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Sat, Apr 29, 2006

Searching for Peace in the Middle East

Landrum Bolling Searching for Peace in the Middle East is a 30 minute film written and narrated by quaker peacemaker Landrum Bolling. This film, available at no cost for download from Google Video or via a DVD from the Foundation for Middle East Peace, is a vivid, compassionate portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Through the voices of Israeli and Palestinian citizens of diverse backgrounds, it reveals their hopes and fears and explores the issues that divide them. It also describes in a compelling way a broad common ground of yearning for peace, pointing the way toward a resolution of this tragic conflict that would meet the deepest needs of both societies.

The film features these Israelis and Palestinians:
Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Legislator; Rami Elhanan, Bereaved Parents Circle; Daniel Taubman, Israeli diplomat; Prof. Naomi Chazan, Hebrew Univ. Jonathan Kuttab, Palestinian Lawyer Gershon Baskin, Co-Director, IPCRI; Arik Ascherman, Rabbis for Human Rights Gary Cooperberg, Settler, Kiryat Arba; Mohammed Zahar, Palestinian Foreign Minister; Jad Isaac, Environmentalist; Colonel Benzi Gruber, IDF, retired.

Landrum Bolling, a veteran peace maker and the former President of Earlham College, has had a distinguished career as an informal advisor to world leaders and as an advocate for peace. A former Director of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem (1987-90), he has deep ties to the Middle East. In 2000, he and Sen. George Mitchell, won the Peacemaker/Peace Building Award from the National Peace Foundation. He is a senior advisor to Mercy Corps and a Director of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 29 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Fri, Apr 28, 2006

Direct Action - Video Exploring Activist Protest of Iraq War

This 17-minute video, written and directed by Colin Murray and available via Google video, explores the world of social protest activists. (Note: language not work-safe or family friendly.) Direct Action takes place in San Francisco at the outbreak of the Iraq war. A group of activist students gather in a classroom to plan a last-ditch response to the Bush Administration’s unpopular military invasion. Conflict arises as the students realize that while their enemy may be the same, they each embody a slightly different set of ideals, reflecting each of their political, racial, sexual and socio-economic realities. In the second act, these differences are mediated through dialogue. By the end of the film, ideals break down and come full circle. Conflict is not resolved in a traditional Hollywood fashion, but instead amplified by the multiple and diverse subject positions of the characters. This film is crosscut with real documentary footage.
Writer / Director: Colin Murray
Assistant Director: Jose Hernandez



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 28 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Wed, Apr 26, 2006

Mediation: It’s Your Solution - Poster Collection

The Maryland Judiciary?s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) is making available (for free within Maryland, at cost to programs from outside Maryland) 24 excellent mediation posters. neighbor conflict There are posters covering disputes involving business, community, neighbors, custody, family conflicts, school, small claims, and the workplace. Good quality black and white photos are presented with pairs (typically) of people highlighted by thought or talk balloons illustrating their conflict, with the poster offering mediation as a solution. If you represent courts, community mediation programs, government programs, schools, and state offices of conflict resolution, you may customize the bottom section of the posters at the time of order by replacing MACRO?s name and contact information with your name and contact information, and a logo specific to your organization or mediation program. Have a look at them online under these headings:

Small Claims

Note: The September 2005 Issue of MACROscope (635 kb pdf) (MACRO’s newsletter) includes a story on the posters that provides an alternate way to see them all off-line.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 26 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Mediation Humor

Consensus Mediation, a UK ADR provider, has a short but fun page of mediation and dispute resolution jokes.

One example:
Why did the mediator cross the road?
I’m sorry, I can’t share that information with you unless the chicken authorises me to tell you.

sharp edged sign

Another source of some humorous content (but not necessarily jokes…) is the humor section.
Also of interest is the set of New Yorker cartoons on negotiation collected by Ted Kheel.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 26 | Filed under Fun Stuff  

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Tue, Apr 25, 2006

Power of Dialogue Slide Show at the Global Dialogue Center

Mutual Understanding - by Sally Green This flash-based online slide show exhibit entitled The Power of Dialogue features thoughtful quotations on change paired with paintings from Bay Area Artist, Sally K. Green. The paintings were selected from Green’s From Vision to Action: The Journey to Peace collection. The brief yet attractive slide show is hosted by the Global Dialogue Center, a site developed by consultant Debbe Kennedy to support her work on leadership, professional and personal development.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 25 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Tue, Apr 18, 2006

PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) Comic Strip

piled higher and deeper guy Academics might really enjoy this comic strip aimed at graduate students drawn by Jorge Cham. The Piled Higher and Deeper (PhD) strip has appeared in The Stanford Daily for the past seven years, and in the MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Caltech newspapers among others. Fun stuff.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 18 | Filed under Fun Stuff  

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Sat, Apr 15, 2006

You Draw Straws - Online Group Decision-making Tool

You Draw Straws in an online tool designed to help groups make a selection from a number of choices. You can use the tool when the whole group is assembled in front of a computer, or you can work at a distance utilizing email as part of the process. You create one or more categories (movies, place for dinner, day for meeting) and group members list items in that category that would work for them. Then the application picks an item, adding more weight to items that more than one person submitted. You can use the service at no cost at the site, or you can license it for use on your own website. The folks at Global Arbitration Mediation Association, Inc., for instance, are using a version to help parties choose an arbitrator or mediator.

