A Conversation with the Founders

The Program on Negotiation (PON) is the world's first teaching and research center dedicated to negotiation, and its founders are among the true pioneers in the field. On April 8, 2003, seven of these founders gathered to reflect on PON's beginnings in the early 1980s, and on their own journeys as leaders in the field that they helped to create. This 30-minute video is an edited version of their two-hour discussion.

Looking back twenty years were:

  • Roger D. Fisher, Williston Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School, Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and the first Chair of PON's Steering Committee
  • Bruce M. Patton, Deputy Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and a founding partner of Vantage Partners, LLC
  • Howard Raiffa, Frank D. Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Managerial Economics and Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government, and Director Emeritus of the Negotiation Roundtable
  • Frank E. A. Sandler, Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard Law SChool and co-Director of the Dispute Resolution Program
  • James K. Sebenius, Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Director of the Negotiation Roundtable
  • Lawrence K. Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, founder and President of the Consensus Building Institute, and Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program
  • William L. Ury, independent consultant and Director fo the Global Negotiation Project


Run time: 30 minutes

Abraham Path: A Thousand Miles on Foot

The Abraham Path Initiative (API) is an international NGO which plans to sponsor and co-organize a 1,000+ mile journey on foot across the Middle East to raise publicity, money, and to celebrate its achievements in helping to develop local walking trails across the region. Apart from the adventure filmmaker that it sponsors, API has partnered with four local partner organizations, each of which have their own interests at stake in the final design for the walk. Before the walk can move forward, the parties must deal with two main issues:

  1. The Route – what the route will be and which of the four national trails will be included.
  2. Branding & Communication – what the brand of the thru-hike event will be and how substance will be communicated to global and local audiences.

The negotiation takes place in two phases:

  • Phase 1: the pre-meeting phase of the negotiation. In this phase, only two participants (API and the Adventurer) may initiate contact with other participants and only bilaterally.
  • Phase 2: the in-person meeting phase, where all parties negotiate at the World Trail Conference.

Major lessons in this simulation include:

  • Coalition formation and spoilers in multiparty negotiations. How do parties in negotiation deal with spoilers and develop an effective spoiler management strategy?
  • The role of values in negotiation. How do parties negotiate core values?
  • How public perceptions can impact the positions parties take at the negotiation table.

This simulation is based on the real negotiations surrounding the development of the Abraham Path. To learn more about the real Abraham Path, please read the Abraham Path Archives.

Alplaus Supply Company


The senior field representative for Alplaus Supply Company is meeting with the General Manager of a company that prints and distributes many kinds of documents. The general manager recently bought a machine that performed simple folding and envelope-stuffing tasks. The machine was a good deal, but now the company is having some problems with it. The general manager wants to return the machine. The field representative knows that Alplaus has already gone over their returns budget for this month. This negotiation is based on The Blender by Bruce Patton.


This is a simple two party that may be done with teams or individually.


Role Specific:

  • General Manager
  • Field Representative for Alplaus Supply Company


Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above



  • The scenario makes it easy to slip into a negative, reactive mode, with unsatisfactory outcomes usually resulting.
  • Those parties willing to consider the perceptions and interests of the other party relevant can usually engage effectively in mutually beneficial joint problem solving.
  • The perception of who is in power in this negotiation and how that affected the results of the negotiation can be explored by comparing different groups.
  • In this negotiation, unlike in The Blender, the two parties have a previous relationship, and may have one in the future. The values involved are also much larger.




Armenia/Azerbaijan/Nagorno Karabakh


This case is based on the ethnic conflict between the ex-Soviet Transcaucasian states of Armenia and Azerbaijan over the predominantly Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, located within Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at war with each other since the late 1980s, although animosities go back many centuries. This study brings together influential private citizens from both sides of the conflict and attempts to involve them in an interactive dialogue intended to change relationships among the participants. It is based on the assumption that, although governments are the official bodies responsible for making peace agreements, citizens have a critical role in peace-making, as they are best equipped to address the non-negotiable human issues in ethnic conflicts. The case study is based on real-life efforts undertaken by several U.S.-based non-governmental organizations to bring together influential individuals from countries entangled in bitter ethnic wars.

Each party in this negotiation has experienced more or less directly the war that has engulfed the region. Not only do the participants have fresh memories of the wrongdoings by the other side, but they also carry with them a sense of historical injustice for the real or exaggerated harms perpetrated by the other nation. Each group does not realize, however, that the other one carries a different and incompatible view of the history of the region. These different views are a product of diverging versions of history perpetrated through the educational system and word-of-mouth learning.

