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Virtual IACM 2021

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Wicked Societal Problems Challenge Our Collective Future: A Conversation on the Role of Negotiation and Conflict Management Frameworks in Moving Towards Solutions

Businesses are frequently given high marks for creating jobs and increasing prosperity, a vital challenge for our economic future. Corporate executives, however, get low marks for the three other main challenges of the 21st century: climate change and environment, managing resource scarcity, and reducing inequality of incomes. Globally, there is little faith in the ability of current executives to protect our future or ensure that we will continue to thrive in a world of abundance. Traditional approaches to negotiations and conflict management have at their core the concepts of economic interest, accounting, warfare, sports, and games. These are embraced by corporate leaders even as they are at odds with humanistic and holistic approaches essential to developing the next generation of engaged leaders. Addressing the challenges posed by the wicked problems humanity faces (Arora & Rovenpor, 2018) and fostering peace without letting the framing of problems constrain available solution sets (Rapoport 1962; Kopelman, 2020) will require a renewed focus on long-term sustainability, moving beyond economic principles and metrics (Fisher, et. al., 2018). As researchers, practitioners, and teachers we are at a crossroads. The roundtable provides an opportunity for a diverse set of scholars to engage in dialogue about how to place the concepts of social justice, equality and diversity, environmental justice, and human dignity at the center of our thinking and practice. Innovative frameworks for research and interventions grounded in logics that embrace long-term collective economic, environmental, and social sustainability are among the vital next steps for negotiation and conflict management.

Wendi Adair
University of Waterloo

Poonam Arora
O’Malley School of Business, Manhattan College
United States

Moty Cristal
NEST Negotiation Strategies, SKOLKOVO Moscow School of Management, Tel Aviv University, IDC Herzliya

Matthew Cronin
George Mason University
United States

Joshua Fisher
Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity, Columbia University
United States

Michael Gross
Colorado State University
United States

William Hall
Department of the Interior & Georgetown University
United States

Shirli Kopelman
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
United States

Martin Lindholst
Independent Scholar & Founder of ChangeAhead
United States

Sonja Rauschütz
Vienna School of Negotiation, Vienna University of Economics & Business, Diplomatic Academy Vienna

Laura Rees
Smith School of Business, Queen's University

Amira Schiff
The Program in Conflict Resolution, Conflict Management and Negotiation, Bar Ilan University

Cynthia Wang
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
United States

Sara Wheeler-Smith
O’Malley School of Business, Manhattan College
United States

Robert Wilken
ESCP Europe


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