Conflict Frontiers Seminar 5 -- Introduction to Massively Parallel Peacebuilding (MPP)


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Here we introduce Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess's concept of Massively Parallel Peacebuilding (MPP) as a systems approach to intractable conflict.  MPP introduces ten "challenges" that need to be met to overcome intractability, and suggests over 100 things (10 or so per challenge) that need to be done (by 1000s of people and organizations) working in parallel to successfully address any intractable conflict. (The last Frontiers video explains how this isn't a totally crazy idea.)

Conflict Frontiers Videos:

Related BI Knowledge Base Posts:

  • Preventive Diplomacy and International Violence Prevention -- Violence prevention has evolved from being focused almost exclusively on short-term interventions. It now refers to long-term initiatives that target the root causes of conflict.
  • Track I - Track II Cooperation -- The prevention and resolution of complex conflicts depends on a the efforts of both officials (track one) and non-officials (track two). This essay discusses the importance of cooperation between these two tracks.
  • Multi-Track Diplomacy -- Peacebuilding is seen by many participants to have many "tracks" beyond just track I and track II. This essay explains the concept of multi-track diplomacy, developed by Louise Diamond and John MacDonald.
  • NGO/Corporate Partnerships: Bridge-builders Needed --  Over the last few years, increasing attention has been paid to partnerships between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private enterprise. These partnerships hold much promise, but they are very difficult to establish and maintain.  This article explains why, using a case study of coffee farmers in Mindanao.  The author then discusses how an intermediary could have been very useful both in that case, and in many other similar cases, to help corporate entitles find and successfully partner with NGOs to engage in economic development and peacebuilding.
  • Intervention Coordination -- In most serious conflict, situations there are likely to be a number of independent intervention efforts. This essay explores the importance of coordination and the problems that commonly arise because of a lack of coordination between these initiatives.
  • Meta-Conflict Resolution -- Many conflict resolvers emphasize mediation, dialogue, or problem solving workshops as solutions to conflict. But intractable conflicts usually need a much more comprehensive approach. This article describes such an approach and articulates the various roles that must be carried out to successfully transform these conflicts.
  • The Coordination Quandary: Applications and Implications of Post-Conflict Coordination Principles - This is the second article in a four-part series on Directory-Oriented Peacebuilding.  This builds on the article (The Costs of Conflict) by introducing principles of post-conflict coordination and demonstrating how increased coordination and cooperation could greatly improve existing efforts.

Related Things YOU Can Do Blog Posts:

Related BI in Context Posts:

  • A Really Good Thing Happening in America - This describes a massively parallel approach to education -- part of a new way of organizing civil society called  "collective impact."  -- further described in the next post.
  • Collective Impact - This is the article that created the name of this organizing process, although it was based on innovations that had already happened around the U.S.
  • Does Collective Impact Really Make an Impact? - Another article from Stanford, measuring the impact of collective impact initiatives. 
  • Social Movements and Climate Change - another example of a massively parallel approach to challenging another huge socio-economic/environmental problem.
  • A Brief History of Open Source -- A fascinating history of how open source software came to be...and be so big.  It started from a simple question "What does society need?"  That question applied to conflict and peace as well!

Photo Credits

  • Parallel Arrows: Guy Burgess