Course on Cross Sector Collaboration

Need to know how to get Industry, Government and Community Leaders to work together on a politically difficult problem? A new course offered by CEC member Peter Adler addresses cross sector collaboration.

Fish and seagrass, Menorca, Spain


How to Get Industry, Government and Community Leaders To Work together on the Politically Difficult Problem

The Course

The most demanding public problems we face cannot be solved using only our conventional methods of decision-making.  The problems we face are too complex, too tangled and too fast moving.  Some of these problems – managing natural resources, creating sustainable agriculture, developing a stronger economic base, delivering health care, ensuring the safety of communities, or improving public education, to name just a few – require more adaptive, disciplined and productive cooperation processes. Solving them has to be a team sport.

This fast-paced and highly interactive training course is designed for organizations, experts, and leaders from community, government and business who want to organize specific collaborative efforts that avoid unproductive decision-making.  The course requires advance preparation and can be tailored to specific issues and challenges.

Course Content

1. Welcome and Startup

  • Lessons from The Cuba Missile Crisis
  • Story - the Power of Narratives and Accounts
  • Some Contrarian Ideas about  Cooperation
  • “Let the Forum Fit the Fuss” - A New Model

2. Cross-Sector Collaboration

  • The Nature of “Public” and “Private” Problems
  • Different Strategies for Different Problems
  • The Alchemy of Agreement Making
  • What the Research Says
  • Directive vs. Elicitive Approaches
  • Tensions, Tugs and Pulls
  • Applying the 80-20 Principle - The Real “Politique” of Organizing Agreement-Seeking Processes for Stubborn Issues

3. Building and Integrating Competencies

  • Tacit Knowledge and the Bell Curve
  • Pathways to Mastery
  • Eight Skill Sets

4. A Template for Mediation

  • Conceive the Process, Clarify Its Purpose
  • Assess Its Viability
  • Design the Process
  • Set It in Motion
  • Define the Problem and Gather a Rich Mix of Information
  • Reach Conclusions
  • Bring Closure
  • Ensure Implementation

5. Applying the Model

  • Landscape Scanning
  • Finding a Politically “Savvy” Approach
  • Building Political Momentum

The Instructor

Peter S. Adler, Ph.D. is President of The Keystone Center ( which applies consensus-building and cutting-edge scientific information to energy, environment, and health-related policy problems. Adler's specialty is multi-party negotiation and problem solving. He has worked extensively on business and public policy problems and mediates, writes, trains, and teaches in diverse areas of conflict management. Prior to his appointment at Keystone, Adler held executive positions with the Hawaii Justice Foundation, the Hawaii Supreme Court, and Mediation Centers of the Pacific. He served as a President of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution and was a Roberston-Cunninghame Scholar in Residence at the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. Adler has written extensively in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. He is the author of Eye of the Storm Politics (RIS Inc, 2008) and numerous other publications on the art, craft and practice of conflict management.

For more information, contact

Peter S. Adler, PhD
President & CEO
The Keystone Center
1628 Sts. John Road
Keystone, Colorado  80435

970-513-5841 (Office)
970-409-9579 (Cell)
970-262-0152 (Fax) (web)

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