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SGSI 2021: Public Policy Negotiation: Multiparty Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution

*Course is closed and no longer accepting applications

Tuesday, Sept. 7 - Friday, Sept. 10, 9 AM – 6 PM

As a professional, you may negotiate more than you do anything else. You will negotiate with your boss, your colleagues, other firms, government agencies, legislative bodies, the courts, the public and the media. In doing so, you will negotiate across institutional, cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries.

This course will help you develop an understanding of negotiation, as well as practical skills for collaborative problem-solving. The experience is highly interactive with simulations, small- and plenary group discussions, reflections, and feedback. This course will extend those skills into collaborative problem-solving and conflict resolution.


  • Janet Martinez, senior lecturer, Law; director, Gould Negotiation & Mediation Program, Stanford Law School
  • Brenna Marea Powell, PhD, lecturer, Law, Stanford Law School

Audience & Capacity

Open to all graduate students in any discipline (particularly those who have not had a chance to explore these issues extensively through their coursework), as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows. Participants will be seleted to assure a good balance of skills, background, and areas of policy interest, with priority to those applying first. Space is limited to 24.


By participating fully in this course, you will:

  • Provide overview and experiential learning on fundamentals of negotiation (2-party, multiparty, facilitated multiparty)
  •  Practice collaborative problem-solving skills with series of negotiation exercises, drawn from both private and public context, in domestic and international settings
  • Participate effectively as part of a team
  • Reflect on personal experiences, give and receive feedback
  • Assess benefits of negotiation relative to judicial (court) and legislative strategies for making public policy decisions
  • Consider role of media to influence public processes
  • Explore interplay between science, policy and technology in public policy decision making
  • Examine role of civic engagement and roles that public citizens play in public policy decisions


This course is highly interactive. We will begin with exploring and understanding your own negotiation style, move on to two-party negotiations, and advance to multi-party and team negotiations.  More advanced simulations will emphasize complex problem-solving and conflict resolution among multiple parties (government, corporate, civil society) in domestic and international contexts. Negotiation topics include the tension between cooperative and competitive strategies, building trust, exchanging information and managing coalitions. We will then explore the use of third party facilitators in collaborative problem-solving, examine options for civic engagement, and the influence of the media.  We will use case simulations drawn from environment and natural resource policymaking, intergroup conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and other policy areas of interest to the class.

Past participants who took this course said the following about their experience:

"The fundamentals discussed and practiced in this program are very broadly applicable and invaluable to everyday life and professional development." -SGSI 2019 Participant

"This program is fantastic! You [were] able to have a lot of quality-oriented connection with students from diverse backgrounds." -SGSI 2019 Participant

Additional Course Expectations

  • Participants will complete roughly 2 hours of reading and preparation for negotiation simulations each evening.
  • Full attendance is expected.

SUNet ID required to log in; all SGSI correspondence sent to your Stanford email account.


Resource Type: 
Course or Workshop
Target Audience: 
All Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Scholars
Time Commitment: 
Grad Grow Competency: