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New Information on Collaborative Policy Available Online

The Center for Collaborative Policy has a new e-newsletter out. A quarterly publication, The Collaborative Edge covers all kinds of issues related to collaborative policy making, and invites submissions to the newsletter from anyone working in this area. To subscribe, email their subscription manager (jmonaghan@ccp.csus.edu) with the text “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” in the heading or body of your message. Newsletter archives are available online at http://www.csus.edu/ccp/newsletter/archives/index.htm. And click on the link below for a summary of the Spring/Summer 2005 issue.

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Employing Religious Values for Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building

As a driving force in politics, religion can sometimes be divisive. Of course, religious values and teachings can also play an important role in resolving conflict between those with opposing viewpoints. In The Power of Peacemaking: Seven Biblical Principles for Dealing with Conflict in an Angry World, mediator Greg Bourne discusses how his beliefs and faith as a Christian guide his work as a mediator and peacemaker. Greg gives examples of seven specific Biblical principles that he has applied with success in mediating challenging situations. Greg’s article is the first of a two part Collaborative Edge series on religion and conflict. In the second part of our series (forthcoming), Dr. Mohammad Abu-Nimer of American University will explore Islamic teachings and traditions applicable to peace-building and conflict resolution.

Bottom-up Community Planning in Portobelo, Panama: Engaging Residents in Creating a Sense of Place

While in Panama in early 2004, CCP associate Sarah Goldberg assisted in designing a community planning project. The goals of the project included creating home renovation guidelines, as well as helping to create a sense of community pride and cohesiveness that would bolster support for future historic preservation and restoration. In this article, Sarah describes the gallery walk approach used in their “bottom-up” process, as well as challenges and lessons learned.

The Impact of Changing Expectations in Complex Networks

Ever feel like you just can’t go it alone? In this article, Myrna Mandell examines how agencies and their constituents form networks to deal with complex public problems that no one of them can effectively address alone. In particular, Myrna’s article focuses on how agencies and stakeholders go wrong when they first experiment with forming networks, and what they must do differently in order to be effective. As an added bonus, Myrna’s sums up principles for effective network management culled from the growing body of literature on this topic.

Book Review: Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future by Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers

“Have you experienced that special moment in a group when the bickering and dissension stop and the impasse is broken?” So begins Patricia Wilson’s review of Presence, a book that she calls, “an engaging and legitimizing integration of left- and right-brain thinking.informed by extensive interviews with selected scientists, business leaders, and spiritual masters about how they create and invent, and how they discern their sense of larger purpose.” Presence distills the wisdom of thinkers from these many disciplines in order to shed light on how groups can achieve “a sense of direction and purpose that grounds quickly in action.”

For more news, events and info on new resources, or to read this issue of The Collaborative Edge in its entirety, click here

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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