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Corporate-Community Dialogue: An Introduction

Corporate-Community Dialogue: An Introduction interweaves three stories about companies and communities that have found themselves in varying degrees of conflict and looked for a way out through dialogue. In each instance, the parties to the conflict used a neutral third-party mediator to help them craft a process through which they could address concerns and progressively resolve their core conflicts. Each story is the subject of a self-standing short film: the first, Making Monkey Business, involves a hydro-electric power plant and surrounding communities in the Philippines; the secondPutting Ourselves in Their Shoes, involves a copper mine and indigenous communities in the Peruvian Andes; and the third, The Only Government We See involves an oil and gas company and local communities in the Niger Delta. 

Each of these films tells of the origins of the conflict, describes how and why both company and communities came to consider mediated dialogue as a way forward, and relates the processes that unfolded, with their progress and setbacks, and the outcomes they achieved. The stories are told uniquely in the voices of those who took part: community members, company representatives, non-governmental organizations and the mediators. This fourth film in the series interweaves all three stories to highlight a range of common themes that emerge, in the hope that they may offer new insights to others who find themselves looking for a way out of company-community conflict. 

This is the final film in the series produced by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School on behalf of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. The films were produced with the generous support of the Government of Norway, the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the World Bank Group, the International Bar Association and the Government of Germany. The films are MATCH productions. 

On November 29, 2012, the series won “best communication or publication” award at the biennial Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution's (CEDR) awards ceremony held in London. The series makes a compelling case for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods and processes, using real life corporate-community case studies to show the immediate and long term benefits of facilitated dialogue.

 

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