Wed, Jul 29, 2009
SALTO Youth Toolbox for Training Activities
The European Union promotes intercultural understanding as a key message for youth. The SALTO-Youth (Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities) project is one important manifestation of this. A network of 8 Resource Centers provide training and support materials for youth workers across Europe. To promote sharing, they host a resource website called the Toolbox for Training & Youth Work that provides details on close to a 1000 activities and resources of special interest to trainers. A search for activities related to conflict turned up 49 entries, many of which include downloadable guides or powerpoints in addition to the online description. Worth checking out!
March of Democracy - Map Timeline Video
The Maps of War project produces some very slick visuals using maps. One of particular interest is the March of Democracy video where you are invited to “see 4,000 years of democracy in 90 seconds”. You can check it out at their site and/or embed it in your own weblog or site or download the swf file to play it locally if you like.
Wed, Jul 22, 2009
New Party-Directed Mediation book available online
Gregorio Billikopf from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources division has released a major update to his previously published (2004) guide entitled Helping Others Resolve Differences: Empowering Stakeholders. The new 2009 edition, entitled Party-Directed Mediation: Helping Others Resolve Differences, is available for free download as pdfs or for purchase as a print version. It has been revised and renamed to focus on the specific form of mediation, dubbed “Party-Directed Mediation” that Billikopf believes holds great promise.
As he explains in the preface, “The approach is simple: (1) mediators listen to and coach each party separately in a pre-caucus(or pre-mediation) before bringing them together; and eventually, (2) when disputants do meet in a joint session, the contenders address each other rather than the third party. The burden of solving the conflict remains with those who are most likely to be able to do so: the contenders. Parties gain the skills that will permit them to solve future conflicts without a mediator. Furthermore, Party-Directed Mediation is designed to allow individuals to save face and preserve dignity to a greater extent than allowed by more traditional approaches. Some ethnicities and cultures place a great value on facework, and so Party-Directed Mediation is especially effective for resolving multicultural conflicts.”
Billikopf notes that his approach differs from more traditional mediation approaches that move parties quickly into joint session and that encourage the parties to speak to the mediator more than each other. He does acknowledge more recent methods that don’t emphasize this as much, indicating that “Perhaps the contribution of Party-Directed Mediation is the more explicit organization of mediation around the pre-caucus and subsequent joint session. Furthermore, while a few authors suggest parties face each other during the joint session, in Party-Directed Mediation the facilitator moves away from the contenders, underscoring the fact that a mediator is present to facilitate a conversation between the parties rather than to decide who is right.”
Also of interest is a new section focusing on Negotiated Performance Appraisals as a tool for managing and preventing workplace conflicts.
And finally, to support party skill development, the University of California site also hosts for download two audio training seminars consisting of a series of mp3 files, one on Empathic Listening Skills and the other on Interpersonal Negotiation Skills (see “Listening Skills” and “Negotiation Skills Audio” links at top center of book page).
Mon, Jul 20, 2009
PBS IntheMix Videos on School CR now on YouTube
The teen-focused show IntheMix hosted by PBS has started sharing some of their content on YouTube. Here’s the description of their initial collection:
“We visit a diverse small city school that has a variety of pro-active student centered programs in place. When a fight breaks out in the cafeteria, two boys choose to participate in peer mediation ...”
You can find the InTheMixPBS playlist here.
Fri, Jul 17, 2009
Conflict War and Peace Encyclopedia Entries
The online document service Scribd provides a platform for uploading documents and viewing them in a lightweight flash viewer. They think of themselves as the YouTube of documents. Recently I did a search on conflict and discovered that an enterprising student (apparently) has posted 63 scanned entries from an Encyclopedia on Conflict, War and Peace. Like YouTube, keeping track of the copyright on uploaded documents is a challenge, so who knows how long these entries will stay available for viewing.
Wed, Jul 15, 2009
Core Skills for Conflict Work - vocational standards
Peaceworkers UK has developed a detailed description of the Core Skills they consider essential for Conflict Work and the vocational standards associated with them. You can download them here (Core Skills for Conflict Work - .pdf format - 250kb).
Here’s the list of skills covered and a mindmap I made using images from the document.
Core Skill 1: Research Skills
Core Skill 2: Written Communication
Core Skill 3: Verbal Communication
Core Skill 4: Self-Management
Core Skill 5: Conflict Management
Core Skill 6: Observation Skills
Core Skill 7: Teamwork
Core Skill 8: Cultural Sensitivity
Core Skill 9: Gender Awareness
Tue, Jul 14, 2009
Peace Training Guide: Preparing Adults for Peacework and Nonviolent Intervention in Conflicts
The Peace Training Guide is a 68-page guide to peace education produced by a coalition of 13 European organizations focused on training for nonviolence and change. The coalition known as ARCA (Associations and Resources for Conflict Management Skills) held a series of meetings in 2006 and 2007 and produced the shared document, along with a number of other related resources.
