Bridging Divides Negotiation, Mediation, Systems Design & Dialogue

Recent Posts

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thanks for Listening – Episode 1

Welcome to the first episode of a new podcast, Thanks for Listening. This podcast will spotlight efforts to bridge the political divide in the U.S. through dialogue and collaborative processes, profiling the important and often courageous work of individuals and organizations who are helping citizens engage with one another on challenging topics. Episodes will dive deep… 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

Monday, November 6, 2017

On Applying Models of Negotiation to Real Life Challenges

At the end of the day, a negotiation is simply a conversation where one person tries to persuade the other to do something. What we want as practitioners is to optimize those conversations for both parties by providing best practices that are grounded in sound theory but flexible enough to be applied to new challenges.… More

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

About Political Dialogue in a Confrontational Culture

This blog is the first in 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 Oriol Valentí i Vidal ‘17   Last week, images of the Spanish police brutally cracking down on voters… More

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

From the Field

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing/and right doing there is a field./I’ll meet you there.” ~Jalal al-Din Rumi   Here at the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program we teach and hone the skills of listening well, thinking creatively, and looking at disputes through the lens of the whole system. We examine—through pedagogy and field experience—the… More

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In an Ideal World

By Rosalind Cresswell In an interview with Nate Szyman and Rob Petito—as part of a project with the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program and sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) on a statewide “community mediation visioning process”—I remember being asked what community mediation would look like in an ideal world. The… More

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Call to Dialogue After Charlottesville

by Andrew Mamo   As someone working in the field of dispute resolution and committed to the importance of dialogue, I find it difficult to know where to go with the events in Charlottesville. There were actual neo-Nazis in Charlottesville participating in a rally in which someone was killed. The wrongness of white supremacist ideology… More

Thursday, August 17, 2017

When Does Silence Speak Louder Than Words?

by Tracy Blanchard   I am a trained mediator. I’ve studied Non-Violent Communication (NVC). I’m training to be a spiritual director. I work as the Administrator at the Negotiation & Mediation Clinic at Harvard Law School with a team of people who think creatively and deeply about things like active listening and understanding the motivations… More

Thursday, August 10, 2017

On Being Curious

by Adriel Borshansky ’15   I parked my car outside of Buchenwald concentration camp late in the afternoon and took a deep breath. This time, having already visited Dachau, I was more ready to actually absorb historical information about the atrocities that occurred in this space. I opened up the audio guide that I had… More

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Negotiating Climate Change: The Perils of “America First”

by Robert C. Bordone Much ink has been spent lamenting President Trump’s decision to withdraw from The Paris Agreement. Political leaders, scientists, environmental policy experts, and even U.S. companies have condemned Trump’s move. More than just promoting ecological and humanitarian disaster, President Trump’s decision hurts the United States from a diplomatic and negotiation perspective.   … More

Monday, May 22, 2017

In Support of Our Art

by Adriel Borshansky   This year’s art contest at the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program brought in over fifty submissions from Harvard Law School, the greater Boston area, and around the world. We received paintings, sculptures, photographs, and poems—some from seasoned artists and some from individuals who were trying their hand at an art… More

Monday, April 3, 2017

Why I Will Take a Trump Supporter to Coffee

I began to rethink my own involvement during this administration. I will not stop going to protests, or writing letters to senators, but I will also turn the other cheek and, engage with those who cause me outrage. The centerpiece of the average Trump supporter’s belief is an inability to empathize deeply with the plight of others. I will engage genuinely and openly with those who make my face flush – and that will be my resistance.… More