Four Strategic Themes of the Omni-Win Project
I have organized all the features of the Omni-Win universe into a framework consisting of four interrelated (and often indistinguishable) strategic themes. Each theme includes various fields, approaches, and movements. Each of those contains many more focused fields consisting of myriad groups, organizations, and individuals.
We need to be able to communicate across our differences, understand each other, collaborate, and make decisions that can meet everyone’s needs.
We already have the tools; we have the people. How do I know this? From decades in conflict resolution.
Over history, we have had three ways of resolving conflicts.
- Rights (Laws)
Power is simple: Whoever’s the most powerful wins.
We came up with laws and a rights-based way of resolving conflict. Here, we see what legislators wrote down, and that decides who wins and who loses. The great thing about rights and laws is that they’re universal and theoretically apply to everyone.
The problem with rights and laws? Well, there are three:
- There are still winners and losers
- People. inpower usually make them
- We’re never going to get them nuanced enough to deal with people’s various experiences: We cannot refine them enough to cover each eventuality.
Interest-based thinking is “What is in your interest right now in this context?” We need a specific conversation about the issues at hand. With a facilitator or a mediator, you can figure out an answer.
We need to recognize our interconnectedness to escape separation and rivalry. We can trace the idea of separation back to the Enlightenment, the Fertile Crescent, and even the origins of civilization. Both recent science and old-time spirituality show that we are interconnected. We are all one. That is an indisputable truth.
Lifting up the importance of each of us being a sovereign individual can help us escape separation and rivalry. While we’re individuals, we’re also in relationship. This generates a dynamic tension that’s always going to be there. So how do we be individuals in relationship?
We need to learn, share, and talk about this within our culture. Escaping the “these guys are good, and these guys are bad” fallacy is a step closer to a better world for everyone. As culture is so deeply embedded in civilization, how can we make our society a better place to live?
Click here to read more about the culture of interconnectedness
Click here to view the frameworks for cultural changes
There are ways to bring in the different stakeholders and the people with interests, even corporations. They can have a piece of this conversation. But, it takes time. It can feel like, “Whoa, we don’t have time to think this issue all the way through. We’re in a hurry. This is urgent!”
Sure, some urgent things need fast decisions. However, the huge issues, including policing, guns, climate, and election laws, need proper focus. If we could have a two-to-four-year-long deliberative conversation about it, we could come up with answers that people were really on board with. We’ve already spent decades debating these things, and we’ll still be debating them in decades if we keep trying to find quick answers.
Click here to read the problems with the current systems.
Click here to read how we can upgrade democratic systems.
We need the individual capacity to:
- Navigate complexity
- Advocate for everyone
- Be in diversity
- Cope with change
But it’s complex. There are many different opinions about the best approach, and there’s so much information. That is an inherent part of being in a pluralistic democracy. There are entire areas of self-help books in libraries and online marketplaces with many types of advice.
It’s also very personal: The advice that works for me might not work for you. We’re all unique, and we’re all starting where we are. That’s the first lesson that I want to share: Each of us needs to assess where we are and where we want to go.
About Duncan Autrey
Duncan is a conflict transformation specialist and a catalyst for cultural change. With lifelong dedication to his work, he has over twenty years of experience in training and professional education.
Duncan has worked with individuals, groups and communities in many arenas and countries. He helps people transform their conflict issues through a variety of conflict management and communication skills.
With an understanding of the fractal nature of conflict, his primary goal is to raise awareness of the many ways that conflict, at all scales, can be transformed into a win/win outcome for everyone involved. Duncan terms this “omni-win.”
Conflict naturally arises through diversity. Our differences are a good thing. We can only improve things for everyone by recognizing our interdependence and challenging our rivalrous ways of thinking. We’re all in this together, so we need to work towards mutually beneficial futures. Fortunately, we already have the tools to accomplish this. The need to change our approach to conflict is increasingly urgent, because the truth is that we all win or we all lose.
Duncan wants to the world to know that we can do this complex dance through life with much more grace and beauty.
“Conflict is always an opportunity; it means we’ve discovered a line straight into someone’s heart.”
Duncan is a leader in the Democracy, Politics and Conflict Engagement Initiative.
He is the creator and source of the Omni-Win Project and host of the Omni-Win Project Podcast.