In 2006, ten promising graduate students were selected from the United States to join with ten each from mainland China and Taiwan to participate in a National Committee’s conflict resolution program. Students convened at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Center for International Peace and Justice from August 5 to August 14 for introductory training in conflict resolution techniques.
The focus of the program was on both theoretical and practical aspects of conflict resolution. Time was divided between discussion, case studies, small group exercises, site visits to different organizations specializing in conflict resolution, and outdoor activities/excursions designed to foster deeper understanding, trust, and camaraderie.
Lecturers and trainers included specialists on conflict resolution, negotiators, academics, business mediators or arbitrators, American China specialists, and people who worked with similar programs for youth in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, and other parts of the world.
The workshop covered situations as diverse as business disputes, race relations, cross-border conflict, and interpersonal dynamics, and provided an open forum in which all participants were able to express their views freely. It also enabled them to draw on the wealth of scholarship and practical experience in the United States in the field of conflict resolution.