Strategies for Effectively Dealing with Scale and Complexity

Under Construction


While this aspect of the discussion is just getting started, it is going to be one of the most important.  A big part of what makes our conflicts so intractable is the gigantic scale of those conflicts. Such conflicts involve millions of people, countless issues, widely differing perceptions, and very different values and priorities.  Ideas developed for use around a "negotiating table" need major changes before they can be expected to reach and involve mass audiences. And, contributions from other fields with conflict-related expertise need to be integrated into an effort that will reach far beyond the conflict resolution field. Most importantly, we need to figure out how to organize a massive and multifaceted effort that will have to be so big that it will be impossible to centrally manage.. This topic will bring together ideas for how to do this.

  • Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess: The Google Maps and Adopt-a-Highway Approach to Systems (Newsletter 72) -- If we were to map all the challenges Google-maps style, and then each person or organization were to adopt one or two of the challenges that were not widely adopted by others, that could have a much bigger impact. Jan. 20, 2023
  • Anne Leslie: Embracing Ambiguity -- Curiosity will get you SO FAR. …Never underestimate the power of being curious and likeable!  It will get you so far in life! And it’s massively, massively underestimated.
  • Jean-Jacques Subrenat: Implementing Democracy  -- Attacks on the rule of law in the U.S.A. are having an impact on the political mores of other democracies. The U.S. badly needs to update its own democracy to preserve the safety and prosperity of all around the world. November 29, 2022
  • Duncan Autrey: We All Win, or We All Lose -- We all agree society is in grave trouble.  We all have different notions of how to fix it. If we pool our knowledge and work together, we can create a better world for everyone. Oct. 23, 2022
  • Duncan Autrey: It's Time to Upgrade Our Democracy -- Our current democratic system is inherently flawed because it relies on elected officials to represent people without an effective means of listening to them. But we already have proven methods for fixing that.  We just need to implement them! Oct. 20, 2022
  • Jack Williams: Reaching out Within and Beyond the Classroom -- The President of the Institute for Global Negotiation shares his thoughts on how the education system writ large can help entire societies learn and use better conflict resolution techniques. — Sept. 20, 2022
  • Chip Hauss: Beyond Polarization -- We’ll counter toxic polarization if and only if we offer people a better and credible alternative that they can put into practice in the lived experience of their daily lives.  -- Jun 28, 2022
  • Larry Susskind and Shafik Islam on Complexity -- The combination of complexity theory with negotiation theory yields a powerful tool for effective water resources management--and other complex public problems. -- Jun 28
  • The Key to Revitalizing Liberal Democracy: Think of It As a Conflict Handling System -- This second, hyper-polarization framing paper more fully develops the massively parallel approach outlined in the CRQ article in ways that further emphasize the importance and utility of thinking of democracy is a dispute handling system.  June 8, 2022