FREE WEBINAR: The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Water Conflicts


Access Recording


Aaron Wolf
Professor of Geography
Oregon State University

Aaron T. Wolf is a water resources geographer at Oregon State University and a trained mediator/facilitator. He directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, through which he has offered workshops, facilitations, and mediations around the world. He is the author, most recently, of The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict (Island Press, 2017), that he uses to bring facilitation and capacity-building to a variety of conflict settings, notably between entities who share water resources, and also in faith and interfaith communities, and within and between government agencies.


In the West, we generally base our approach to managing conflicts on rationality: “People will agree when it’s in their interest to agree.” Tools typically focus on what is measurable and quantifiable; if only we could see the tangible benefits of cooperating, we are taught, we simply would. As a “pracademic” facilitating and studying water conflicts around the world, Wolf has come to appreciate both the limitations of the rational models on which we in the West base our understandings of conflict and cooperation, and the wisdom, constructs, and practical tools of the world’s faith traditions and indigenous communities in working toward deep interactions around contentious issues. In this presentation, we will explore, for example: cross-cultural models of understanding the sources of conflict and anger; deep listening skills for identifying common values; methods for elevating and nuancing dialogue as pathways to understanding; and techniques for self check-ins for potential conflicts within.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe four "worlds" or prisms through which we might see water.
  2. Compare worldviews of conflict and cooperation.
  3. Demonstrate new skills in transforming conflicts.

Webinar Recording & PDH Certificate

Included with your webinar registration is access to a recording of the program and a fillable certificate to self-report your Professional Development Hour (PDH) credit. Your PDH certificate will be available to download once you complete the registration process and receive your confirmation email. Access to the webinar recording is available on AWRA’s Webinar Center and in the email you’ll receive from “Facilitation Team" following the webinar. 


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