Search for Common Ground was founded in 1982 in Washington, DC, and the European Centre for Common Ground was established in Brussels in 1995. Both organizations share a vision of transforming how the world deals with conflict -- away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions. To implement this vision, we carry out programs that aim to resolve conflict, and prevent violence.  When we began in 1982, we had two employees and a handful of supporters. Then as now, we were committed to building models showing that even the most difficult problems can be resolved peacefully. Today, we have seventy staff members; thousands of others are involved with our projects; and we have a direct outreach, through media programs, to millions. We sponsor activities on four continents and have offices in nine countries. Above all, we do our work because we believe it makes a difference.We are decentralized, having realized that staff members living on the scene -- immersed in local culture and speaking the language -- are better equipped to oversee programs than people in faraway headquarters. We try to avoid being outsiders who merely drop -- or parachute -- into a conflict. We function as social entrepreneurs who design and implement innovative ways to reframe issues and solve problems.  We appreciate that people and nations will act -- as they always have -- in their perceived best interest. It is our assumption, however, that everyone's best interest is served by win-win solutions that maximize the gain of those with a stake in the outcome.  We are convinced that today's problems -- whether ethnic, environmental, or economic -- are too complex and inter-connected to be settled on an adversarial basis. The earth is simply running out of space, resources, and recuperative capacity to deal with wasteful conflicts. Today, even the mighty -- whether nations, corporations, or interest groups usually lack the power to impose their will. When they try to do so, the result tends to be prolonged conflict and/or gridlock. We believe that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like ours can play a key role in complementing and supplementing the work of governments and international organizations, and that close cooperation improves the chances for successful conflict resolution. Over the years, we have learned how to launch and manage complex projects. In the process, we have assembled a first-rate staff and outstanding board members. Search for Common Ground, 1601 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009 USA, Phone: 202/265-4300, Fax: 202/232-6718, General E-mail: .  European Centre for Common Ground  , Avenue de Tervuren, 94, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, Phone: 32-2/736-7262, Fax: 32-2/732-3033
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1998.  Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
The Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
Last update:  20 Oct 2000