Don’t Believe Everything You Think: The Pitfalls of Cognitive Bias

By Douglas Thompson This post originally appeared on Consensus Building Institute’s blog on May 22, 2018. We are reposting it with Douglas Thompson’s permission. A woman tearfully recounts her battle with breast cancer, attributing its cause to the nearby Superfund site. “Don’t tell me the toxic pollution wasn’t the cause. No one else in my […]

Rock and Roll: Use the Triangle of Satisfaction to Design and Facilitate Effective Collaboration

By Nedra Chandler This post originally appeared on Cadence blog February 28, 2018. We are reposting it with Nedra Chandler’s permission. Humans can be Bermuda Triangles of needs. If you are a leader, team participant, or facilitator of collaborative work of any kind, I promise you at least one insight you can use and apply […]

State Invests Millions in Conflict Resolution: A Case Study

By Katherine Daly for This year, one state in the nation will invest more than $1 million to support public policy and community-based conflict resolution and collaborative implementation. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that this amount is appropriated every year, and that the state has slowly and steadily increased its funding for conflict […]

The Power of Vulnerability in Conflict Resolution

By Rachel Caldwell for “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, change” – Dr. Brené Brown Stepping into Vulnerability I recently joined fifteen peers from my professional network to participate in a workshop designed to tackle challenging topics on personal and professional values, ethics, and morals. The workshop provided a forum for us to […]

What We Can Learn from Bees About Building Consensus

By Michele Straube for At times, a group of outraged stakeholders can feel like a swarm of bees. Initially, stakeholders are sweet as honey . . . until they hit you with the stinger.  That’s certainly not the kind of connection between bees and collaborative problem-solving I have in mind.  But surprisingly, bees have […]

Unraveling Complex Issues – Collaboration around the Great Salt Lake

By Dianne Olson for Discussing something as significant as the Great Salt Lake involves landscape level topics such as water use among three states that impacts what flows into the lake – or – issues at the microscopic level and the unique ecosystems that thrives or perishes based on the salinity of the water. […]

Teamwork and Shared Interests to Improve Tribal Relations with the BLM in Utah

By Nate Thomas and Nizhone Meza for Starting, conducting and completing a “situation assessment” for inexperienced yet enthusiastic protégés in the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program Short Course can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully, we found a way to maximize our experience: by working together, we had someone to bounce ideas around with and someone […]

Rumore selected for prestigious award for emerging environment and public policy leaders

Danya Rumore, director of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, has been selected for the 2018 Rob Williams Award for Emerging Environment and Public Policy Leaders from the Association for Conflict Resolution Environment and Public Policy Section. Rumore will receive the award at a conference in […]

Coming Full Circle: Using Litigation as a Tool to Facilitate Collaboration

By Hannah Satein for Though it may seem paradoxical, litigation filed by a participant in a collaborative process may offer a tool to help facilitate collaboration. Traditional collaborative governance scholarship suggests that trust is essential to collaborative processes and that litigation filed by a participant in the midst of a collaborative process will destroy […]

Four Strategies for Effective Science Communication

By Dr. Emma Frances Bloomfield for Why is the sky blue? If you have ever tried to explain the answer to this question to a first grader, you know how challenging effective science communication can be. Now consider that challenge in the context of environmental dispute resolution (EDR), in which scientific information, facts, and […]