MBI Discussion Topics

 

At the beginning of 2018, we posed this over-arching question to try to increase engagement in the discussions.  We did generate the interest of one person, and had a bit of a dialogue, but this still didn't "take off."  So now, in the Summer of 2018, as we start the Massively Parallel Peacebuilding part of the Frontiers Seminar, which addresses, at length, this very question, we will be re-examining how to handle discussions to see if we can get better engagement. If you are concerned, as we are, that the U.S. (and Europe) are quickly careening away from the kind of country we thought we lived in--please help us formulate a response that might save our democracy!

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How Do We Build Peace and Resolve Conflict in the Age of Hyper-Partisanship and Donald Trump?

Or put another way:  How can we better apply what we already know to our own conflicts—and what more do we need to learn?

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Conflict Fundamentals Discussion Questions

We don't have many discussion questions attached to fundamentals posts, but occassionally one seems pressing. Those are listed below.

Conflict Frontiers Discussion Questions

Unit 1: Introduction – Why Intractable Conflicts Matter—To Everyone! 

Unit 2: Business-As-Usual Approaches.

  • D12: What and Who Did We Miss in this "Literature Review"?   We have two discussion questions that relate to all of Unit 3. First, what other ideas from the people we have talked about have you found to be particularly useful in your work?   And second, what other people should we include in this "literature review" of the "founders" of the complexity-oriented approach to peacebuilding?  Please give us details!

Unit 4: Moving Further Toward a New Paradigm Of Complexity Analysis and Action

Things YOU Can Do To Help Discussion Questions

  • HD1: Taking the Problem Seriously: How do we get people to take the intractable conflict problem more seriously?  How can we convince them to stop using approaches to conflict that make the situation worse, not better?  Have you convinced someone or an organization to chart a new course when responding to conflict?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  What did you learn from the experience?
  • HD2: Do No Harm: How do we get people to change their approach to conflict when it is clearly being destructive?  Have you ever changed your approach yourself?  Have you convinced someone else to do so?  Tell us about it!
  • HD3:  Sound the Alarm: Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  Did that change the conflict dynamics
  • HD4: Respect:  Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation--with someone you really did not respect deep down inside?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  What did you learn from the experience? Alternatively, were you treated with respect when you maybe didn't deserve it (when you messed up)?  Did that help the situation?
  • HD5: Fixing the Problem: Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  Did that change the conflict dynamics?
  • HD6: Face: Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  Or--did anyone else allow YOU to save face. Did that change the conflict dynamics? 
  • HD7: Civility:  Have you ever been faced with an uncivil opponent who tempted you to respond in an uncivil way--but you didn't?  Tell us what you did, and how it worked out!  How can we encourage civility in this era of severe incivility? 
  • HD8: Listening: Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Has "simple listening" ever changed the course of a conflict dramatically?  Tell us about it!
  • HD9: Being Wrong:  Have you ever changed your mind about your views in a conflict, deciding your opponent was at least partially right?  What made you change your mind?  What did you do about it?  
  • HD10: Stereotypes:  Have you done this?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  What did you learn from the experience?
  • HD11 Interests: Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out. Did it help?  What did you learn from the experience?
  • HD12: Siege Mentality: What can you (or any individual person) do to diminish the sense of siege mentality--on "the other side" and--on one's own side if that is a problem for a group you are in? 
  • HD13 Co-existence:  Have you done this in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?   Did that change the conflict dynamics?
  • HD14 Power: Have you used exchange, collaboration, or respect (Boulding's "love") instead of force to try to change someone's mind or behavior in a particularly tricky or difficult conflict situation?  Tell us about what you did and how it worked out.  Did it help?  What did you learn from the experience? Or--have you talked someone else out of using force?  How?  To what end?
  • HB15:Third Side: Have you ever played a third side role in a conflict?  What did you do?  How?  How did it work out?