Convergence with Rob Fersh and Monika Glowacki [Ep. 02]
Step into the world of consensus building and collective action as Laura speaks with Rob Fersh and Monica Glowacki from the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution in the US, which is all about bringing diverse voices together to tackle critical national issues. From education to gun violence, they've seen it all! But what sets them apart is their secret sauce: the magic of co-creation and empathetic listening. Get ready to dive into this first full episode of the Conflict Tipping podcast, where Rob and Monika spill the beans on their successes, failures, and the transformative power of consensus building.
In this episode, you'll discover:
The fascinating stories behind Convergence's projects, like how they brought gun control activists and Second Amendment enthusiasts together, and the impact they've made on the Affordable Care Act.
The nitty-gritty of consensus building and why it leads to higher quality and more innovative solutions by incorporating diverse perspectives.
How co-creation can transform adversarial interactions into cooperative problem-solving sessions, where all voices are heard and respected.
The early successes that paved the way for Convergence's groundbreaking work, including their involvement in healthcare reform.
The innovative project on digital disinformation, where they're bringing together tech platforms, media, academia, and more to combat the harmful effects of false information in our society.
The challenges of power imbalances and disparities that they grapple with while striving for consensus and how they navigate those complexities.
So, if you're ready to explore the unexpected connections and transformative potential of consensus building, tune in to hear from Rob Fersh and Monica Glowacki as they take you on a journey of co-creation, collective action, and the pursuit of common ground.
About the guests:
Prior to co-founding Convergence, Rob served as the United States country director for Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution organization. While at SFCG, he directed national policy consensus projects on health care coverage for the uninsured and U.S.-Muslim relations. In the 1986-98 period, Rob served as president of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a leading NGO working to alleviate hunger in the United States. Rob also served on the staffs of three Congressional committees, working for U.S. Representative Leon Panetta and for Senators Patrick Leahy and Edmund Muskie. While a Congressional staff member and at FRAC, he was deeply involved in shepherding passage of bipartisan legislation to reduce hunger in the United States.
Monika is the Director of the initiative on Digital Disinformation at Convergence, where she will bring together people across differences to explore the root causes of problems with online information and media systems, and pathways towards a more equitable vision for the future of the internet. Monika has worked in research and analysis exploring the intersection of technology, people, politics and power. She is interested in critical analysis of the impact of technology on our lives, societies and economies, as well as how technology can be reimagined to serve the public interest and our wellbeing.
About the host: Laura is a facilitator, people and culture director, and former Executive Director of the International Mediation Institute. Her doctoral research asked “in what ways does blame make villains in politics” and covered the gamut from literature studies and linguistics to psychology and neuroscience, victimology to political science. Her expertise includes emotions, polarization, blame, and international politics. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or ResearchGate—or even both!