By Doug Easterling
How can collaborative groups move past their divisions and find solutions that advance their shared notions of what would be good for the community?
Complex problems – such as how to expand access to high-quality health care, how to reduce poverty, how to remedy racial disparities in educational attainment and economic opportunity, and how to promote economic development while at the same time protecting natural resources – can’t be solved with technical remedies or within a narrow mindset. They require the sort of multi-disciplinary, nuanced analysis that can only be achieved by engaging a variety of stakeholders in a co-creative process.
Bringing together stakeholders with diverse perspectives allows for a comprehensive analysis of complex problems, but this also raises the risk of a divisive process.