IDEAS IN MOTIONTeaching “Newcomers” to Negotiate

Every so often, we like to turn the spotlight of this blog on our esteemed RGI grantees.  This month I would like to introduce the very exciting crowdfunding campaign of our partners SINGA Deutschland gUG  in Berlin.

Together with Project Re:Start, this month SINGA is starting a bold new project showcasing 9 “newcomers” in Germany, new arrivals from “refugee” countries, predominantly Syrians, all with entrepreneurial ideas on how to start a new business in their new home.  The list ranges from designers of arts and crafts to street food purveyors to “medical tourists” to a former professor from Damascus looking to set up an online learning platform. A creative pantheon of ideas indeed.

Once the necessary funds from SINGA’S crowdfunding campaign are raised, these nine budding entrepreneurs will be enrolled in an Academy and given hands-on training, mentorship and practical help in getting a start in Germany to make their ideas reality.  In that process, they have much to teach the not-so-entrepreneurial Germans about new ideas, job creation and the gains of taking risk.  The project is well thought out, with convincing KPIs and outcomes.  It deserves support.

I like this project because it is shot through with highly meaningful negotiation.   These  entrepreneurs will be trained in all manner of business development.  In addition to my donation of time to teach fundamentals of negotiation, they will learn about fundraising, design thinking, dealing with government authorities, business planning and pitching, forming strategic partnerships, human resource management  – all practical applications of negotiation which are critical for anyone looking to start a creative new business.

Finally, the project represents a very creative application of one of my favorite teaching topics:  reframing, a key skill in negotiation.   In an inspired twist, “refugees” are freed of their negative image rather rebrand themselves as actors in “motion” – not only away from their home countries but towards new ideas and a new life in Germany.  And in that process, their dynamism pulls the rest of us along.  Great image indeed!

For more information, visit (live from March 10. The crowdfunding campaign goes online on March 21.  To donate (please do), click on  We need your help!

– Dr. Mark Young

P.S. Check out our app, Negotiate!, a fun and interactive game for iPad.