OTPIC Officially Retired

As of December 2, 2005, the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC) has been officially retired, and is no longer open to new registrations.

The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.

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International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA


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Brainstorming is a technique which can be used by a group of people to generate new and innovative ideas. It is typically used in mediation or consensus-building to develop ideas for win-win solutions that have not yet been identified. A facilitator or mediator usually initiates brainstorming by asking the parties to suggest ideas for solving a particular problem. The only rules for brainstorming are that parties feel free to suggest anything, and that judgement about the merits of the suggestions are withheld until later. The facilitator usually lists the ideas on a blackboard or sheets of newsprint, which are visible to all the participants. This enables participants to keep track of what has been said, and to build on earlier suggestions. The benefit of brainstorming is that it encourages broader thinking that might otherwise occur, and often results in creative solutions to problems that no one person or one side would have been likely to develop on their own.


Links to Examples of Brainstorming

Susan L. Carpenter and W.J.D. Kennedy--Adopting Procedures, Educating Parties, and Developing Options
Brainstorming is one of the techniques described here.
Innovations in Public Involvement for Transportation Planning - Brainstorming
This is an excellent article, although it can be hard to get to (it is outside our system).  If you are asked for a password just click cancel, and the article will appear anyhow--then scroll down to the section on brainstorming--you don't go directly to it right away.
William McCarthy--The Role of Power and Principle in Getting to Yes
McCarthy criticizes the use of brainstorming, charging it is simply a way to delay the process.


Links to Related Approaches

Consensus Building

Negotiation Skill Development

Joint Reframing

Integrative (Or Win-win) Reframing

Identify Sources of Power / Power Strategy Mix


Links to Related Problems

Failing to Identify Strategic Options


Copyright 1998 Conflict Research Consortium  -- Contact: crc@colorado.edu