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Sat, May 19, 2012

Democracy in Small Groups by John Gastil - open access version available

Back in 1993 New Society Publishers released a nice little book by John Gastil entitled Democracy in Small Groups. It provides an overview of different forms of decision making and the pros and cons associated with them, as well as offering real world examples of group processes as exemplified at a community coop that John studied in depth. As the author notes, the book “provides practical guidance for those who want to know how to start a small democratic group or make their current groups more democratic.”

Dr. Gastil is our visiting scholar for our summer doctoral seminar at Wayne State this year and I was pleased to discover while prepping for his visit that when copyright on the book reverted to John, he made the choice to release it under a creative commons license. The various chapters and the appendix of activities are available individually on an information page about the book.  You can also get the full document here as a pdf.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 05 19 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sat, Apr 14, 2012

Timeline on the Use of Nonviolence Across History

Jake Fitzpatrick has put together a nice timeline of nonviolence as part of a sample curriculum teaching nonviolence. I believe the TimeRime site he used requires flash to work properly, so iPad users will be out of luck for now.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 04 14 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Mon, Apr 02, 2012

Neighbor Mediation Demo in 3D Animation

CAPE Mediation has produced a short (8:40) video entitled “Mediation: The Process” demonstrating a neighbor mediation built using 3D avatars and computer-generated voices. The case involves troubles with a dog named “Fluffy” who has been blamed for digging up a flower garden. The mediation process demonstrated includes the default use of caucuses with both parties after an initial joint session.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 04 02 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Videos  

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Fri, Feb 24, 2012

Univ of Ottawa Conflict Resolution blended learning course materials

The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and Faculty of Medicine have been innovators in the development of blended learning materials on the topic of conflict resolution for law students and medical personnel (see this CRQ article for more on the back story). The good news is that these materials are now freely available online for review and use by educators. Developed in 2003 and 2005 in collaboration with the Centre for e-Learning at the University of Ottawa, the online resources are designed to complement face-to-face instruction and to more fully engage the learners via blended learning. The instructional modules are nicely sequenced with liberal use of audio and video elements to help connect the participant with the content. Short interactive queries and task assignments get the participant to apply the ideas themselves and to imagine the possibilities in their future work. Two different full courses are available, one focused on training medical professionals and the other for law students interested in mediation and interest-based dispute resolution techniques.

Four short videos posted at the Dispute Resolution and Professionalism site introduce the learning materials and methods. After viewing the introductory videos the site invites legal or medical educators, educational developers or instructors who teach dispute/conflict resolution to try out the full set of materials on their own. Educators are welcome to reuse the materials in their own instructional work with proper attribution. The resources can be used by educational, non-profit organizations as stand-alone online resources or in conjunction with face-to-face teaching.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 02 24 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Videos  

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Wed, Feb 22, 2012

Strengthening Nonprofits Online Learning Suite

The developers and instructional designers at have produced a very impressive self-paced learning site dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations and capacity building in the nonprofit sector. The interactive and multimedia site is located at Developed under a Health and Human Services federal grant, the project provides a broad collection of content (22 different modules) with helpful features like closed captioning of videos and print-friendly versions of materials. Lessons are nicely chunked into easily digestible pieces and interactive elements are used throughout to promote engagement with the content. This content map (pdf) provides a quick overview of the content available. Very impressive, all the more so because it is free.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 02 22 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Mon, Jan 09, 2012

Conflict Coaching Session Video example

MACRO (the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office of Maryland) has posted a short video (12 minutes) providing a sample conflict coaching session produced for a professional development webinar held this past June. It demonstrates an informal and unscripted approach. You can view the session via this link - Conflict Coaching Demonstration (.wmv format). The related webinar is archived at this location (my mac wouldn’t play the webinar video for some reason, but only the audio).


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 01 09 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Videos  

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Sun, Dec 18, 2011

Slate’s Negotiation Academy Podcast

Slate has just released the full 10-episode Negotiation Academy audio podcast developed by business journalists Jill Barshay and Seth Stevenson based on their coursework at Columbia Business School. It is available via iTunes as well as via an online player. A wide variety of topics are covered and often they invite comments from guest negotiation specialists. The episode list is provided below.

Ep. 1: Who Sets the Price? - Released Oct 17, 2011
In Episode 1, they discuss who should set the opening price, with a little help from Duke behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely.

Ep. 2: Schmoozing and Other Starting Tricks - Released Oct 24, 2011
In Episode 2, they discuss crucial things to do BEFORE you start batting numbers around. Their guest this week is Columbia Business School negotiation professor Aaron Wallen.

Ep. 3: The Art (and Trickery) of Persuasion - Released Oct 31, 2011
In Episode 3, they discuss several key persuasive techniques you can use in the heat of any negotiation. Their guest this week is H. Rodgin Cohen, a legendary corporate negotiator.

