Tag Archives: conflict

What are the Prospects?

Ok so if you read any of my posts you know that next term I’m supposed to graduate, with my second Master’s.  Yes the first was in Journalism and was a while ago.

But what’s next?

For me, that would be a job in the field of Conflict Resolution.  Now before you here look for a list of jobsites, don’t.  You can do that on your own.  And no, I’m not going to tell you the intricacies of what Human Resource Departments look for either.  For that inside look read this very good blog.

No.

I’m going to look at the entire Field of CR and see what’s trending, by heading here, to Indeed.com.  Sure it’s a jobsite but that’s not it’s real power.  What it can show you are industry trends, like this, based on number of jobs.  And for the good industries you wan the graph to slope UP to the right.  Holding steady is ok, but you don’t want to see this, which means a shrinking field of jobs, and more competition per spot.

Another source of job information is here, and is worth a look.

As with any charts pay attention to the scales you see.  Not all are the same so the lines can be misleading, look here for a fuller description.

As for me?  This looks pretty good — but looking closer it doesn’t seem that there are many jobs to start with.  At least it’s not as sporadic as this job is.

But don’t think that staring at your screen will get you that job either.  You’ve heard it all before, get out and make contacts, then try some of these ideas to leverage them into what you seek.  Though I hate to say it, my dad was right, “it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.”  And that’s the trick.

As for me?  Well the future seems pretty good, at least according to this article.

But I have a lot of hands still  to shake…

What do you think?

Building A Narrative – How to tell a story?

With all the training and effort it takes to research and write a good cogent story, I felt conflicted when I was asked to pull together several tweets into a more complete story.  With so many bits of information how could I do that?

Enter Storify, a tool that can compile tweets and other materials into a cohesive story, like this.  My efforts have not been as polished, but then I learned that you can embed videos like in this example (which is also the topic of an earlier blog post).

My problem with compiling these tweets and other elements is that to be readable, you have to write some connecting bits.  It’s not bad, but otherwise there’s little direction to the story.

As with any story, no matter the type, there needs to be a goal in mind.  “What is the point?”, and “Who cares?” are important questions to keep in mind as you create the storify.  Otherwise you can lose direction.

Even larger organizations are using this tool, like the UN  and others. But one of the most important uses, from a Conflict Resolution perspective, is how crises can be addressed, like the Typhoon.  Overall though, any curating-type software can use social media information to build a narrative, like these tips suggest.

On a lighter note, educators can and have been using this for a host of reasons.

So as we all go off to enjoy this holiday season, realize that for fun or work, or whatever, you can take all your tweets, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube entries and build readable,  narrative.  Just be aware of some of the pitfalls.

What do you think?

Studying Peace – Hands on?

Next term is my last in the NECR Program here at Columbia, assuming it all goes well.  And as I gear up for my Capstones, that also seems to have me looking at alternatives and playing “what if.”

“What if I want to learn about Peace, or Conflict Resolution but don’t want (or can’t) to do all the work?”

I was thinking about this (yes really, and it might have to do with working on final papers…) riding the subway from school, and realized there are alternatives.  Sure there are certificate courses that can add value to existing degrees, like the one here on Human Rights this summer.  But what about other approaches?

There is this, an online peace building course based in Washington, DC.  Looks pretty good, right?  It’s a beta-test which is why it’s free for now, but it still seems interesting.

For the more determined peace-keeper there’s this institute that has several courses for the United Nations.  Some seem pretty intriguing, and many are online.

Online.  Peace. Peace Studies. Conflict Resolution.  Online.

For me that all seems a little odd, doesn’t it?  Don’t get me wrong, I like online, after all that’s how I’m writing this Blog.  But shouldn’t conflict resolution and peace studies deal with people?  I think so.

Ok, so I’m airing a bias here and perhaps I’m too old-school, but I believe that if you’re going to engage with conflicts and peace in any way, you have to engage with the people involved.

And that can be hard to do through a computer screen.

Computers are great, I love mine, and was amazed at the power of crisis mapping that was the focus of a class we had  as part of my Conflict & Social Networks course (see post on Typhoon Haiyan).  None of that powerful life-changing help can be done without a computer, and it saves lives.

But at some point, I feel one has to be on the ground, breathing the air, shaking hands and being face-to-face with those involved.

If we don’t know who parties to a conflict are, or what they deal with and experience, how can we have a dialogue or help in any meaningful, lasting way?

What do you think?

Swimming in a Sea of Conflict? Microaggressions.

For a recent class project for Advanced Mediation, I had a chance to role-play a Hispanic woman.  Writing the reflection paper afterwards (yes you will do a lot of those here) and compiling the readings and my thoughts I stepped outside my Self….

No I didn’t go anywhere, but had a chance to look at the racial issue from the outside.  There I was, a white male, trying to play the part of a Hispanic female; did I do that effectively?  Not a chance.

Did it open my eyes?  You bet.

With all the readings and exploration of cultural issues, I got it.  I finally got a peek into a world where WHAT you are creates a different landscape of existence.  And if you’re a minority that points to a very different reality and existence than mine.

Mind blowing.

So what might I be doing, that I might not be aware of, that contributes to the existence of these different realities?  these different life-landscapes?

Microaggressions.  Small interactions between people of differing races, genders or cultures that can be seen as aggressive.  And many may be unconsciously performed or reacted to.

Dr. Derald Wing Sue here at Teacher’s College says that “racial microaggression” can be  an “…everyday insult, indignities and demeaning messages sent to people of color by well-intentioned white people who are unaware of the hidden messages being sent to them” (See the full article here).  He also gives several examples in this interview.  For others check out this post.

Critics of Wing’s idea say his theory inhibits interactions between the races rather than a more candid approach (see here).  And there are those who expand on the idea, suggesting microaggressions happen within other groups as well (like here).  Or happen all the time.

Is it a big deal?

This group says it is, and is addressing that question.

As for me, I feel I’ve peeked through a window into something vast, sobering and potentially ugly.  Yet my faith in human nature refuses to believe that we all live in a world full of unconscious put-downs, insults, jabs and conflict.

Then again, perhaps we do.

Either way I’m going to meditate, practice my self-awareness and self-reflection; at least I can change myself.

What do you think?