Global Negotiation Initiative

(a Harvard Negotiation Project initiative)
Directors: William Ury and Joshua Weiss

The Global Negotiation Initiative (GNI), co-founded by Dr. William L. Ury and Dr. Joshua N. Weiss, bridges theoretical academic research with practical negotiation work. Both Ury and Weiss work in various conflict areas around the world conducting trainings, facilitating workshops, and advising negotiation teams. GNI works in close partnership with the Abraham Path Initiative (API), which seeks to inspire and support the opening of a permanent cultural route of pilgrimage and tourism retracing the footsteps of Abraham in the Middle East. GNI oversees academic research on the Path’s development, which has grown to span over 2000 km across the Middle East. Both Ury and Weiss serve on the Board of Directors of API.

GNI is focusing on the development of the Abraham Path and using it in a number of creative and innovative ways. While they continue to encourage faculty and students to travel the path, they are also reaching out to other groups. One such project is a burgeoning partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to train diplomats along the path. Dr. Weiss will be leading the first group of diplomats on the path in October.

GNI also conducts a variety of “Third Side Initiatives” that examine conflicts not just from one side or the other but from the larger perspective of the surrounding community. We have launched a new version of the Third Side website —based on Ury’s book The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop— with a more user-friendly interface. Dr. Weiss and GNI researchers continue to put out new stories in a monthly blog on Third Side actions around the world. To view the blog please visit here.

Based on academic research, GNI offers negotiation support to decision-makers in some of the world’s most urgent and intractable conflicts, including Korea, Venezuela,
 Israel/Palestine, and climate. We identify obstacles to negotiated resolution and possible ways to overcome these obstacles, including set-up moves to make negotiation possible, identifying areas for mutual gain, improving communication channels, and exploring the potential role for third parties, informal and official, in facilitating a resolution. We document this work with the aim of improving theory and practice.

Ury is currently writing a book summing up lessons he has gleaned over forty years of applying negotiation theory to practice as well as collaborating on a book with Thomas Hubl, exploring the intersections between the fields of mediation and meditation.

Weiss has a book published in August 2020 by Wiley Press, Hoboken, NJ entitled The Book of Real-World Negotiations: Successful Strategies from Business, Government, and Daily Life. The book is comprised of 25 real negotiation case studies from business, government, and the world around us that seeks to demonstrate how successful agreements are made in very difficult negotiation circumstances.