A Common Ground Approach to Societal Conflict Resolution

Event Date: Monday October 15, 2012
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Wasserstein 2004, HLS Campus

The Program on Negotiation is pleased to present:

A Common Ground Approach

to Societal Conflict Resolution


John Marks

President and Founder of Search for Common Ground


Susan Collin Marks

Senior Vice President of Search for Common Ground

Monday, October 15th, 2012

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Wasserstein 2004

Harvard Law School Campus

Please bring your own lunch; soft drinks and cookies will be served

About the Event:

John Marks started his conflict resolution career at Harvard Law School, working with Roger Fisher.  Susan Collin Marks was an early conflict resolution practitioner in her native South Africa and was deeply involved as a facilitator and mediator during the transition from apartheid to democracy.  John founded Search for Common Ground in 1982, joining forces with Susan in 1994.   Under their leadership, Search has grown into the largest organization in the field with 50 offices in 30 countries.  Their basic working principle is:  Understand the differences; act on the commonalities.

Within this framework, they have developed diverse methods that include traditional peace-building techniques such as mediation, training, facilitation and back-channel negotiations – along with less conventional methods involving radio and TV production, music, sports, theatre, outdoor activities and community organizing.  This presentation will be a multi-media presentation on the “Common Ground Approach to Societal Conflict Resolution.”

About the Speakers:

John Marks is President and founder of Search for Common Ground, a non-profit peacebuilding conflict transformation organization with offices in 30 countries.  He also founded and heads Common Ground Productions and has produced or executive-produced TV series in 20 countries.  With his wife, Susan Collin Marks, he is a Skoll Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and, additionally, he is an Ashoka Senior Fellow.  A best-selling, award-winning author, he has been a  US Foreign Service Officer, Executive Assistant to the late US Senator Clifford Case (R-NJ), a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.

Susan Collin Marks is senior vice president of Search for Common Ground. She is a South African who served as a peacemaker during South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, captured in her book, Watching the Wind. Her honors include a Peace Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace, the Institute for Noetic Science’s Creative Altruism Award, a Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. She speaks, teaches, coaches, mentors, writes, facilitates, and supports peace processes and conflict resolution programs internationally. She holds a vision of a world of peace and dignity for all, and works to make it so.

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