MOOS Audiences

By
Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess

Beyond Intractability and, especially, the new Moving Beyond Intractability MOOS recognize that those interested in more constructive approaches to conflict approach the topic from very different perspectives and with differing levels of background and time availability. We have, therefore, tried to set up the system in ways that, within the limits of available resources, do the best we can to meet the needs of five key audiences:

  • Citizens wanting information about conflict problems and more constructive ways of handling them.
  • Advocates and Activists wanting to pursue their causes more effectively, avoiding, whenever possible, destructive conflict dynamics that prevent progress.
  • Students and Educators at the undergraduate and graduate level looking for a structured exploration of the intractable conflict problem and how these conflicts can best be approached.
  • Practitioners in formal and informal conflict roles looking for ways to improve their practice, or looking for resources for their clients.
  • Expert scholars and practitioners with substantial background in intractable conflict-related fields interested in helping to advance the frontier of the field.

In order to provide materials that would interest each of these groups, we have developed several different MOOS Seminars, Blogs, and Social Media streams of materials.  Although everyone is welcome to utilize any and all of these options, the ones that we think are likely to be of interest to each group are detailed below.  We should also note that all of our materials try hard to avoid technical jargon, in an effort to make them understandable by people from many different fields, and for whom English may not be their native language.  We also honor many different "ways of knowing and learning."  While this is a university-based project, we tried very hard to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that scientific insight is the only valid form of knowledge.

For Everyone:

While we have a number of different seminars designed for these different audiences--as described below--we also have two social network "streams" designed for everyone.  These are:

  • The Core Content Stream, which includes posts from the Conflict Fundamentals, Conflict Frontiers, and Brown Bag Seminars, and the
  • All Content Stream, which includes those three seminars plus the Additional Resources and Colleague Activities Blogs. 

For Citizens:  

We are assuming that this group does not have much background conflict knowledge, nor do they have a whole lot of time to acquire the same. But many do try to keep abreast of civic issues and are interested in learning more effective ways of engaging in both personal and  public conflicts. The following resources have many "bite-sized" materials that can be subscribed to, browsed, and/or searched to find just the "nuggets" that are most useful. By following the MOOS Seminars here or on a social network (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn), citizens can get a "daily dose" of useful conflict news that we hope will counteract, at least to some extent, the daily barrage of bad news that comes in both the traditional and social media.   Suggested resources include: 

  • The MOOS Conflict Fundamentals Seminar - This seminar provides short overviews of the big and largely "proven" ideas from the peace and conflict field.  It also contains information on how to deal with day-to-day conflicts--how to communicate more effectively, how to negotiate, when to seek help, etc. While we eventually want to make a large number of short videos for this seminar, in the interim, we will be posting a series of CRInfo and Beyond Intractability articles on fundamental ideas with new "Current Implications" insets to illustrate how these theoretical ideas apply to current newsworthy conflicts. 
  • The MOOS Conflict Frontiers Seminar - This seminar examines "frontier of the field" ideas that go beyond what is explored in the Fundamentals Seminar to look at how we can take the peace and conflict field further, to better deal with complex problems and intractable conflicts.  Here we will be focusing particularly on conflicts, such as the political conflict in the United States, that have so far eluded almost all conflict management, resolution, or transformation efforts.
  • MOOS Brown Bag Seminars - These are short, free-standing explorations of intriguing topics presented in a series of short (5-15 minute) videos.  Some (such as our brown bag on US political polarization) are likely to be of widespread interest, while others are designed for a more expert audience.
  • MOOS Additional Resources - These are short articles (news and/or editorial) pulled from outside sources that effectively illustrate many important conflict resolution ideas and applications. 
  • CRInfo "Core Knowledge" Articles - these provide very short overviews of about 100 key conflict and conflict-resolution ideas.
  • Beyond Intractability "Essays" - are longer explorations of about about 400 conflict topics covering both day-to-day conflicts and long-standing and complex "intractable" conflicts.

​For Advocates and Activists: 

Advocates and Activists are likely to have more conflict experience, but they may also have run into buzz saws of opposition.  These materials are likely to help disputants engage in conflicts more effectively.

  • The MOOS Conflict Fundamentals Seminar - This seminar provides short overviews of the big and largely "proven" ideas from the peace and conflict field.  It also contains information on how to deal with day-to-day conflicts--how to communicate more effectively, how to negotiate, when to seek help, etc. While we eventually want to make a large number of short videos for this seminar, in the interim, we will be posting a series of CRInfo and Beyond Intractability articles on fundamental ideas with new "Current Implications" insets to illustrate how these theoretical ideas apply to current newsworthy conflicts. 
  • The MOOS Conflict Frontiers Seminar - This seminar examines "frontier of the field" ideas that go beyond what is explored in the Fundamentals Seminar to look at how we can take the peace and conflict field further, to better deal with complex problems and intractable conflicts.  Here we will be focusing particularly on conflicts, such as the political conflict in the United States, that have so far eluded almost all conflict management, resolution, or transformation efforts. One area of focus will be how advocates and activists can constructive engage in conflict such that their goals are most likely to be achieved, and problems can be solved for the benefit of all society. 
  • MOOS Brown Bag Seminars - These are short, free-standing explorations of intriguing topics presented in a series of short (5-15 minute) videos.  One planned seminar is on what we call "Constructive Confrontation" -- which is the idea that applying conflict knowledge and skills as a disputant can help you "self-mediate" and get better results than you might if you took a no-holds-barred confrontational approach.
  • MOOS Additional Resources - These are short articles (news and/or editorial) pulled from outside sources that effectively illustrate many important conflict resolution ideas and applications. Many of these will be written from a partisan (rather than third party) point of view.
  • CRInfo "Core Knowledge" Articles - These provide very short overviews of about 100 key conflict and conflict-resolution ideas, most of which can be applied from a partisan perspective.
  • Beyond Intractability "Essays" - These are longer explorations of about about 400 conflict topics covering both day-to-day conflicts and long-standing and complex "intractable" conflicts. Most of these, too, apply to disputants as much (or even more so) than to intermediaries.

