PATHWAYS TO A SHARED SOCIETY:Teaching Creative, Interest-Based Negotiation in Israel

Rational Games would like to take the occasion of the last blog of 2020 to introduce our newest grantee, PATHWAYS Institute for Negotiation Education
Founded by Avi Goldstein in 2015, this independent nonprofit is active in Israel, teaching a dynamic, playful version of the Harvard method of negotiation and conflict resolution to hundreds of high school students and educators a year from diverse Jewish and Arab communities.  So, they are philosophically “right up our alley” and we welcome them indeed to the RGI family.

Pathways operates in partnership with the English language department in the Israeli education system and serves a wide range of “clients”, focusing on partnering with school systems to systematically bring negotiation education to twinned Jewish and Arab school pairs and creating a growing community of educators (now numbering over two-hundred) who are committed to values-based negotiation education, ongoing learning, and intercommunal exchange.  Their program offers professional development credits for teachers from the Ministry of Education, and teachers can profit from more advanced “Master Classes” with international experts.  The international facilitator team has impeccable credentials and is located not only in Israel.

All program facilitation and teaching is highly experiential and, these days, mostly on Zoom. In 90 minute “Game Changers” virtual workshops, participants learn to transcend mindsets of suspicion and scarcity, stop cycles of recrimination, resentment and violence and instead learn the skills of empathy, curiosity, creativity, teamwork and fairness.  By embedding the approach within the educational system, Pathways is nurturing a larger “community of practice” of educators who can support one another and positively influence society through their classrooms and schools.  Larger stakeholders include the Municipality of Haifa, as well as various foreign embassies and foundations.

In addition to our very modest financial contribution, RGI is exploring various ways to engage with Pathways:  I will offer a free Master Class on games and negotiation, we will attend a course as guest participant, as appropriate, and will also advise on curriculum development and impact measurement.   In addition, through our Kangaroo project, we will make targeted introductions for Pathways to larger funders and investors who can help in a much larger way.

We also hope to learn from Pathways, especially on how to take the idea of playful Win-Win negotiation out of the corporate classroom and apply it to a context with issues that really matter.  So that is a win-win for us as well.

Welcome, Pathways!  Comments welcome.