The parties must deal with the issues of fairness, historical injustice, historical blaming and, if possible, the power of apologizing. They have to grapple with the difficulty of moving beyond the circle of hate, which they have been conditioned to nurture. They have to face the decision of whether to acknowledge the pain and suffering on the other side and whether to end the blaming game, becoming able to make plans for the future with the perceived "enemy." Finally, they must engage in the process of building coalitions not only within their own group but perhaps also with the other.



This is a 13-participant, two-team facilitated role simulation. It may be played without a facilitator if necessary. Both teams should meet privately before the official negotiation begins. The intra-team preparation time should take at least 1 hour, and the actual negotiation time ranges between 4 and 6 hours. Debriefing may be run at another time and should last at least 1 hour.



For all parties:

  • International Daily New Article
  • Public Peace Process Policy
  • Soviet Nationalities Policy


For each team:

  • Armenian history(for Armenian team)
  • Azerbaijani history (for Azerbaijani Team)


Role specific:

  • Fuad
  • Irana
  • Maral
  • Yosef
  • Marif
  • Adrineh
  • Anoush
  • Armen
  • Haig
  • Levon
  • Narmina
  • Facilitator


Teacher's Package (46 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Facilitator's guide
  • Teaching Note



  • The importance of understanding the human dimension in ethnic conflicts and the difficulty of proposing solutions without grasping the complexity of the relationship.
  • The application and study of the major negotiation techniques in settings that do not involve negotiating, e.g., active listening.
  • The role of partisan perceptions, prejudices, and blaming in ethnic conflicts, and ways to move beyond them.

Baker & Irwin v. Department of Human Services


The Department of Human Services is the state agency charged with, among other things, the selection of foster parents in whose homes children will eventually be placed. The need for foster parents is high and is growing. The DHS interviews Baker and Irwin, a gay couple, finds them to be very qualified, and places two foster children with them. The World publishes and article on the foster placement, and an uproar ensues. DHS announces a new policy which limits social workers' discretion in approving foster parents and states that homosexuality is a detrimental factor in determining eligibility. The two children are removed from Baker & Irwin's home and are placed with another family. The attorney from the Lesbian and Gay Advocates and Defenders meets with an attorney from DHS to discuss possible out of court settlements to the lawsuit brought by Baker and Irwin. The parties have competing interests, both with each other and internally. LGAD is anxious to have high publicity, but Baker and Irwin would prefer to be out of the spotlight. DHS has a potential conflict between the interests of the department and those of the governor, who is running for President and wants only positive publicity. Resolution of the situation is possible, but will require that each party address the competing concerns at both levels.



The exercise is designed to work with one attorney per side. The parties' instructions require 20-30 minutes to read and analyze. Negotiation takes about 1 hour, and review can run anywhere from 40-90 minutes.



For all parties:

  • General Instructions


Role Specific:

  • DHS Attorney
  • LGAD Attorney


Teacher's package (18 pages total):

  • All of the above material
  • Teaching notes



  • When the interests of constituents and clients are in competition, negotiators are in a difficult position. This difficulty is compounded when the negotiator's own values or interests in an issue are strong. Participants can discuss how these multiple interests affected their approaches to the negotiation and eventual settlement.
  • Different perceptions and different interests may lead to different conclusions about the desirability of negotiated settlements over litigation. Participants can explore the potential impacts of each method on the interests of their parties, and can discuss how to balance these interests.
  • Negotiators who must present settlements to the public may feel different levels of flexibility than those who negotiate in public. Participants can discuss how the impending press conference altered their behavior during the negotiation and how it impacted the final drafting of a settlement.



Difference Issues; Fairness; Interests; Legitimacy; Options, generating; Power imbalance

Beaumont Incinerator Exercise


The operation of an incinerator near a racially diverse community in a small, financially depressed town is the focus of debate in this exercise. As members of a "task force," participants must formulate an action plan to address charges of unfairness in the implementation of environmental policy. The exercise asks what are "valid" grounds for claims of environmental justice, who has a right to make such charges, and to what degrees remedies should acknowledge issues of race and class.



This is multi-party negotiation that has the potential for coalitions. The preparation time necessary is 30 minutes. The minimum negotiation time is 1 hour and debriefing can be completed in 1 hour too. The threat of legal action and community outrage is motivation for process in the negotiation.