The Training Guide provides a comprehensive overview of actual practice of Peace Training in Europe and at the global level and includes the history of peace training, propositions for peace training, challenges and roads forward for improving the preparation of individuals for peacework and nonviolent intervention in conflict. In addition to English, the guide is available in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Romanian languages.
Mon, Jul 13, 2009
Stay updated on recent journal articles using ticTOC and jOMPL.org
As folks who have followed my coding experiments know, I’ve been interested for some time in tools to help busy “pracademics” stay in touch with new developments in their fields. The UK-based ticTOC project and the related jOPML tool provide a powerful way to track recently published articles in the key journals in your field.
The ticTOC project was developed using funds from JISC, a higher education technology consortium in the U.K., and it is provided free of charge. If you want to save a list of favorite journals on the site you need to create an account, but it is not required in order to use the service. The online tool provides a three-pane interface that lets you do the following core tasks.
* Find journal Table of Contents (TOCs) for more than 12,500 scholarly journals by subject, title or publisher.
* View the latest TOC for each journal.
* Link to the full text of articles (where institutional or personal subscription allows).
* Export article citations to RefWorks (subscription required)
* Select and save key journals to view future TOCs.
* Export TOC news feeds to popular feedreaders to monitor on your own
The jOPML.org service developed by Scott Wilson uses the ticTOC database to provide a quick access way to search and then export a collection of journal TOCs news feeds as an OPML file for import into Google Reader, Bloglines, Newsgator or other popular feed readers. An OPML file is a pre-packaged list of feeds. Subscribing to all the feeds in an OPML is as simple as importing the OPML file. ticTOC provides OPML export services as well (see lower right corner of the interface) based on your saved favorites. Sometimes the ticTOC tool seems slow to respond to user clicks (for instance when expanding a TOC to view article abstracts), but overall the platform seems stable and works well.
Note: People interested in in TOC services may also want to check out the services provided by CiteULike, a bibliographic tool I have been using for years.
Fri, Jul 10, 2009
CNCR 2009 Summer Institute on Conflict Management in Higher Education
The program for the annual Summer Institute on Conflict Management in Higher Education, scheduled for August 3-7 2009, is now available. Georgia State University’s Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution hosts the event at the lovely Jekyll Island Club Hotel. I think Tricia Jones workshop should win an award for the most creative workshop title: THE FULL ?MULTI?: A Spectrum of Tools for Multiparty Confict Management. I did a podcast featuring interviews with participants at the 2007 institute that might give folks a feel for the event in years past.
Here’s the full workshop lineup this year:
MEDIATING CAMPUS DISPUTES
Instructors: Lin Inlow and Marilyn Hazzard-Lineberger
Aug 3-7, 2009
BUILDING COMMUNITIES OF COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS
Instructors: Rachel Schipper and Lin Inlow
August 5, 2009
THE FULL “MULTI”: A Spectrum of Tools for Multiparty Confict Management
Instructor: Tricia Jones
August 6 -7, 2009
Also of interest is a new DVD being offered by CNCR entitled Mediation in Higher Education: Simulations for Education and Training. See the above linked brochure for ordering information. I haven’t seen it yet, but the price (only $25) is certainly fair.
Wed, Jul 08, 2009
Conflict Resolution Day Video Contest for College Students
Full disclosure: I’m on the CR Day national planning committee this year.
Fri, Jul 03, 2009
Dispute Finder - A tool from the Confrontational Computing Project at Intel
The Confrontational Computing Project is a collaboration between Intel Research and the University of California at Berkeley. The project grows from the assumption that much of the web is built around opinions, arguments and beliefs presented in blogs, wikis, discussion forums, news articles and other forums.
The project is interested in the following kinds of questions:
How do people use the web to help them form beliefs about the world? How do people promote their own opinions to others online? Can we build tools that make it easier for people to understand when and why other people hold opinions different to those that they read? Can we make it easier for people to assemble and promote arguments? Can we create a personalized web that understands what you know or believe already, and tailors the way information is presented accordingly?
The project has produced two tools, first Think Link and now its simpler-to-use but somewhat less powerful successor Dispute Finder. The Dispute Finder provides a browser-based tool (a Firefox Extension) that shows you when information you read is disputed, and helps you find and mark evidence for alternative points of view. Arguments, pro and con, may be voted on to help move certain saved snippets toward the top of the found items list.
Perhaps the easiest way to understand what it does is to watch the demonstration video.
Both tools are constructed with two general users in mind:
? Activists who care strongly about a particular issue and combine the tools with a search engine to find and mark snippets that make claims that they disagree with
? Sceptical Readers who install the tools as a browser extension to see when statements they read are disputed and find other sources that present alternative viewpoints.
It is interesting to consider the potential impact of these kind of tools on conflict processes. Will it encourage further polarization or will it enable more considered and reasoned arguments built around strong evidence instead of bluster or misdirection?
The code for the project is open source and an API is available so that the tools can be integrated with other applications in the future. More on the working details of the initiative can be found in this academic paper.
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