140 Resources found
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the Vina Basin in Northern California, the entire community is 100 percent reliant on groundwater for all water needs. CBI’s Senior Mediator Tania Carlone is helping the basin establish a groundwater sustainability agency and address the central issue of how to design a governance structure that will support the collaborative development of a sustainability plan for a basin where everyone has a stake.
Some of my most rewarding projects have been with local committees that engage members of the community to make important decisions that affect that community or region. As I reflected on some of these facilitations, a number of insights and learnings surfaced about how to set up, support, and reward these volunteer bodies. Here are four suggestions for choosing the right people, setting the right expectations, and providing the right support right off the bat.
Central to the American Dream is the belief that through education and hard work, each generation can raise its standard of living, and create greater opportunities for the next. But over the past forty years, incomes for lower-wage workers have stagnated, and economic inequality has increased. Education and hard work are no longer a guarantee of upward mobility for lower-wage workers.
Facing growing pressure and concern to generate a strategy to address land and property issues in Marawi, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) turned to the Consensus Building Institute. CBI mediators have helped develop systems to manage post-conflict land and property issues in peace processes in Guatemala, Timor Leste, and Sri Lanka.