​Students and Educators:

Students have a widely varying background in conflict and conflict resolution, but they are often have more time to study and are seeking more in-depth information than the general citizen. The same is true of the educators who teach them.  We suspect this group is likely to be interested in all our materials, but again, some are matched better to different levels of student, as suggested below.

  • The MOOS Conflict Fundamentals Seminar - This seminar provides short overviews of the big and largely "proven" ideas from the peace and conflict field. It will be of most interest, we expect, to undergraduate and graduate students who are new to the conflict field. This seminar also contains information on how to deal with day-to-day conflicts--how to communicate more effectively, how to negotiate, when to seek help, etc. While we eventually want to make a large number of short videos for this seminar, in the interim, we will be posting a series of CRInfo and Beyond Intractability articles on fundamental ideas with new "Current Implications" insets to illustrate how these theoretical ideas apply to current newsworthy conflicts. 
  • The MOOS Conflict Frontiers Seminar - This seminar examines "frontier of the field" ideas that go beyond what is explored in the Fundamentals Seminar to look at how we can take the peace and conflict field further, to better deal with complex problems and intractable conflicts.  Here we will be focusing particularly on conflicts, such as the political conflict in the United States, that have so far eluded almost all conflict management, resolution, or transformation efforts.  We expect this seminar will be of most interest to advanced undergraduates who have some conflict background, graduate students, and educators who teach these groups, or who want, independently, to help explore the frontiers of the conflict resolution field.
  • MOOS Brown Bag Seminars - These are short, free-standing explorations of intriguing topics presented in a series of short (5-15 minute) videos.  Most of these will address particular frontiers topics, so they are most likely to be of interest to the more advanced students and faculty.
  • MOOS Additional Resources - These are short articles (news and/or editorial) pulled from outside sources that effectively illustrate many important conflict resolution ideas and applications. They are likely to be of interest to almost all audiences.
  • CRInfo "Core Knowledge" Articles - these provide very short overviews of about 100 key conflict and conflict-resolution ideas.  These are likely to be of most interest to beginning students..more advanced students will be more interested in the longer, more detailed, BI essays (see below) and the videos in the Frontiers Seminar (see above).
  • Beyond Intractability "Essays" - are longer explorations of about about 400 conflict topics covering both day-to-day conflicts and long-standing and complex "intractable" conflicts. Most of these, too, apply to disputants as much (or even more so) than to intermediaries.
  • Colleague Activities Blog - In this blog we plan to showcase materials developed by our colleagues that add to this effort.  We hope conflict educators will let us know about your work so we can use it ourselves and share it with others!

Conflict Practitioners

By this term, we mean professional conflict resolvers (such as facilitators, mediators, and arbitrators) as well as peacebuilders and allied professionals such as human rights workers, development workers, humanitarian aid providers, etc.  These people often have a lot of conflict experience (though some may be just starting their careers).  Materials likely to be of most interest to this group seems likely to include:

  • The MOOS Conflict Frontiers Seminar -This seminar examines "frontier of the field" ideas that go beyond what is explored in the Fundamentals Seminar to look at how we can take the peace and conflict field further, to better deal with complex problems and intractable conflicts.  Here we will be focusing particularly on conflicts, such as the political conflict in the United States, that have so far eluded almost all conflict management, resolution, or transformation efforts.  This is also the seminar that has a discussion, through which we are hoping to elicit many more ideas from experts about ways to make the seminar--and our scholarship and practice--better.
  • MOOS Brown Bag Seminars - These are short, free-standing explorations of intriguing topics presented in a series of short (5-15 minute) videos.  Most of these will address particular frontiers topics, so they are most likely to be of interest to the more advanced students and faculty.
  • MOOS Additional Resources - These are short articles (news and/or editorial) pulled from outside sources that effectively illustrate many important conflict resolution ideas and applications. They are likely to be of interest to almost all audiences.

Expert Scholars and Practitioners

This is the group of people who have been working in the conflict area for a long time, and are quite knowledgeable about the field's strengths and weaknesses.  We very much hope these folk will check out some of our posts, contribute to the discussions, suggest useful materials for us to include (their own or others) and hopefully engage in spin off projects designed to both increase the utilization of the fields insights (capacity building) and to increase the quality of those insights, (knowledge generation) so that our field is better equipped to deal with the many intractable conflicts our world now faces.  Materials likely to be of most interest to these people are:

  • The MOOS Conflict Frontiers Seminar - This seminar examines "frontier of the field" ideas that go beyond what is explored in the Fundamentals Seminar to look at how we can take the peace and conflict field further, to better deal with complex problems and intractable conflicts.  Here we will be focusing particularly on conflicts, such as the political conflict in the United States, that have so far eluded almost all conflict management, resolution, or transformation efforts. This is also the seminar that has a discussion, through which we are hoping to elicit many more ideas from experts about ways to make the seminar--and our scholarship and practice--better.
  • MOOS Brown Bag Seminars - These are short, free-standing explorations of intriguing topics presented in a series of short (5-15 minute) videos.  We hope some of these will appeal to particular expert groups.
  • Colleague Activities Blog - In this blog we plan to showcase materials developed by our colleagues that add to this effort.  Please let us know about your work so we can use it ourselves and share it with others!