On Monday 17th August 2020, Forward Thinking facilitated an online workshop with Professor Alain Lempereur – the second in an ongoing series of capacity-building opportunities for political leaders in Palestine.

The workshop focused on how to prepare for negotiations. Professor Lempereur emphasised the importance of internal planning and preliminary discussions before entering into talks. Through comprehensive preparation, negotiators will have a greater sense of, will be more adaptable to change and will have the capacity to explore different possibilities rather than sticking with one position.

During a simulation exercise the participants were encouraged to develop their key objectives before engaging in discussions with the other side. The group had a limited time to both prepare and negotiate, thus highlighting the importance of adaptability and prioritisation for making progress. There is often a tendency to focus only on ‘problems’ prior to and during talks, however building constructive relationships with others and mapping out a process for reaching long-term agreements are also of fundamental importance.

Professor Alain Lempereur is the Professor and Director of the Conflict Resolution and Coexistence Programme (COEX) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Police and Management. He is an affiliated faculty and executive committee member of the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. Over the last 25 years Alain has conducted consultative missions and training for several international organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, and national governments on conflict reconciliation.