Arctic Fisheries Devising Seminar

In September of 2014 the Science Impact Collaborative and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School hosted a devising seminar on the long-term management of Arctic fisheries. The session brought together senior diplomats, government agency staff, environmental activists, representatives of First Peoples, industry leaders, scientists, and legal/human rights experts. During the seminar these participants brainstormed possible new regimes to ensure sustainable management adapted to the pressures of energy development, shipping on the Northern Sea route, and expanded access to marines resources.

Researchers interviewed key stakeholders and experts to prepare a background paper, representing the varied interests and opinions concerning the Arctic fisheries. The objective of the Devising Seminar and the background paper is to provide a forum for all the relevant stakeholders to engage in productive problem solving. The principal researchers are: Professor Lawrence Susskind, Professor Danya Rumore, Professor Todd Schenk, Alexandros Sarris, and Miss Antia Parlow, Esq.

The Devising Seminar was hosted at the Harvard Law School at the request of the Arctic Circle and with the support of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Using Devising Seminars to Advance Collaborative Problem Solving in Complicated Public Policy Disputes

In many public policy situations, formal negotiations and collective problem solving are inhibited by a lack of good ideas that can get the buy-in and support of all involved stakeholders. We suggest that devising seminars provide a promising approach for helping to overcome this barrier. A devising seminar is an off-the-record, facilitated workshop that brings together representatives of core stakeholding interest groups to brainstorm mutually advantageous approaches to address collective challenges. In this article, we explain what devising seminars are, how they work, and how they can help with complex public policy disputes. We illustrate through the case of the Devising Seminar on Arctic Fisheries and conclude with lessons learned from that experience.