Destructive Conflict Is As Big a Threat to Human Society as Global Warming. What Can Be Done About It? How Can a Web-Based Learning Community Help?
Guy Burgess earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado in 1979. He then did postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for several years as public policy conflict consultant. In 1988, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, he established, with his wife and partner Heidi, the University of Colorado Conflict Information Consortium, which they have co-directed ever since.
With its primary focus on intractable conflict, the Consortium has pioneered efforts to use rapidly-advancing information technologies to provide citizens from all walks of life with the information that they need in order to deal with difficult conflicts more constructively. The Consortium sees such efforts to enhance and mobilize the skills of the general population as critical to efforts to deal with complex, society-wide conflicts.
This work, which dates back to the earliest days of the Internet, has now led to the posting of new versions of CRInfo: The Conflict Resolution Information Source (www.crinfo.org) and Beyond Intractability, the website of the Intractable Conflict Knowledge Base Project (www.beyondintractability.org) plus the Consortium's latest and most ambitious system: the Governance Commons (www.governancecommons.org). These systems, which were constructed with the help of more than 400 experts, offer coverage of over 600 conflict topics (often with succinct, executive summary-type articles as well as links to recommended Web, print, and audiovisual sources of more in-depth information). Also available are over 100 hours of online interviews, featuring more than 70 distinguished scholars and practitioners, and comprehensive bibliographies with more than 20,000 citations.