Traditional politics, as a form of problem solving, is becoming increasingly adversarial, costly, time-consuming, destructive, and unable to resolve pressing and potentially catastrophic global problems. Conversations about difficult, dangerous and controversial social, economic and political issues are minefields, full of hidden traps and camouflaged dangers. As a result, many people assume it is better not to talk about them at all, rather than participate in conversations that could blow up. Yet silence in the face of difficult issues guarantees their continuation.
Over the last several decades, mediators have helped design, organize and conduct successful dialogues on difficult, dangerous and controversial issues. This workshop will offer a set of practical guidelines to people who would like to understand political conflicts, and to design, organize and conduct dialogues on difficult, dangerous and controversial issues. It will examine the role conflict resolvers can play in revealing the systemic sources of chronic, complex global conflicts and identify ways of acting both locally and internationally to build democracy and conflict resolution capacity, and support a “conflict revolution” in the ways we respond to political differences.