Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

From Conflict to Convergence: Coming Together to Solve Tough Problems

From Conflict to Convergence Book Cover

From Conflict to Convergence: Coming Together to Solve Tough Problems delivers an incisive, hands-on guide to de-escalating conflict and constructively engaging with others to find better solutions to problems. Full of real-life stories and examples, this book provides tried and tested strategies to help a wide array of people negotiate and navigate seemingly intractable conflicts. You’ll learn how to find “higher ground” or “mutual gain” solutions that meet the needs of even conflicting groups and people, which in turn can set the stage for longer term cooperation.  The book’s primary goal is to inspire and equip people to be effective collaborative problem-solvers and leaders.

Perfect for business and organizational leaders, board members, community and religious leaders, public servants, mediators, and anyone else looking to find, or help others find, common ground with people with differing views and perspectives, From Conflict to Convergence also speaks to concerned citizens looking for concrete pathways to lessen troubling divides in their workplaces, their communities, and society at large. From Conflict to Convergence is being touted as a must-read resource for an increasingly combative and conflicted world.

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The Authors

Rob founded Convergence in 2009 and served as its first CEO until 2020. He has spent over 45 years bridging policy differences and moving important public policy solutions forward in Washington DC, working for Congress, in the Executive Branch, and in leading non-profit organizations.

Mariah is a seasoned consensus-builder with decades of experience in bringing people together to solve critical issues, with expertise spanning assessment, design, facilitation, mediation, collaborative processes, dialogue, public engagement best practices, restorative justice, and program development.

“Nothing could be more needed in these conflicted times than the practice of collaborative problem-solving. In this eminently practical guide, based on decades of successful experience organizing dialogues on charged public issues, Rob Fersh and Mariah Levison present a series of valuable lessons illustrated with powerful and inspiring stories. Highly recommended!”

—William Ury,
Co-author, Getting to Yes; Author, Possible: How We Survive (and Thrive) in this Age of Conflict
“Rob Fersh and Mariah Levison have provided a critical and practical guide on how to renew our democracy. Our forefathers designed a system of governing that is dependent on leadership, collaboration, and consensus. Unfortunately, because of deep political polarization, our nation has lost the ability to solve problems effectively. This book is an essential antidote to gridlock and dysfunction. It is intended to inspire people in the various sectors of our society to get back to the job of building trust, relationships, and consensus in order to save our democracy. Like the authors, I have experienced Washington at its best. We know what works. The lessons are in this book.”

—Leon E. Panetta,
Former Secretary of Defense
“Brimming with expertise, realistic hope, and practical strategies for engaging in the collaborative problem-solving we sorely need today. The breadth of the authors’ experiences with different groups and issues is astonishing. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro at group problem-solving, there is something important for you in this beautifully written book.”

—William J. Doherty,
PhD, Professor, University of Minnesota; Cofounder of Braver Angels
“The authors offer tested and proven strategies for necessary but difficult work. They understand that attending to relationships and developing trust are the core of collaborative problem-solving. This is, ultimately, a book about leadership.”

—Becky Pringle,
President, National Education Association
“Democracy requires hard work, moderation, compromise, self-discipline, and, most importantly, a shared respect for the thoughts and lives of all of us. What happens to our republic if we cannot genuinely talk to or listen to each other, if we do not respect each other, if we will not fairly consider the thoughts of each other, if we cannot reason with each other, and, ultimately, if we do not trust each other? The inescapable answer is that we will not long live in freedom and into the abyss will stride the ghost of tyranny.

From Conflict to Convergence sheds light on another path to the future: one that recalls the values and virtues of our democracy as it guides us through collaborative problem-solving on contentious policy issues to the creation of solutions of mutual gain serving the larger public good. In these troubling times of tumult and turmoil, nothing could be better than that!”

—Marc Racicot,
Former Governor of Montana; Former Republican National Committee Chairman
“Helping others cooperate across their differences is essential to the strength of our diverse democracy, and this book will teach you how to be the kind of leader who can do just that. Written by two stars in the field, with clear frameworks and compelling stories, it is an essential text for our polarized times.”

—Eboo Patel,
Founder and President, Interfaith America; Author of We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy
“Five-star stunning! Fersh and Levison have given our world a powerful gift, and just when we all need it the most. Their expertise and wisdom gently guide us, step by step, through the why, what, and how of collaborative problem-solving with a crystal-clear and practical process that we can actually apply to our own lives and work. I will be recommending this ground-breaking book to every single leader I know!”

—Roxi Bahar Hewertson,
CEO, Highland Consulting Group, Inc.; Author of Hire Right, Fire Right: A Leader’s Guide to Finding and Keeping Your Best People and Lead Like It Matters…Because It Does/em>
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