Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Bruno Verdini is an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. candidate on Negotiation, Decision-Making, Leadership, and Communication at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT (2015), working with faculty at Harvard Law School, the Department of Political Science at MIT, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Resource management decisions about open, evolving, and interconnected water, energy, and environmental networks are complex. When multiple stakeholders from different countries with competing interests and values are involved, the challenges are compounded.
Bruno's work focuses on the negotiation, decision-making, leadership, and communication strategies that can alter the prospects to find agreement. The aim is to foster government, corporate, and non-profit partnerships that deliver better, fairer, and more effective results.
With Professor Lawrence Susskind, at the MIT Science Impact Collaborative and the National Science Foundation Water Diplomacy Program, he is exploring the recently concluded landmark negotiations between the United States and Mexico on the shared waters of the Colorado River and the shared hydrocarbons resources in the Gulf of Mexico.
The work hinges on several key insights that apply both to the management of water resources (i.e. how to invest on supply and storage, develop irrigation infrastructure, and restore riparian and estuarine ecology), and the management of ocean-based energy reservoirs (i.e. how to share the revenue of deep-water minerals, enhance oil spill prevention, and protect marine and coastal resources), including that resource networks are (1) open, not bounded; (2) continuously changing rather than predictable; and (3) best managed using a non-zero sum approach to negotiation.
His research highlights strategies that deliver mutual gains on the ground, thriving on joint fact-finding and adaptation. These strategies draw on cognitive, procedural, and emotional insights from the field of negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution; observations about the psychology of judgment and decision-making; tactics from the practice of adaptive leadership and collaborative management; and an understanding about the narrative structure of compelling political and media communication.
Bruno is a Mexican and French national who has been trained in international affairs, political science, and public policy in Mexico City (CIDE), Paris (Sciences-Po), and Boston (MIT). He is a former Mexican governmental official, who has worked on projects with partners in Paris, Washington, London, Riyadh, Geneva, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Vienna.