For all parties:

  • General Instructions
  • Portia Tribune Article


Role Specific:

  • Confidential Information for Franz
  • Confidential Information for Soren
  • Confidential Information for Hamilton
  • Confidential Information for Thompson
  • Confidential Information for Briggs
  • Confidential Information for Price


Teacher's Package (49 pages total)

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note



  • Environmental racism has been defined as racial and/or class discrimination in environmental policy making and in the enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of poor communities or communities of color, or the official sanctioning of the presence of poisons and pollutants in life-threatening levels within those communities.
  • A process of consensus building can be structured so that environmental justice is achieved. The requirements of such a process go beyond what democracy typically provides (i.e. one cannot depend upon the electoral or voting process to ensure adequate input of consensus).
  • Compensation may be part of a response to charges of environmental racism, but public participation is necessary to forestall any future problems.


NOTE: Now available is the Environmental Justice Package, which is comprised of the Teacher's Packages of this exercise and the simulation "Siting an Asphalt Plant in the City of Madrona", and includes the article Risk and Justice, by Patrick Field, Lawrence Susskind, and Howard Raiffa.

Biography, The


A Student recently handed in a mid-term paper for a class called "Biography and Race." He was extremely proud of the paper, which was written about his Latina nanny. He even sent her a copy. He was dismayed to receive a C+, and called for a meeting with his teaching fellow (TF). The TF in turn is dismayed by the lack of understanding shown by the student, who is one of only two white students taking the course.



Role Specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for the Student
  • Confidential Instructions for the Teaching Fellow


Teacher's Package

  • All of the above



  • This role simulation is a good tool for demonstrating, active listening. The two parties understand the situation very differently. How well they are able to listen to the other position is extremely important to the resolution of the problem.
  • Issues of race, and cultural sensitivity are extremely emotional issues which can quickly derail a negotiation. Both of the participants see the other as deficient in understanding other races. How these thoughts are broached is crucial to the success of the negotiation.
  • This is a simulation with no clear ending. Do the people playing the student just want their grade changed, or do they want to understand what the TF wants? Does the TF want to calm the student down, and provide them with a way to get a higher grade, or do they want to improve the student's sensitivity and writing style? Is the paper the center of the negotiation, or just a side-line?




Boston Busing Role Play

The Boston Busing Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Civil Rights and School Integration in the United States.


This role play is set in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1970s. The background instructions give a brief history of school segregation and desegregation in the U.S. and Boston through the early 1970s. Multiple efforts have been made to improve schools for blacks in Boston, including voluntary one-way busing (Operation Exodus), metropolitan busing (METCO), and state legislation (RIA). But the Boston School Committee has resisted all attempts to make substantive changes to integrate the schools, and has denied that the schools are deliberately segregated. In 1972, black parents and the NAACP turn to the federal courts for a remedy.

In late spring of 1974, Federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity handed down his opinion in Morgan v. Hennigan, ruling that the members of the Boston School Committee “have knowingly carried out a systematic program of segregation…Therefore, the entire school system of Boston is unconstitutionally segregated.” In hopes of remedying the situation, Judge Garrity recommends implementing a plan written earlier by Charles Glenn, of the State Board of Education.

Although a series of hearings and negotiations did occur at this time on the Massachusetts Education Department plan written by Charles Glenn, as well as a number of attempts to build consensus among those affected by the decision, the key stakeholders never convened in a formal or informal facilitated setting. It is at this point that the Boston Busing Role Play becomes counter-factual. Our simulation asks participants to imagine “what if” all the stakeholder groups had been brought together for negotiations before Phase I of school integration had been attempted (and failed).

Therefore, as our simulation begins, Mayor White has called a meeting of the major stakeholders to review the Glenn Plan for integrating the schools, and to discuss alternative strategies. The meeting is to be chaired by his representative. Invited to the meeting are representatives of the Boston School Committee, the NAACP, the State Board of Education, and white and black parents.



The Boston Busing Role Play aims to:

  • Provide accurate historical and background information on school desegragation in the U.S., and in Boston in the 1970s.
  • Stimulate and motivate student learning through active participation, as well as reading, writing, class discussion, and other forms of analysis and expression.
  • Build students' negotiation and conflict management skills by asking them to take on the roles of participants seeking to resolve a conflict through negotiation, with support and feedback as they prepare, conduct, and debrief the role play.
  • Challenge students to find the links between the conflict presented in the role play and the conflict resolution steps presented in the Workable Peace Framework, and to apply them to other conflicts in history and in their own lives.