Ep. 4: The Ticking Clock - Released Nov 06, 2011
In Episode 4, they discuss how the physical setup of a negotiation, including the room, the refreshments, and a timed deadline, can help you get what you want. Their guest this week is veteran diplomat Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ep. 5: Dealing with Jerks - Released Nov 13, 2011
In Episode 5, they discuss how to haggle with jerks, liars, and stubborn mules. Their guest this week is Columbia Business School’s Donna Hitscherich.

Ep. 6: Closing the Deal - Released Nov 20, 2011
In Episode 6, business journalists Jill Barshay and Seth Stevenson give you tips on how to close a negotiation and get the best overall deal. Their guest this week is Lt. Jack Cambria, who heads the NYPD’s hostage negotiation team.

Ep. 7: The Gender Divide - Released Nov 24, 2011
In Episode 7, Barshay and Stevenson examine the particular challenges and advantages women have when they go into a negotiation. They also consider what men should keep in mind when facing a female negotiator.

Ep. 8: Haggling Over Real Estate - Released Dec 04, 2011
In Episode 8, Barshay and Stevenson reveal the tactics you should know when buying and/or selling real estate. It turns out these transactions can be some of the trickiest, and most emotional, you’ll ever face. Their guests are real estate agents Melissa Chen and Sam DeFran.

Ep. 9: Negotiating with Kids - Released Dec 11, 2011
In Episode 9, Barshay and Stevenson discuss when and how you should negotiate with children. Like it or not, they know the basic rules of haggling almost from birth. We hear from child psychologist Mark Sossin and Lt. Jack Cambria, of the NYPD hostage negotiation team.

Ep. 10: Your Salary, and How to Raise It - Released Dec 18, 2011
In the final episode of the series, Barshay and Stevenson discuss one of the most important negotiations many of us encounter: bargaining for our own salaries. Guests this week include Columbia Business School professor Aaron Wallen, human resources expert Greta Green-Gentile, and employment negotiator Jotham Stein.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 12 18 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Podcast  

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Sat, Dec 17, 2011

Pearltree of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Links

As part of an online course I’m just finishing up I developed a collection of links on the subject of Technology Assisted Dispute Resolution, more commonly known as ODR. The collection is presented as a “pearltree” which is a kind of mindmap-style organizational tool for web resources. You can view my Online Dispute Resolution Pearltree here.

Technology Assisted Dispute Resolution and Negotiation & Bargaining Support Software in Bill Warters (bwarters)


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 12 17 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Research Tools  

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Wed, Dec 07, 2011

Mediation Video Center at Suffolk University

A new mediation and negotiation video clip collection is now available thanks to a collaboration between the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution and the Suffolk University Center for Representation in Dispute Resolution. The collection primarily illustrates approaches used by mediators in civil disputes involving lawyers, but it also contains some videos of negotiation and community mediation. Also provided are links to other helpful teaching resources related to the use of video in the classroom.

Primary video collections on the site include the following:

ABA ADR Video contest winners

Styles of Mediation (topic and lengths provided below)
  - An age discrimination claim 4:50
  - A personal injury case 5:00
  - An international business dispute 4:50
  - An artistic/copyright controversy 5:00
  - A divorce case 3:40
  - A cross cultural business dispute: Meeting with the plaintiff 5:00
  - A cross cultural business dispute: Meeting with the defense 4:30

Skills and Stages of Mediation and Negotiation (restricted to ADR Instructors who request and receive a password)

Here’s the fancy promotional video that welcomes you to the site.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 12 07 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Videos  

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Sun, Nov 27, 2011

Venturing Beyond the Classroom: Volume 2 in the Rethinking Negotiation Teaching Series

Venturing Beyond the Classroom is the second edited volume to come out of a multiyear project developed to rethink the teaching of negotiation skills in short-course formats. The project is a collaboration between Hamline Universityâ??s Dispute Resolution Institute, the ADR Center Foundation (Rome), the JAMS Foundation and an impressive list of scholars who agreed to meet to explore this topic and to write about their discoveries. This second volume includes a special focus on adventure-based learning. In total there are 27 chapters plus an epilogue, so there is plenty of good content for educators looking to reinvigorate their teaching and training about negotiation. While you are at it, why not check out the 22 chapters found in the first volume (published in 2009) as well.

Venturing Beyond the Classroom is available as a book published by Hamline University’s DRI Press, or as individual chapters available for download as pdfs. As noted on the Hamline University webpage for the volume,
“Feel free to use the chapters in your teaching and training. There is no charge for use in your teaching or training provided that copies are distributed at or below cost, you notify us (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) that you are using the material and describe the context, and you provide attribution as follows: Copyright 2010 DRI Press, Hamline University School of Law, Author and Chapter Title.”


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 11 27 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sat, Nov 19, 2011

DiversityDNA - An Animated Video on Cultural Differences

Interfacet Training has produced a series of short videos that illustrate how we are all made up of different cultural aspects (physical, mental, and experiential) that may influence how we interact with others in the workplace.

