Newsletter #27

About Moving Beyond Intractability Newsletters

Important information about the Newsletters, sign-up procedures, links to past newsletters, and strategies for overcoming possible delivery problems is found at the end of this Newsletter.  


After a summer and early fall spent planning and upgrading the Moving Beyond Intractability (MBI) system and continuing development of the Constructive Conflict Initiative (CCI), we want to give you an update on where things stand and our plans for the next several months.  

CCI Logo

Constructive Conflict Initiative


Phase I Comments and Feedback

We have received statements of support and thoughtful next-steps advice from 100+ people who have responded to our Invitation to get involved.  For example,

  • Some respondents emphasized the importance of framing the Initiative in positive and hopeful ways with lots of examples of successful projects that are making genuine progress.
  • Others stressed the importance of identifying concrete steps that people can take that will help address the problem. 
  • Others made it clear that we need to understand the interests that lead people to handle conflict poorly. We then need to show them how alternative, more constructive approaches can help them better advance their interests.
  • Given the large number of conflict problems and the wide range of settings in which those problems occur, respondents also emphasized the importance of developing a database for cataloging information on more constructive approaches and then matching that information with people who are likely to find it useful. 
  • Still others reminded us that information needs to be presented in ways that mass audiences find attractive and accessible. This probably involves the abundant use of visuals, animations, and podcasts.
  • Others urged us to simplify things in ways that offer users custom-tailored advice that avoids debilitating information overload. 

More suggestions are listed on our Initiative Feedback Page.

Next Steps

Obviously, doing all of these things will be a very tall order. That's why the Initiative is envisioned as a long-term project, not a quick fix.  Still, from the many suggestions we have received, we have identified a series of next-steps projects that, if we can recruit the people and funding needed to do the work, will place us in a position where we can realistically start to pursue the more ambitious suggestions listed above.  Current next-step plans include:

  • Public Awareness Building
  • Inventory of Ongoing Activities that Address the Initiative's Ten Challenges and Advance Initiative Goals
  • Inventory of Publications that Address the Initiative's Challenges and Goals  
  • Additional Participant Recruitment and Networking Efforts
  • Initiative Planning Conference 
  • Funding Strategy Development

If you are interested in getting involved in any of these efforts, please let us know


Opportunities for Getting Involved!

If you believe, as we do, that making progress on the intractable conflict problem is a precondition to making progress on all other problems, and that the problem is not getting anywhere near the attention it deserves, please get involved!   
  • Give us Feedback -- Despite the great advice received thus far, there are still a great many more people who could provide valuable insights to add to the Initiative planning process.  If you have thoughts about the initiative--and how to make it better or move it forward -- please let us know.
  • Help us spread the word -- We would greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide in circulating the Initiative Invitation to anyone who might be interested. Please forward the Invitation link, along with the Initiative's new, easier-to-remember, homepage link ( to anyone (and everyone) who might be interested. You can also send us people's contact information and we will contact them directly. Or, you can simply just suggest groups that we should try find a way to reach. 
  • Volunteer Some Time -- We need help pursuing all of the next steps listed above. We need people with all levels of background and experience—from students to project directors. Right now we are we are looking for a few people willing to commit to at least four hours a week to the project. The work can be done on your own schedule and from any computer connected to the Internet. If you have a few hours a week to help us develop the project further, please get in touch!
  • Share Your Related Work -- Consider what you are currently doing or could do to help advance the goals and/or address the challenges listed in the Initiative.  If you are already working on a project that relates to one or more of the Initiative goals or challenges, let us know about it!  We will be featuring lots of these on the MOOS (when, of course,they are ready for public release). We are also starting to compile a list—which may turn into an organized database or extension of the BI Knowledge Base—which shares as much as possible about what is currently going on. 
  • Start Working on One of the Challenges -- If you aren't yet working on anything of this sort, consider where you might be able to start.  This can simply range from reaching out to people you know "on the other side," to reading more about the challenges we face, to starting to develop efforts  to address one or more of those challenges.  While we can't promise that this work will be easy, we can promise it will be rewarding. It is also every bit as essential to the welfare of future generations as efforts to promote climate action.  


Organizational Changes

With the Burgesses' retirement from their research and teaching positions at the University of Colorado, the Conflict Information Consortium (the parent organization for Beyond Intractability and the Constructive Conflict Initiative) will be discontinued as a University program effective May 15, 2020.  As retired faculty, Burgesses are committed to maintaining and continuing to develop the Beyond Intractability system and pursuing the Constructive Conflict Initiative after that date.  Fortunately, the efficiencies of a web-based project like ours make the shift to an independent structure easy and relatively seamless with no noticeable changes in website functionality expected.

As part of this transition, we are no longer able to accept donations through the University of Colorado Foundation.  As an alternative way of raising the modest funding needed to cover Consortium expenses (but not the Burgesses time) we have established a simple Go Fund Me page. Please contribute what you can. We are also interested in partnering with other organizations to pursue the Initiative's Next Steps Projects outlined above.  There are also a great many ways in which volunteers could help us speed and strengthen our efforts. If you are interested, please contact us.

About the MBI Newsletters

Every two weeks or so, we will compile the new posts from the Frontiers Seminar, the Fundamentals Seminar, the Things Everyone Can Do to Help Blog, and the Beyond Intractability in Context Blog into a Newsletter that will be posted here and sent out by email to subscribers. You can sign up to receive your copy on our Newsletter Sign Up Page and find the latest newsletter as well as all past newsletters here on our Newsletter page.

Also available are past newsletters: 9#10#11, #12 #13, #14#15#16, #17 #18,  #19 , #20, #21, #22 #23, #24, #25, #26 and the 2017 Newsletter Archive.

NOTE! If you signed up for this Newsletter and don't see it in your inbox, it might be going to one of your other emails folder (such as promotions, social, or spam).  Check there or search for, and if you still can't find it, please contact us