You Draw Straws


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 15 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Wed, Apr 12, 2006

Virtual Peer Mediation using Second Life

High School Teacher Peggy Ward and colleague Jennifer Nieto, students in a San Diego State University course entitled Exploratory Learning Through Simulation and Games (Edtec 670), have developed a Virtual Peer Mediation Training Simulation running within the online world known as Second Life. The simulation is designed to support and enhance the training received by high school peer mediators. The Edtec 670 course is taught by WebQuest developer Bernie Dodge, so creativity is the clearly the norm for this group. The collage below provides a sense of some of what is involved. A full description of the student’s work developing the simulation is provided by Ward and Nieto here. Nice work team! Even more exciting would be to see what teen Second Lifers could do taking the basic framework and coding in their own enhancements.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 12 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Tue, Apr 11, 2006

M.O.V.E. (Mind Over Violence Everywhere) Curriculum Package

MOVE cover M.O.V.E. (Mind Over Violence Everywhere) is a series of youth-directed workshops developed by the Canadian Public Health Association that uses art, improvisational theatre, sports, music and group work to deal with themes of violence prevention. Participants develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and peer mediation. Using a variety of engaging techniques and a nicely illustrated training manual, the program stresses rights and responsibilities, assertiveness training, and community relations. The materials are available in English and French, both on the web in html format and as a downloadable PDF.

The materials are arranged into 5 modules (Learning and Thinking Styles; Communicating, Rights and Responsibilities; Peer Mediation; Resisting Peer Pressure; Social Action) each covered over the course of two days.

The variety of exercises and approaches is impressive. One exercise that may be familiar to conflict resolution instructors, for instance, is Win as Much as You Can that explores pressures toward competition even when cooperation makes more sense.

Communication Skills


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 11 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Mon, Apr 10, 2006

The Knowledgeable Negotiator Test

The Consensus Building Institute, a group focused on public policy and environmental conflict management, invites visitors to take the Knowledgeable Negotiator Test. Take the short 10-item test and see how your knowledge matches up with that of experienced dispute intervenors. You can check your results immediately and get feedback with the answers. As explained at the site, “This test will help you gauge your theoretical grasp of the mutual gains approach to negotiation. This is the so-called ‘win-win’ approach that has emerged over the past twenty-five years and is now taught in all the best colleges and universities. Knowledge of basic theoretical concepts is an absolutely essential step toward achieving excellence in practice. However, knowledge alone, without practice or guidance, is no guarantee of good results.”

While you are there, you might be interested in these items (linked off of the research page) as well:

- Consensus Building Essential Steps diagram. (PDF)

- The Mutual Gains Approach to Negotiation diagram. (PDF)

- How to Conduct a Stakeholder Assessment diagram. (PDF)


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 10 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Wed, Apr 05, 2006

New ESP Device Alerts Wearer to Emotional State of Person They Are Conversing With

Three researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a camera-driven device that alerts wearers to the emotional state of the person they’re conversing with. The device, called the Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthetic (ESP), reads facial and body language cues of the person the wearer is speaking with and provides feedback on their emotional state to the speaker via an earphone and vibrating belt attachment. Rana El Kaliouby is developing the ESP device for her postdoctoral project as part of the Affective Computing research group at the MIT Media Lab under Rosalind Picard. The device is designed to prompt autistic people, who are prone to monologues or repetitive behavior, to ask questions, or give the listener a chance to participate in conversation. Clearly there may be applications for mediators and negotiators in training as well. 


The computer data-sets of the ESP, which are currently programmed to detect six emotional state standards, can be readjusted for cultural differences in facial expression patterns, or updated with new information personalized to the wearer.

However, there are some challenges. The ESP computer does not yet take eye movement into account, and a better digital camera is needed so that the device could more easily fit inside a baseball cap or clip to a pair of glasses. For more on this device, check out the story at CNET News on a recent demonstration of the technology that tipped me off to this.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 05 | Filed under Tech News  

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Mon, Apr 03, 2006

Online Tool - the Triple A Approach to Lecturing Well

Triple A The Triple A website provides a online learning object designed to assist instructors wanting to present effective lectures. It uses a “Triple A” intervention model using various web-based interactive tools whereby an instructor can:
1. Become AWARE of lecture techniques that are consistent with what we know about how a student learns.
2. ANALYSE and compare their current lecturing methods to best practices and learning styles.
3. Apply and ACT on new lecturing techniques.
The tool was produced by a team of mainly Canadian academic professionals, as part of the CLOE (Collaborative Learning Object Exchange) initiative.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 04 03 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Fri, Mar 31, 2006

PeaceForge Peace and Conflict Resolution Wiki

PeaceForge is an editable wiki site designed to support international efforts to discover the causes of conflict, and to develop lasting solutions. The site was commissioned by the Nonviolent Peaceforce as a result of the conference: “East West Cooperation on Conflict Resolution” held in Romania in April 2005. As explained on the start page, “PeaceForge is for and by everyone involved in peace or conflict, from high-level international peace organisations working to solve wars, to individuals trying to solve gangland violence in their own neighbourhoods. We hope that, by having all these groups collaborating in one place, we can finally find the missing pieces of the puzzle that is human conflict. As we do, we hope to develop the tools and knowledge to end conflict once and for all.”

There is a good deal of content already posted, but also plenty of room for more, especially in the area of mediation content. You can add your own ideas easily by using the “Edit” link on any appropriate category page.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2006 03 31 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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