Brand new technologies emerge each year across every sector, many of which could profoundly impact the shape of public discourse. These new resources – from Twitter feeds and online meetings to complex software that can map out potential agreements from a set of positions – have the potential to create an exciting world where vast quantities of information are more available than ever before.
With each day, hour, and minute, our world’s population continues to grow. Beyond the numbers game of a burgeoning headcount, consumption patterns continue on the up-and-up, not only in wealthy nations, but in developing nations as well.
The dichotomy of starvation and overconsumption looms above any conversation about food on our planet today. The consumption of cheap, fast food and prevalence of unhealthy eating habits have led to rising obesity rates and other diseases in the countries of the rich, while food insecurity and malnutrition continue to plague the poor across the world. Famine remains a common and devastating occurrence. Two very different situations, yes, but they are linked in the discussion of global strategies for food.
Energy fuels modern economies – both literally and figuratively. Securing affordable, reliable, and clean energy has become a hallmark of successful economic development. Despite agreement on what makes energy system sustainable, debate remains about how to deal with the complicated trade offs between cost and environmental impact; between regulation to ensure reliability and allowing individual choice; and among national, state and local decision-making on energy policies, regulations, infrastructure investments, and facility siting. These decisions are difficult ones, and the stakes have only gotten higher in the face of growing demand for energy and the increasingly noticeable impacts of climate change.
Fresh water nourishes crops, hydrates rural and urban populations alike, and generates energy in countries around the world. Streams and rivers provide natural transportation routes for huge volumes of local and international trade, connecting town-to-town and nation-to-nation.
Our oceans are not only rife with aquatic habitats and fish, but are also home to increasingly valuable sources of energy in the forms of offshore oil, wind, and gas. As we invent new ways to use our ocean resources, the number of competing interests multiplies and the factors determining how we prioritize these resources roll and shift under our feet.
CBI Board Member Colin Rule is awarded the 2013 Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution.
The Consensus Building Institute, in collaboration with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, has produced a guide for state environmental and natural resource agencies that wish to use more collaborative approaches to engagement.
"My job is to listen, and to encourage others to be excellent listeners." Mil Niepold discusses four key elements that create and maintain a strong verification system.
CBI and MIT's Science Impact Collaborative have recently been selected as finalists in MIT's Climate CoLab contest.
CBI facilitated a WWF Forests Meeting in Panama, leading to collaborative, productive, and insightful work on how to meet WWF’s strategic forest goals in a unified way.
Land use disputes are increasingly taking up our time and producing unsatisfying results. A new approach to resolving conflict based on mutual gains may provide a better way to manage the most challenging situations.