Conflict in the public policy arena is inevitable. We live in a highly diverse society where varied interests clash over different policy approaches. How we choose to resolve our disputes is by no means a foregone conclusion. Traditionally, parties look to the courts, the legislature or the press to gain advantage and make their case.

We believe that carefully structured dialogues – mediated or facilitated by skilled third-party neutrals –frequently offer a more effective and durable method to resolve conflicts and build consensus around controversial and often technically complex public policy issues. Agreement-focused facilitation and mediation is our core service.

When stepping into new projects, CONCUR works closely with our clients and the affected parties to gauge the issues and determine the best approach for building agreement. For example: Are the parties needing to reach full consensus, or is it sufficient to build broad support? Does agreement need to be made around a single alternative, or is it preferable to craft a range of options to be considered by high-level decision makers? What are the strategies for making agreements binding?

CONCUR is committed to designing and executing collaborative approaches that build consensus around solutions to controversial environmental, land use and economic development issues. Our nearly 20-year practice spans a broad range of issues, from environmental planning and marine resource protection, to public finance and water resource management. CONCUR’s approach emphasizes the cross-cutting components essential to effective stakeholder and agency collaboration, yet embeds the flexibility required in a one-size-does-not-fit-all world. CONCUR scales its facilitation and mediation teams to the complexity of the case.


CONCUR builds upon its other services as we carry out our work in agreement-focused facilitation and mediation.

Components of CONCUR’s agreement-focused facilitation and mediation services include:

  • Situation/Conflict Assessments to determine whether and under what conditions a dispute would benefit from facilitation or mediation and to understand the complex interests and positions of affected stakeholders.
  • Meeting Facilitation and Meeting Management to assist organizations in effective presentation of technical and scientific information, clearly frame issues for discussion, synthesize key points at regular intervals and move a group toward resolution.
  • Strategic Planning to evaluate the issues under discussion and custom-design processes that foster informed deliberations and build common ground.
  • Joint Fact-finding to help parties pool scientific information to increase technical certainty, save time and money and avoid unnecessary duplication of information.
  • Creating Groundrules and Meeting Agendas to bring clear structure to negotiated processes to reinforce respectful interaction and motivate efficient progress.
  • Developing Key Outcomes Memoranda to succinctly record key points of discussion, agreements, next steps, and assignments.
  • Providing Professional Training to help our clients build more effective environmental negotiation techniques.
  • Facilitating Agreement Drafting and Ratification to ensure the acceptance and implementation of group decisions.