Teacher's Package Includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for the black parents' representative, the white parents' representative, and the representatives of the NAACP, the Boston City Schools, the Mayor's office, and the State Board of Education
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Teaching Note


If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc. 238 Main Street, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA 02142 Tel: 617-492-1414 Fax: 617-492-1919 web: www.cbuilding.org Email: stacie@cbuilding.org

Christiana Figueres and the Collaborative Approach to Negotiating Climate Action

The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School periodically presents the Great Negotiator Award to an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. In 2022, PON selected Christiana Figueres as the recipient of its Great Negotiator Award.

As UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres was tasked with a seemingly insurmountable challenge of putting together an impactful, global climate agreement to save the planet. Coming out the dramatic failure of the Copenhagen summit, many believed that such an agreement was not possible. However, with persistent optimism and careful, targeted interventions aimed at building momentum, in 2015 the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted by the 196 participating nations and set forth a new framework for international climate agreements.

Figueres had to personally undergo a transformation to let go of her identity as a Costa Rican diplomat so she could approach the negotiations from a global perspective and meet each participating nation from their perspective. The negotiation process itself was not just the two-week conference in Paris but instead was a years-long series of actions taken by Figueres and others to help enhance the probability of a successful outcome at the negotiating table. These actions included things like discussions with private industry groups, repeated talks with the Saudi government, and Operation Groundswell, in which a small team of strategic influencers worked with partners behind the scenes to build support for an ambitious outcome. By bringing different coalitions of countries and non-state actors together to lead the way, a more expansive agreement became possible.

Major lessons of this case study include:

  • Coalition and spoiler management in complex international treaty negotiations
  • Principal-agent dynamics
  • Active listening and difficult conversations
  • Building momentum for an agreement
  • Power dynamics in negotiation
  • Deal implementation and sustainability

This case can be paired with the Great Negotiator 2022: Christiana Figueres videos, available for purchase separately from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).

Cross-Cultural Negotiation Video: What Is There To Teach About?

Do you teach negotiation to students from different cultural backgrounds? Are you teaching students how to negotiate in a cross-cultural context? Do you teach a “one world” model of negotiation; or, are there cultural variables that require changes in the basic model of negotiation that you teach?

The Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School invited three members of its highly experienced negotiation faculty to share insights and lessons about how to negotiate, and teach, in various cross-cultural contexts.

In this enlightening video Jeswald Salacuse, Eileen Babbitt and David Fairman speak openly as they:

  • Explore culture and context: how does each affect the other?
  • Describe carefully honed teaching techniques and negotiation exercises.
  • Divulge personal challenges they faced in their practice and in their classrooms.


Here's a brief sample:

Jeswald Salacuse is Henry J. Braker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and served as the Fletcher School's Dean for nine years.

In his presentation Professor Salacuse offers:

  • A working definition, and by extension a typology of what we call “culture”.
  • New ways of understanding cultural similarities and differences.
  • The social functions of culture and the opportunities they present for negotiation instructors. .
  • A hard but valuable lesson he learned as a young negotiator working on reform of the penal code in northern Nigeria.


Eileen Babbitt is Professor of Practice of International Conflict Management, Director of the Institute for Human Security, and Co-Director of the Program on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution at The Fletcher School.

Eileen Babbitt’s insightful discourse explores:

  • High/Low Context cultures in light of her experience with Israeli/Palestinian negotiations.
  • Key negotiation exercises she uses in her classroom to help her students practice cross-cultural communication.
  • How she incorporates a TNRC negotiation role-play called Medlee.
  • The importance of building partnerships among cultural ambassadors.


David Fairman is Managing Director at the Consensus Building Institute, Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and former Lecturer in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

In David Fairman’s presentation he:

  • Breaks down his approach to culture as it has evolved in his work with a wide variety of international clients.
  • Questions the evolving nature of culture, specifically, the emergence of virtual culture.
  • Closes with a fascinating look at organizational culture at the United Nations.


Larry Susskind, vice-chair of PON, moderates the discussion, including a Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation. He also hosts a captivating interview with the three panelists that crystallizes the most valuable take-away lessons from exchange..

This video is downloadable as a 14-piece series (each segment is between 2-4 minutes in length) or as a single continuous video that includes all segments (total running time is 40 minutes). A single purchase allows customers to download both versions if they so wish.

Deliberative Democracy Meets Dispute Resolution

The Workshop on Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution, sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, was a two-day conference held on June 24 – 25, 2005 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event brought together 30 individuals who share a common interest in civic engagement, but represent two distinct fields that approach the project very differently. One group included public dispute resolution professionals; the other, political theorists and innovative practitioners of deliberative democracy. The differences between the fields were revealed as participants engaged in four panel discussions regarding hypothetical scenarios depicting difficult moments in democratic practice. Participants shared their opinion on how to approach the problems in the scenario, and discussion ensued.

