124 Resources found
For more than a century, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has taken a principled stand against oppression on a wide range of global issues. In 2018, the AFSC sought CBI’s support in determining how it could best contribute to a brighter future and in crafting a strategic plan for 2020-2030. In this article Senior Mediator Michele Ferenz talks about how the facilitation team helped the AFSC, an organization that subscribes to following the leadership of those most affected by exclusion and violence, set a compelling course for its own future.
In recent years, coastal communities across New York State have expressed an interest in moving away from sea walls and other hardened barriers toward more “green” infrastructure to help absorb storm surges and protect coastal communities from flood risk. CBI teamed with the Science and Resilience Institute of Jamaica Bay and a range of stakeholders in developing and piloting a draft statewide monitoring framework to assess the potential of nature-based features to help coastal communities in face of rising sea levels. Read Senior Mediator Bennett Brooks’ account of the project and lessons learned about structuring a successful process on such a technical issue.
It is rare that we begin CBI Reports with a statement. Since our last newsletter, COVID-19 has underscored the persistence of deep inequities in our health and economic system. Recent killings of Black Americans by police and civilians have sparked a national movement to transform the criminal justice system and root out structural racism in our society. We are not neutral on these issues.
For more than 20 years, CBI has been working with multilateral development banks and local stakeholders to address concerns about the impacts of development projects. A recent evaluation of local stakeholder engagement in the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) – a global partnership to help developing countries address climate change – has revealed some new insights. Read Managing Director David Fairman’s account of the challenges he has observed in effective stakeholder engagement and key lessons from the CIF’s experience.
As communities across the U.S. and the globe grapple with how to adapt to the looming climate crisis, CBI Senior Mediator Bennett Brooks' recent work with a small community just north of New York City suggests an approach that may hold promise: translating risk into the simplest and most personal terms and creating a safe space for neighbors to begin talking with one another about promising adaptation strategies.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Offshore wind development is rapidly accelerating in U.S waters – and diverse new and traditional users, and their interests, need to be balanced. Senior Mediator Bennett Brooks and Managing Director Patrick Field suggest that processes must accommodate substantial uncertainty as agencies, stakeholders, and developers venture into previously uncharted waters. They argue that collaboration among participating agencies and across jurisdictions is key to sustaining cooperation and trust, and avoiding costly and painful conflict as offshore wind development expands.