The Institute for Collaborative Engagement utilizes collaborative strategies and proven research in order to identify new approaches to vexing problems. Some of our strategies utilize the following:
Collaborative Dialogue: using expert-facilitated dialogue, the Institute helps individuals and groups re-frame even longstanding seemingly intractable conflicts. The dialogue approach seeks to open people up to different perspectives and divergent beliefs. This can pave the way for deeper partnership or reconciliation efforts in the future.
Collaborative Partnership: Given limited resources and expertise of any group, our partnership approach helps groups identify synergy with complementary partners to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Once identified, the Institute can help partners come up with processes for successfully bringing together different thinking and strategies. The collaborative partnership approach can also reveal new strategies and approaches that can be enhanced even further by bridging resources and initiatives.
Third Side involvement: Groups and organizations often need the voice and expertise of an objective and skilled outsider who can gather information and help form strategies. Often people in organizations are aware of issues but are reluctant to bring them forward. The Institute has both served as that "third party" and helped identify and coach existing "insiders" who serve in this role.
Interest-based Collaboration: Too often negotiation and planning is based on a win-loose strategy. Research has shown that interest-based approaches are effective at arriving at agreements and solutions that all parties can agree to, and result in longer lasting resolutions.
Interdisciplinary Approaches: All too often problems are approached by putting the same people together to find solutions. Our belief is that creative solutions are often found by the mixing of people and partners who approach problem-solving in sometimes radically different ways. Thus our interventions and research draw heavily on a variety of fields of practice and study, helping to come up with unique solutions from sometimes the most unlikely places.
Interfaith Reconciliation: Given the increase in destructive ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts, the Institute has begun work on approaches to reframe such conflicts by seeking common ground, wholeness and well-being of all parties. Our work with the Shalom-Salaam Reconciliation Project, which draws on common themes in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and various other ethnic groups, is an example of the exciting and innovative work in this area.
Open Systems Approach: The institute encourages projects and initiatives which allow for transfer of learning and strategies. Thus we discourage proprietary models which cannot easily be used by others or replicated by those unable to afford them.