PON Live! Facilitated Dialogue: Possibilities, Pitfalls, and Practice Notes

PON Live!

Rachel Viscomi

Event Date: Wednesday December 14, 2022
Time: 12:00-1:00 pm

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present:

PON Live!

Facilitated Dialogue: Possibilities, Pitfalls, and Practice Notes

A virtual discussion with:

Rachel Viscomi
Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Director, Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP)


Wednesday, December 14, 2022
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET (US and Canada)

Free and open to the public.

The session will be recorded. Pending faculty approval, we will post the recording on this page after the session.


About the talk:

At its best, facilitated dialogue can bring us closer together. It can enable mutual understanding and connection across differences, strengthen the social fabric of communities, and promote thoughtful engagement around matters of public concern, helping us to expand the way we view the world and each other. At its worst, facilitated dialogue can push us farther apart, leaving people feeling unheard, marginalized, or misunderstood; entrenching preexisting power imbalances; flattening nuance; and relying on the emotional labor of some to educate others. In this talk, we will explore what makes the difference.

About the speaker:

Rachel A. Viscomi is a Clinical Professor at Harvard Law School and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP). In her clinical work, Viscomi supervises projects related to dispute systems design, conflict assessment, facilitated dialogue, strategic negotiation advice, and curriculum design. She has worked closely with students to re-envision public safety, reinvigorate public dialogue, increase access to justice, and enhance connection and accountability within organizations. In the classroom and outside, Viscomi strives to help her students engage not just with conflict in the external world, but with the internal tension this work can elicit, training new lawyers and conflict consultants to lead through uncertainty, engaging the strong emotions, cognitive biases, and narrative intricacy that typify complex disputes.

Prior to joining HNMCP, Viscomi worked as a Principal in the Corporate Education Practice of Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consulting firm that helps clients achieve business results by transforming the way they negotiate and manage their key relationships. Before joining Vantage, Viscomi practiced as a civil litigator with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP, where she assisted a wide variety of clients (including The New York Times Company, Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, and MetLife Investment Services) in resolving complex commercial disputes.

Viscomi earned her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Columbia College, with departmental honors, in Italian. She studied in Italy at the Università di Bologna and the Università degli studi di Firenze, earning her Master of Arts in Italian from Middlebury College with highest honors, before receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2001. At Harvard Law School, she supervises HNMCP projects, teaches Dispute Systems Design, and co-teaches Advanced Negotiation: Multiparty Negotiation, Group Decision Making, and Teams and The Lawyer as Facilitator.


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