This video attempts to capture the most interesting moments of dialogue from the workshop in order to illustrate the overlaps and divisions of opinion both between and within the respective fields.


DVD Scenes:

Introduction [14:17]


Scenario 1: Municipal Decision-Making

  • Exchange 1: Supplementing representative democracy [9:07]
  • Exchange 2: Consensus, common interest, stakeholders vs. the public [10:34]
  • Exchange 3: The role of the media in deliberative processes [2:56]
  • Exchange 4: Visioning [5:22]
  • Exchange 5: Participant control over process design [1:46]


Scenario 2: Metropolitan Policy-Making

  • Exchange 1: Process questions: role of the mediator, ideal processes, including underrepresented groups [22:09]
  • Exchange 2: Rights and Rights-based politics [4:48]
  • Exchange 3: Deliberation for the sake of learning rather than policymaking [5:07]


Scenario 3: National-level Consensus Building [3:11]

  • Exchange 1: Who should be involved? [9:05]
  • Exchange 2: Scientific or technical knowledge in deliberative processes [7:24]
  • Exchange 3: EIA and minimum requirements for deliberative democracy [11:51]
  • Exchange 4: Dispute Resolution biases [3:16]


Scenario 4: Implementation of Informally Negotiated Agreements [2:20]

  • Exchange 1: Legitimacy in the process [9:38]
  • Exchange 2: Dispute resolution processes should be long and recursive [9:22]
  • Exchange 3: How can I apply deliberative democracy to dispute resolution [5:41]


Closing Comments [4:56]

Discord at the Daily Herald


Discord at the Daily Herald is a two party, internal negotiation between co-owners of a newspaper embroiled in management conflicts. J. Blanton and K. Logan are the co-owners of the Daily Herald newspaper. J. Blanton previously worked in the freight-shipping industry, while K. Logan worked in the Logan family media business. The co-owners have become embroiled in conflict over the direction of the paper’s future. As a result of this conflict, K. Logan has terminated the paper’s long-time editor in chief without consulting J. Blanton. K. Logan is seeking an overall shift to a digital-only publishing model in order to expand readership and return to profitability. J. Blanton wants to maintain a more print-based, traditional newspaper model to serve the community. Underlying this management discord are strained relationship dynamics been the owners and plummeting morale among the staff. J. Blanton feels that K. Logan does not take others’ input seriously, and K. Logan feels that J. Blanton is resistant to change and evolution. J. Blanton and K. Logan have also just been informed of a planned staff walkout in protest of management’s erratic leadership and they must now break their previous impasse on these issues to try to avert a crisis. Major lessons of this negotiation include:

  • Importance of agenda setting in multi-issue negotiations.
  • Breaking an impasse in a negotiation.
  • Negotiating with very weak alternatives (BATNA) and under pressure of escalating consequences.
  • Having difficult conversations in relationships with low trust.


  • Teaching Notes
  • Confidential Instructions for J. Blanton
  • Confidential Role Instructions for K. Logan
  • Outcome Form

Ellis v. MacroB


This is a five-person, non-scorable simulation focused on mediating values-based legal disputes; specifically, disputes involving potentially conflicting values and interests around issues of homosexuality and religious faith. Based on a real case, this simulation focuses on a dispute between an employee and his/her employer, a large, privately-held software company. It also explores the role of attorneys representing their clients in negotiated agreements around values-based disputes.

In this simulation, until recently Ellis was senior project manager at MacroB, a computer software company headquartered in California. The simulation begins after a dispute arose between Ellis and MacroB after the launch of a company-wide diversity campaign that featured a series of diversity posters, including one that read: “I am a gay man and I am MacroB.” The posters were placed in employee work areas, including one located on the exterior wall of Ellis’s cubicle. Ellis is devoutly religious in a faith tradition that holds that homosexuality is sinful and wrong, and Ellis was deeply disturbed by the poster.

In response, Ellis posted several Bible scripture verses on the inside wall of his/her cubicle that included quotations that condemned homosexuality and predicted dire outcomes for those who engaged in homosexual acts. When asked to remove them by management, Ellis refused. The issue was elevated to the company’s Diversity Manager, P. Geer. After several meetings with Geer, Ellis offered to remove the passages if MacroB removed its posters depicting homosexual employees. After several meetings and no agreement, Ellis was given a week off with pay to reconsider, and MacroB removed the Bible verses that Ellis posted.

