Susan Carpenter is a mediator, trainer and writer in private practice. She has spent the past thrity years developing and managing programs to reach consensus on public issues, resolve public controversies and develop common goals and visions at the local, state and national level. She was the founding director of the Program for Community Problem Solving in Washington, D.C. Prior to that she spent ten years as the associate director of ACCORD Associates in Boulder, Colorado mediating complex public disputes and training others to handle conflict productively. She currently works with organizations and groups to build capacity for collaboration and conflict resolution. Ms. Carpenter holds a Master's degree in International Education and a Doctorate in Future Studies both from the University of Massachusetts. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School. She taught for two years in Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer. Ms. Carpenter has authored numerous materials including the book, Managing Public Disputes: A Practical Guide to Handling Conflict and Reaching Agreements.
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Interview with Susan Carpenter
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Susan Carpenter, a national leader and author in the field of public policy mediation, filmed for the Mediate.com 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.
Susan Carpenter: Mediating Public Policy Disputes - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about her approach to mediating public policy disputes and how she involved people in the process. It is a collaborative education process and involves a lot of creativity.
Susan Carpenter: Cross Cultural Experiences - Video
Susan Carpenter shares her experiences as a mediation trainer in other cultures and how she approaches different systems.
Susan Carpenter: Steps of Change in a Social Movement - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about the different steps that facililtate a successful social movement starting with awareness. After awareness, people need to be empowered and these two steps are critical before people can begin the negotiation process for change.
Susan Carpenter: Concerns for the Field - Video
Susan Carpenter shares the concerns she has for the field of public policy mediation including training, use of concepts, and lack of sharing knowledge.
Susan Carpenter: Inspired by Peace Corp - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about her work in the Peace Corp and social movements in the US.
Susan Carpenter: Peace Making a Transformational Process - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about the work of Adam Curle who was a British academician; he defined the process of peace as a collaboration for mutual benefit and discussed in his work how peace is a transformational process. These ideas inspired Susan.
Susan Carpenter: Public Disputes Require Creativity - Video
Susan Carpenter talks first about how a structured approach to dispute is good for volunteer mediation programs and how this is different than mediation for public policy issues. Public policy including environmental disputes require the mediator to work with the parties in designing the process.
Susan Carpenter: Alternative Process Resolves Timber Dispute - Video
In this clip, Susan describes a court case in which she tried a very innovative approach. She asked the community and the timber company to envision the future and they came up with very creative solutions which resolved the case in one day.
Susan Carpenter: Shift in Leadership - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about the shift in leadership from authoritative to collaborative and the importance of providing the skills to leaders to implement these new models.
Susan Carpenter: Court v. Conciliation - Video
Susan Carpenter talks about the importance of having both a court system along with conciliation and mediation processes because they both serve a purpose. There are times when people need to go to court to protect their rights and to enforce a law and people also need to be exposed to collaborative approaches so that they can use these models when appropriate.
Susan Carpenter: Peace and Mediation Can Be Offensive - Video
Susan Carpenter discusses the myriad of perceptions that exist about the concepts of peace, peace maker, and mediation and how these can make some people feel uncomfortable and the different terminology that mediators use to satisfy people so that they can engage in the process.