The overview video is called DiversityDNA - at the end of this video are embedded links to elaborations on various cultural dimensions including:

Direct vs Indirect Communication

Individualism vs Collectivism

Achieved vs Ascribed Status

Low vs High Power Difference

Displays of Emotion

Task vs Relationship

The same content is available in an iPhone App or Android App. Personally, my experience with playback in the iphone App displayed on an iPad was not great, but it was designed for iPhones, not iPads, so that is perhaps understandable.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 11 19 | Filed under Learning Objects  Videos  

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Thu, Nov 10, 2011

National Mediation Board Online Grievance Mediation Training

The National Mediation Board provides dispute resolution support for the railway and airline industries. They provide training, facilitation and direct mediation services based on an interest-based bargaining model. Recently I discovered a nice learning module that introduces new users to their grievance mediation program.

In addition to a review of the overall grievance mediation process, viewers are presented with a case study example.

“Moving Expenses” - A Grievance Mediation Example
The program consists of a Flash movie containing instructional content, together with eight short video presentations (in the wmv format) offering an example of a GM session. 
Convening the parties (4:55)
Presenting the case (4:46)
Issue Statement (3:49)
Interests (3:24)
Options (4:26)
Caucuses (4:36)
Consensus (7:44)
Closing (1:07)



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 11 10 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sun, Oct 30, 2011

International Guild of Visual Peacemakers - Ethical Code for Visual Communicators

The International Guild of Visual Peacemakers is a group of photographers, filmmakers and storytellers who are committed to a shared ethical code for visual communicators that seeks to prevent the demonization of “the other” as we tell stories and report news about conflict. Visual storytellers can get ideas for developing their own peacemaker narratives with these 10 How To’s for Visual Peacemaking featured in a IGVP blog post.

Here’s the “Actions” section of the ethical code:

The way in which visual content is created directly impacts both our subjects and the outcome of the work itself. Visual peacemakers must be mindful of the person and the picture. The following actions and behaviors are essential to the visual peacemaking processâ??before, during, and after.
1. We research and respect the culture we are documenting.
2. We value our subjects by taking measures to interact with or involve them, and by treating storytelling and image-making as a collaboration.
3. We use discernment in candid photography and videography, and all published material, because anotherâ??s dignity and honor matters to us.
4. We inquire about how others are impacted by our images, examining the actual results of our best intentions.
5. We are intentional about highlighting common humanity through images and storytelling.
6. We explore both macro and micro factors that affect a place or people in an effort for multidimensional coverage.
7. We refrain from making an image if asked not to.
8. We foster the courage to delete some images that may reinforce destructive stereotypes, or publish them only along with other images that tell a more complete story.
9. We refine and upgrade our own vision, because well-crafted images have greater potential for effective visual peacemaking.
10. We live generously by helping others around us, wherever we are, and by volunteering to support the visual peacemaking movement with our talents and resources.

The IGVP website provides photo galleries, a photo-story builder, and featured documentaries that provide a lovely changing mosaic of ideas and images. There is a fee to make full use of the gallery and portfolio tools on the site.

Here’s a video introducing the Guild of Visual Peacemakers.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 10 30 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sat, Oct 22, 2011

Governance Commons - a new project from the CRInfo team

Guy and Heidi Burgess of the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado have partnered with the One Earth Future Foundation to produce a new resource portal known as the Governance Commons focused on addressing challenges facing individuals and groups committed to good governance. A prospectus explaining the project is available here as a pdf. The core focus of the project is to provide resources and information to address a number of core challenges that make providing good governance hard work.

Governance Challenges
In addressing governance failures, the Commons focuses on improving our ability to handle nine often unmet challenges:



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 10 22 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Research Tools  

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Fri, Sep 30, 2011

Global Nonviolent Action Database

George Lakey and student researchers from Swarthmore College have now launched the Global Nonviolent Action Database. The creative-commons-licensed database is publicly searchable online.  The research team has cataloged hundreds of nonviolent campaigns from around the world and across history going back as far as the 12th century BCE. The focus is on completed campaigns rather than ongoing ones, and a great deal of thought has been put into categorizing the cases so that comparative research can be conducted. Issue clusters include campaigns struggling about democracy, economic justice, environment, human rights, national/ethnic identity and peace and coding includes information on location, start year,  tactics used, and outcomes. The 198 different tactics that have been coded for correlate with Gene Sharp’s methods of nonviolent resistance. The outcomes scores provided are based on the stated goals of the protagonist with scores provided in three areas: goal attainment, survival and growth. Also included is a listing of primary actors involved in each campaign coded into three groups: leaders, partners and allies.  The advanced search features make it easy to dig down into the database on these various criteria. In addition to the database fields for each case, a narrative is provided describing the struggle as an unfolding story.

You can browse for waves of campaigns wherein a series of campaigns were part of a larger ongoing struggle.  Currently included waves are:

African Democracy Campaigns (early 1990s) (5 cases)
Arab Awakening (2011) (4 cases)
Asian Democracy Campaigns (1980s) (7 cases)
Colour Revolutions (2000s) (6 cases)
Soviet Bloc Independence Campaigns (1989-) (11 cases)
U.S. Civil Rights Movement (27 cases)

This impressive service learning project has resulted in a great and enduring contribution to the field. Way to go team!


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2011 09 30 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Research Tools  

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