Upon returning to work, Ellis reposted all of the Bible passages and refused to remove them. During multiple meetings, the conversation between Ellis and Geer deteriorated, and when it became clear that Ellis would not remove the passages, Ellis was fired for insubordination. At the urging of a mutual legal professional, Ellis and MacroB have reluctantly agreed to speak with a mediator. After hearing from both parties, the mediator, Cheney, believes that some consensual resolution might be possible. The simulation begins at the point where Ellis, Geer, and their attorneys have convened with the mediator, Cheney.



Participant materials include:

  • General Instructions for all participants


Confidential Instructions for:

  • V. Ellis, former MacroB Employee
  • P. Geer, MacroB Diversity Manager
  • S. Chapin, Attorney to V. Ellis
  • S. Davis, Attorney to MacroB
  • H. Cheney, Mediator, Mediation Services


Teacher's Package Includes:

  • All of the above
  • Jennifer Gerarda Brown, Peacemaking in the Culture War Between Gay Rights and Religious Liberty, 95 Iowa Law Review 747 (2010).
  • Teaching Note



The key teaching objective is to demonstrate that assisted negotiation (i.e., mediation) can be used to resolve values-based disputes, not just interest-based disputes. With the assistance of a mediator, the parties and their attorneys can craft a settlement that does not require them to compromise their fundamental values. Key teaching points include the importance in values-based disputes of avoiding threats to individual identity, stressing the human element, focusing on ongoing relationships, focusing on overarching values, and focusing on individual interests as well as values.



Ellis v. MacroB is one of a 3-part series of simulations focused on the mediation of values-based disputes. The other two simulations in the series are Williams v. Northville and Springfield OutFest.

If you wish to purchase all three simulations at a discount we have a bundle option available click here. You can also download a PDF version of "Teaching about the Mediation of Values-Based and Identity-Based Disputes".

Escalation of a Conflict

This video lecture features former PON Executive Director Jeffrey Z. Rubin discussing the elements involved in the development of a conflict, including theories on interdependence and escalation.

Production Quality: Utility

Future of Hebron, The

The Future of Hebron is a role simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Managing Conflict in the Middle East.

This simulation is set in the West Bank city of Hebron. Although Israeli troops have withdrawn from other Palestinian cities on the West Bank, they continue to control about one-fifth of the city of Hebron on order to protect a Jewish community centered around the Tomb of the Patriarchy and the Il Ibrahami Mosque.

During the last two years, Palestinians living in Hebron have protested continued Israeli occupation, and have sometimes attacked Israelis in the hope of forcing an Israeli withdrawal from the city. At the same time, Israeli settlers and soldiers have arrested and attacked Palestinians whom they see as threats to their security.

Both Palestinian and Israeli leaders have decided that the continuing violence in Hebron will jeopardize the possibility of lasting peace between the two groups. Both leaders fear that extremists groups will use violence to stop the peace process. The leaders are not sure that they can trust each other, let alone representatives of the extremist groups. Nevertheless, the have agreed to hold a meeting in Hebron to discuss land claims, security, and border control.



  • Importance of clarifying interests
  • Importance of rebuilding lost trust
  • Usefulness of objective criteria
  • Usefulness of neutral facilitators
  • Importance of agenda-setting
  • Importance of understanding the human dimension in ethnic conflict
  • Difficulty of proposing solutions without grasping the complexity of the relationship
  • Challenges in dealing with intra-group dynamics; and causes of inter-group conflict escalation


Teacher's Package includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for Israeli Government Official, Israeli Military Officer, Israeli Settlers Representative, PLO Official, Chief of Palestinian Police for Hebron, and Hamas Supporter
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Master List of Player Goals
  • Teaching Note


If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc.
238 Main Street, Suite 400
Cambridge, MA 02142
Tel: 617-492-1414
Fax: 617-492-1919
web: www.cbuilding.org
Email: stacie@cbuilding.org

George Mitchell in Northern Ireland – “To Hell with the Future, Let’s Get On With the Past”

Part of the PON Great Negotiator Case Study Series, this 46-age factual case study examines the strategies and tactics used by U.S. negotiator George Mitchell during his two-year tenure as chairman of the all-party talks in Northern Ireland between 1996 and 1998. His efforts culminated in the signing of the historic Good Friday Accords. In 2000, Mitchell received the Program on Negotiation "Great Negotiator" award.

This case study was prepared as a basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.