Resources

127 Resources found

  • From Us and Them to Positive Sum: Transforming Identity Politics into Collaborative Problem Solving

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    In the midst of threats to democracy, entrenched polarization, and longstanding power imbalances, how can consensus builders use our experience to help Americans find wiser, fairer, and more durable responses to public problems? In this article, CBI Managing Directors David Fairman and Stacie Smith share possible paths forward to collaborative problem solving.

  • Maine Won’t Wait: Lessons on Collaborative Leadership from Maine’s Climate Council

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    Maine announced its Climate Action Plan - "Maine Won’t Wait" - in December 2020, following an ambitious, multi-stakeholder process led by the Maine Climate Council. CBI Senior Mediator David Plumb sat down (virtually) with his colleague Peter Woodrow and colleagues at the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future to reflect on lessons learned from the facilitation of the 16-month process.

  • The Future of Meetings

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    What will meetings look like as we emerge from our socially distanced isolation? CBI has learned a lot about virtual meetings in the last year that will have lasting impacts on our work. In this article, CBI Senior Mediator Patrick Field shares insights and predictions for how the pandemic has shaped the future of meetings.

  • American Friends Service Committee crafts a strategy for championing dignity for all

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    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.

  • Green v. Gray: Monitoring Different Shoreline Features Along New York’s Coasts

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    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.

  • Reflections on Injustice, Consensus Building, and CBI

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    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.

  • Engaging Local Stakeholders in the Climate Investment Funds

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    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.

  • Making Coastal Adaptation Personal

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    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.

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

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    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.

  • Taking Our Headphones Off

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    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.

  • To Stay or Go: New Insights on Managed Retreat

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    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?

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    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!