mining region of Cesar, Colombia. In this blog post, CBI Senior Mediator Merrick Hoben reflects on his filmmaking experience.

  • To Stay or Go: New Insights on Managed Retreat

    CBI Senior Mediator Carri Hulet shares insights on managed retreat, or relocation due to climate change, while at a recent conference at Columbia University focused on this topic. After CBI launched the Climigration Network in 2015 to encourage conversation among a small number of people who were then exploring managed retreat, Carri was pleased to witness hundreds of people at the conference discussing and innovating around retreat strategies. In this article, Carri reflects on the evolution of the climigration field of practice, recent progress, and how to grapple with the complicated emotions that accompany this challenging issue – for herself as well as millions of residents who are facing tough decisions about whether to stay or go, and how to go if that is the choice.

  • Breakthrough Collaboration: What is It and How Do We Help Make It Happen?

    CBI’s vision is a world in which the most complex problems are solved through collaboration. In this era of high polarization on pressing public issues, creating strong partnerships to meet public challenges is more urgent, and more difficult. At CBI, we have been discussing the need for what we are calling "breakthrough collaboration" to help groups and organizations work together in situations where trust is low and there is no shared vision, yet the stakeholders know they need to work together over the long haul to tackle the challenge at hand. In this article, Managing Director David Fairman and Associate Managing Director Stacie Smith present CBI’s preliminary thinking on what it takes to advance breakthrough collaboration, and how the key ingredients can be blended to create sustainable solutions to seemingly intractable problems. We welcome your input as we continue to explore what it takes to achieve breakthrough collaboration!

  • The United Nations, Land and Conflict: Developing a New Approach

    In humanitarian crises and post-conflict environments across the globe, land – a scarce and valuable resource – can be a flash point for reigniting conflict, compromising economic recovery and undermining peace. In recent years, member states and United Nations (UN) leaders expressed concerns that land issues in conflict situations were not getting enough attention, and launched a “re-think” on how the UN engages around land and conflict. The UN retained Michael Brown (now Senior Mediator at CBI) to build consensus for a major initiative to develop a new systemwide approach to land and conflict. Michael facilitated agreement and buy-in across 18 different UN agencies and supported drafting of the new approach, resulting in The United Nations and Land and Conflict Secretary General’s Note, an important document that articulates a shared vision and approach for UN staff and national stakeholders, released in March 2019.

  • Nurturing Collaboration in Colorado’s Water Community: What Have We Learned?

    Building on the development of Basin Roundtables for each of the state’s river basins, Colorado's 2015 water plan set a goal of developing stream or integrated water management plans for many of the state's rivers. Now in full swing, these efforts are attempting to meet a range of stakeholder needs by seeking consensus-based solutions such as operational changes, infrastructure improvements, and restoration alternatives. CBI Senior Mediator Ryan Golten and CBI Senior Consultant Dan Birch reflect on the challenge not just of technically integrated planning, but of the human dimension of collaboratively managing water.

  • Cities Building a Culture of Climate Action

    Many municipalities are developing sustainability plans aimed at building local resilience to climate change impacts. The success of these initiatives is highly dependent on effective community engagement – and many leaders are realizing that they need to invest in networks and facilitate conversations to help build a culture of understanding and action. In this post, CBI Senior Mediator Ona Ferguson outlines questions that municipal leaders can employ to determine the most effective community engagement approach for their region.

  • Past as Present: Facilitating collaborative processes with those who have been historically wronged

    How do fundamental issues of identity, justice, and power affect the facilitation of dialogue with groups that include individuals who have experienced injustice? How does one’s own identity as a facilitator affect the ability to remain neutral and help these groups address challenges? Managing Director Pat Field reflects on lessons learned from engagements over his 25 years as a facilitator and mediator.