Keystone’s Common Higher Ground Workshop helps professionals in all sectors develop strategies and build skills for effective decision-making and problem-solving within and beyond their organizations.

Many pressing problems cannot be solved sustainably by one person or party. The workshop is designed for leaders and emerging leaders who need to build a shared vision in the face of apparent differences, whether within a single organization, between organizations, within a community, or across society.

Participants will learn collaborative skills and strategies to increase effectiveness at reaching across silos, convening effective teams, and listening and responding to colleagues, constituents, communities, and other stakeholders. The workshop features learning and practice for each crucial stage of collaborative decision-making, and guides participants in building a toolkit of responses to difficult or sensitive situations.

By the end of this workshop, participants should:

  1. Feel confident in assessing whether a problem is appropriate for collaboration, and in discerning whose participation is necessary for success.
  2. Know how to prepare for a challenging discussion and be ready for a range of potential outcomes.
  3. Feel practiced at generating and refining options on the way to workable solutions.
  4. Have a toolkit of strategies to deal with difficult personalities and tactics, and to work through impasses and misunderstandings.
  5. Understand common breakdowns in communication and professional relationships and how to get them back on track.

For more information about the Common Higher Ground Workshop, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop in your area, contact Jonathan Geurts, jgeurts@keystone.org, (970) 760-0720.

Brad Sperber

Brad Sperber is a Senior Policy Director at Keystone Policy Center, providing expertise in collaborative decision-making — including facilitation, mediation, public and stakeholder engagement, and issue assessment — locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. He has more than 20 years of experience designing and facilitating dialogue and research processes that assist public, civic, and private sector organizations in solving complex shared problems. His project experience spans public health and healthcare, education, human rights, agriculture, energy, and the environment.  Clients include the Pacific Island Health Officers Association, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Asian Development Bank, and the Louisiana Department of Education.  He holds a M.Div from Harvard University and a B.A. in history and religion from St. Olaf College.

Jonathan Geurts

Jonathan Geurts is a Senior Project Manager at Keystone.  His focus on public and private land management has connected agricultural supply chains – from farmer to retailer – on sustainability principles, engaged communities on joint needs for adjacent public lands, and helped land and water planners problem solve for a water scarce future. He holds a M.A. in conflict resolution from the University of Denver.

About Keystone Policy Center

Keystone Policy Center is a trusted non-profit organization founded in 1975 to drive actionable, shared solutions to contentious agriculture, environment, energy, education, and public health issues. Keystone is recognized by public, private, and civic-sector leaders throughout the United States for independent, collaborative problem-solving approaches that offer a proven blueprint for progress and collective impact.  Keystone’s trainers have tested theory with years of real-world experience building multi-sector collaboratives and facilitating public engagement.