A hallmark of the contemporary international system is the complexity of problems facing actors today. Yet creative facilitators can build bridges between a wide array of actors to address these most difficult challenges. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is a complex process often necessarily involving parties with highly divergent interests and individuals with little to no collaborative experience.
This report simplifies the complexity of collaboration by exploring five essential elements: Purpose, People, Place, Process, and Practice.
PURPOSE: MSC enables stakeholders to think, feel, and act together in innovative ways that allows new possibilities for the future to unfold.
PEOPLE: The MSC enterprise weaves together the stakeholders’ different perspectives and capacities to generate new possibilities in support of superordinate goals.
PLACE: Venues must generate a sense of belonging and promote a relaxed environment. Facilitators can acknowledge the diversity of voices in a MSC forum and articulate that everyone belongs there.
PROCESS: Facilitators should work closely with stakeholders to discuss the root causes driving challenges; shared stakeholder interests; and what is needed to move the issue forward.
PRACTICE: MSC skills aren’t just conceptual understandings, but performance skills learned though practice. Stakeholders learn how to embody collaborative behavior so that it becomes second nature.