Bridging Divides Negotiation, Mediation, Systems Design & Dialogue

Recent Posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

HNMCP Celebrates their 2020 graduates

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Can Dispute Systems Design be “Rapid-Response”?

Dispute systems design, when done well, emphasizes thoughtful, intentional engagement with stakeholders in order to develop robust conflict management systems. Is this approach useful during an acute crisis? A few days ago, a friend who works in a state court system sent the following email to me and a number of colleagues in the field of… More

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Finding the contours of our virtual lives

In-person interaction is now largely unavailable to us. Can digital connections ever be as rich? In visual art, the term “negative space” refers to the space around the subject of an image. M.C. Escher’s Sky and Water I provides a vivid example: the birds at the top of this graphic print start out as positive… More

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

#WhatIsThisMomentFor?

There is no avoiding or downplaying the enormity of the changes we have all experienced in the past three weeks. From the large-scale patterns of our movement from place to place, down to the number of seconds we spend at the sink scrubbing our hands, it seems like the very texture of our ordinary days has… More

Thursday, March 19, 2020

When the pandemic ends, will we remain “distanced”?

When I first read the phrase, “social distancing”—in an email sent by one of our law school deans—my first reaction was a visceral sort of aversion. It seemed a particularly callous phrase, tinged with both sadness and a cold, clinical sensibleness. I have since learned that social distancing was not, in fact, a term made up by a dean at Harvard Law School, but is actually a well-known protocol for slowing contagion, with which I and my colleagues and millions upon millions of people around the world are now personally familiar.   … More

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Engaging Deep Differences Online

Originally published on the Indisputably blog as part of the Theory-of-Change Symposium . You can find all the submissions for the symposium here.   As we approach the next election, we continue to confront important challenges about engaging across deeply felt differences. Our country remains polarized, and many feel disconnected from those whose views differ… More

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

On the Road

Former HNMCP clients Heather Kulp (New Hampshire Judicial Branch) and Rebecca Price (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) presented at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference in Minneapolis, MN, on April 9, alongside Clinical Instructor Sara del Nido Budish ’13. The presentation, “Trust the Process?  Understanding and Learning from Party… More

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Client Spotlight

The systems design approach HNMCP takes is a substantial asset during the semester of the project. But for me, the skills I’ve learned from HNMCP—both as a clinical instructor but perhaps more as a client—render HNMCP a greater asset long after the students have submitted their final projects. They teach me, and others, how to see our work and environment differently for years to come.… More

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Brexit and Peace in Northern Ireland: The Perils of Ignoring the Interests of Key Stakeholders to an Agreement

By Dr Ronán Feehily, University of Canterbury The imminent withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) has brought into sharp focus the likely impact that a “no-deal” Brexit will have on peace in Northern Ireland. A question that has emerged as part of the Brexit negotiations is: can negotiators maintain the… More

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sharing What Divides Us

The first time that Ahmad was discriminated against at his local job center in Berlin, the official working there called him a “donkey.” The second time, the same official told him he should have his “brain checked out.” The third time, Ahmad was denied information before being thrown out of the office. After the sixth time, Ahmad stopped going to the job center. Instead, he withdrew into his room, stayed inside and disengaged with anyone from the outside world.… More

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What Relevance for ADR in situations of Domestic Violence? Part 2: The design and challenges of Bhutan’s Consensus Building Initiative for certain types of domestic violence

This is the sixth installment of a blog series called From the Field. In this series we spotlight stories and insights from former students, friends, and colleagues who are working in the field of dispute resolution. This post is Part II of a two-part post by Stephan Sonnenberg ’06. You can read Part I here.  … More

Monday, November 5, 2018

What Relevance for ADR in situations of Domestic Violence?

This is the sixth installment of a blog series called From the Field. In this series we spotlight stories and insights from former students, friends, and colleagues who are working in the field of dispute resolution. This post is Part I of a two-part post by Stephan Sonnenberg ’06.   Domestic violence, as we are all… More

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lessons Learned: Facilitating a Conversation about Remembrance

by Niharika Singh ’18 When Zikaron BaSalon first asked me to facilitate a discussion about Holocaust Remembrance on Holocaust Memorial Day, the task seemed easy even though the subject matter was weighty. After all, many people who were similarly inexperienced in leading group discussions had successfully hosted similar events with Zikaron BaSalon in the past. Moreover,… More

Friday, August 31, 2018

When Truth Isn’t Truth

I should start by acknowledging that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded. Rudy Giuliani’s infamous claim that “truth isn’t truth” was preceded by an attempt to distinguish “somebody’s version of the truth” from “the truth.” When interviewer Chuck Todd responded that “truth is truth,” Giuliani then stuck his foot in his mouth. No doubt… More

Monday, April 30, 2018

Principled Negotiations and Complex Peace Processes: Reflections on connecting theory to practice—Part II

In the first installment of our reflection on the pedagogy of principled negotiation, we began our consideration of the practicalities of applying theories of interest-based negotiation to peacebuilding.

We turn now to the concept of negotiation process. … More

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Principled Negotiations and Complex Peace Processes: Reflections on Connecting Theory to Practice: Part I

This is the fourth installment of a blog series called From the Field. In this series we spotlight stories and insights from former students, friends, and colleagues who are working in the field of dispute resolution.   by Lisa Dicker ’17 and C. Danae Paterson ’16 “These methods may be fine in the classroom and… More

Monday, March 26, 2018

Family Law Mediation with Pro Se Parties: Traps for the Unwary

by Alison Silber, Esq. Family law practitioners and litigants alike frequently criticize the court system for its capacity to foment and protract conflict, reinforce the oppositional relationship between parties, and necessitate cumbersome and expensive discovery. Mediation is often praised as the reasonable, intelligent alternative to family law litigation,  and my own practice bears this out.… More

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Applying Negotiation Skills in the Foreign Service

This is the third blog is a new series called “From the Field”. In this series we spotlight stories and insights from former students, friends, and colleagues who are working in the field of dispute resolution.   by Matilda Jansen Brolin LLM ’16 A year after graduating from Harvard Law School (HLS) with an LL.M… More

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Perils of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness

Amidst the many allegations of workplace harassment that have come to light in the past few months, the saga of former judge Alex Kozinski may be of particular interest to lawyers. In the case of Kozinski, the allegations stretch back over decades, an “open secret” never explicitly aired. What should dispute resolution professionals take away… More

Monday, November 13, 2017

Clinical Legal Education beyond the Bicentennial

by Andrew Mamo ’14 A century ago, Harvard Law School’s centennial report offered a brief comment on the role of experiential learning: “Such experiments have been more successful in affording amusement than in substantial benefit to the participants. A fact trial now and then is well worth while, but only as a relief to the… More