This blog follows on from the mediation process the Soul of Europe used in Bosnia.
“We have to live together and we have to create a shared future together.”
We believe the process incorporating the concepts outlined in the Lambeth lecture could be useful in addressing the underlying problems which erupt from time to time as ‘flash points’ in some of our cities in the UK.
As the mediation process develops so something new emerges: a body of people who commit themselves in a confessional way to energize the project because they know ‘we have to live together and we have to create a shared future together.’
It is at this point that the experience of developing and sustaining cross sector partnerships is helpful.
Ros Tennyson* writes in The Partnering Toolbook:
“The hypothesis underpinning a partnership approach is that only with comprehensive and widespread collaboration can we ensure that sustainable development initiatives are imaginative, coherent and integrated enough to tackle the most intractable problems…. Partnership provides a new opportunity for doing development better, by recognizing the qualities and competences of each sector (public, business and civil society) and finding new ways of harnessing them for the common good.”
There is a wealth of experience in identifying and building partnerships – of a formal or informal nature, managing the partnership process and delivering successful and sustaining partnerships.
The practice and insights of the mediation process together with the practice and insights of cross sector collaboration could provide the essential key to building enduring bridges between divided communities.
* Ros Tennyson is the Senior Partnership Advisor to the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). She is co-founder of the Partnership Initiative in partnership Broker Training and of the Postgraduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnership, a collaboration between Cambridge University’s Program for Industry and the IBLF. She is also a Director of the Soul of Europe.