Quick Start Guide

Note: In March of 2019 we switched to a new homepage design. The old homepage design is, however, still available.

A Quick Overview of the Many Resources Available on Beyond Intractability

This site focuses on conflict, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and more constructive ways of addressing (from both advocacy and intermediary perspectives) today's big conflict problems.  Available materials address the full range of conflict issues from small-group interpersonal interactions to large-scale community, society-wide, and even international conflict. We address relatively tractable disputes and, especially, those intractable conflicts that tend to defy the best-available conflict resolution strategies.

We have slightly reorganized the home page as of March 2019.  At the top is a tan box that lays out our over-arching argument that intractable conflict poses an existential threat to human well being that is largely being misdiagnosed or ignored. If we are going to be able to successfully tackle all our other societal problems--climate change, identity, inequality, health, etc, we have to be able to constructively address the conflicts surrounding those issues.  The materials in the top tan, yellow, and blue boxes all present aspects of this argument, drawing from materials in our seven core seminars and blogs, which are listed under the yellow box on the left.  

These sections focus on different kinds of conflicts, different sources of information, and are aimed at different audiences.  They include:

BI/MBI Sections

For those with limited time, and little conflict resolution background:
The Things You Can Do to Help Blog contains short articles describing simple but effective steps that we all can take to better handle interpersonal and community conflicts and disputes. 

For those with more interest in "big conflicts" and a few hours:
The Intractable Conflict Challenge & Frontiers Seminar #1 give an overview of why the intractable conflict problem is so important and the how a complexity-oriented approach to conflict dynamics, advocacy, and conflict transformation can help.

For those interested in learning conflict resolution “basics:”
The Conflict Fundamentals Seminars offer succinct explanations of the conflict field's big (though often underutilized) ideas -- ideas that will help you more constructively engage in interpersonal conflicts as well as broader civic issues. 

For those wanting to explore today's really tough conflict problems:
The Conflict Frontiers Massive Open Online Seminars (MOOS) explore and discuss strategies for more constructively addressing the many unmet challenges posed by the complex, large-scale, intractable conflicts that so threaten contemporary society.

The series (which includes materials from other BI sections) examines intriguing, but still tentative, ideas at the frontier of the conflict field including Massively Parallel Peacebuilding, Massively Parallel Peacebuilding Logoour strategy for better dealing with scale, complexity, and intractability and Constructive Confrontation, which applies the field's insights from the perspective of advocates, not intermediaries. Also available is a new examination of Authoritarian Populism and its many associated conflict problems.

For those looking for more information on conflict -related topics:
The BI/CRInfo Knowledge Base contains an extensive collection of resources covering the destructive dynamics of "regular" and intractable conflicts, strategies for limiting those dynamics, and techniques for more wisely and equitably resolving disputes.

For those interested in seeing what we're reading:
The BI in Context is a blog highlighting readable news and opinion articles, "infographics" and reports that help us better understand the nature of the conflict problem and work of those who are pioneering more constructive approaches.

For those interested in seeing what our colleagues are doing:
Colleague Activities Blog is place to find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing and to tell us about your work.

Participation Options

There are several ways to participate in BI and MBI.

  1. You can simply come the site and read what interests you.  Search and browse functions can help you find what you need.
  2. Your can subscribe to our newsletter, to get bi-weekly to monthly updates about new materials (we alter the timing depending on how many new materials have been posted recently.)
  3. You can read our "Constructive Conflict Statement" and join us in our effort to focus much more attention on the growing intractable conflict problem.
  4. You can follow MBI core seminars (Things You Can Do to Help, Fundamentals, and Frontiers) on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If you do this, you will get sent about two posts a day to your daily "newsfeed." 
  5. You can follow all the seminars and blogs (including both the core and BI-in-Context and Colleague Activities) on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If you do this you will get sent about four posts a day to your daily "newsfeed." 
  6. You can follow the entire  Conflict Fundamentals and/or Conflict Frontiers seminars much as you would a conventional course (although unfortunately, we cannot give credit for doing so.)  In order to be sure you don't miss some posts, come directly to the Beyond Intractability and go to either or the seminars themselves or go to the Conflict Fundamentals Blog or the Conflict Frontiers Blog.  These list the same posts as the respective seminars, but like all blogs, list the most recent posts first.
  7. You can work through our our list of things You Can Do To Help.
  8. You can help us publicize this site by telling your networks about it!