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Our Toolbox

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Traditional Conflict Resolution Techniques

  • Mediation and Facilitation: Everywhere we work we serve as a mediating and facilitating force between contending parties. We also train people in mediation skills, leading, for example, to the establishment of independent mediation centres in Gaza and Ukraine.

  • Capacity Strengthening: We work to increase the skills and abilities of individuals, organisations, and institutions to respond to conflicts.

  • Shuttle Diplomacy: Sometimes, rather than physically convoking opponents, we shuttle among them. We have done this on a sustained basis between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as between Iranians and Americans.

  • Back-Channel Negotiations: On a confidential basis, we facilitate high-level communication between opposing parties.

  • Court-Based Mediation: In Ukraine we have established alternative dispute resolution systems to lighten court dockets and improve the judicial process.

Radio and Television

  • Radio: We operate radio studios that produce news, features, drama, and music. A particular specialty is soap opera for social change and programming produced by and for children.

  • Television: We produce original TV programming for adults and children that treats contentious issues within a common ground framework.

Common Ground Journalism

  • Journalist Training: Press reporting can both ignite and defuse violence. In Africa, the Middle East, and the Aegean region we hold workshops for journalists to try to diminish inflammatory reporting and promote mutual understanding.

  • News Service: We operate the Common Ground News Service, which presents articles giving common ground perspectives on issues related to Muslims in the West, the Arab-Israeli conflict and current events in Muslim-majority countries.

Arts and Culture

  • Music, Dance, and Drama: We have held peace festivals in Burundi that celebrated local culture, recorded a national peace song and music video in Angola, and regularly use participatory theater across Africa to reframe conflict.

  • Film: We hold Common Ground Film Festivals around the world that demonstrate how cinema can illuminate commonalities and promote empathy.