I spent a bit time, not nearly enough yet, this week on trying to identify key themes of this story. Like an archaeology dig, we have lots of puzzle pieces and now it is time to not only fit them together into a comprehensive, cohesive story, but also to mix and match to discover the themes of meaning within that larger story. Themes I have begun to identify can be classified by the three types of satisfaction that Tim emphasized so long ago in our first mediation course: process, substance, emotions.
Under the process heading, I have neutral forum, trained facilitator, bi-state convening, adaptive management, and collaborative learning approach. Substance is probably the most straight forward: erosion, crabs, regional economy, navigation channel, fisheries, mariner safety, and EPA policy. The emotional angle gets more tricky and there are many themes that I intuitively sense, but have not yet been able to articulate. The three I have identified, and that are without a doubt the most important, are listening, trust, and relationship building.
Now with those starting to get down on paper, I leave for Hawaii–see y’all in a month!