$150 – $250

Collaborating for a Shared Purpose

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Africana Studies and Research Center

310 Triphammer Road

Ithaca, NY 14850

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Event description


Collaborating for a Shared Purpose: One thought, one conversation, one meeting at a time

November 2 & 3, 2018

This workshop will take place over two full days (10am-6pm). Participants can choose to attend both days or just one. Cost includes lunch and snacks: $150 for one day or $250 for both days.

Led by Miki Kashtan, PhD, from the Center for Efficient Collaboration and BayArea NonViolent Communication, and Uma Lo, Center for Efficient Collaboration

While most of us are inspired by the idea of collaborating meaningfully with others and contributing together to a purpose larger than ourselves, we also tend to distrust that this is actually possible – whether it's across lines of authority, cultural or class differences, or even with members of our own teams. This 2-day workshop is about helping us find the inner strength and the tools that can support us in bringing the spirit of collaboration to our work and life, one thought, one conversation, and one meeting at a time.

What exactly will we consider?

  • Why systems matter – and what groups, communities, and organizations can do to encourage collaboration

  • What it is about power relations that makes collaboration less likely – and what we can do to form human relationships across those power differences;

  • How collaboration can improve decision-making and deliver more robust outcomes with a lot of buy-in;

  • Ways we can support our own and others' sense of choice when we engage in new ways; and

  • Tips to help us notice our own internal blocks to collaboration – and transcend them.

If you are working with anyone on any project – from social change work to a workplace initiative to making your family function for everyone’s benefit –you are likely to leave this workshop with specific, practical tools and approaches for establishing an environment that supports collaboration for a shared purpose.

Specifically, this workshop is designed to focus on:

  • How to remain open to collaboration while holding on to what's important to you;

  • Skills and practices that can enable you to engage with conflict collaboratively;

  • Tips designed to enable teams to function more effectively and harmoniously;

  • Ways you might reclaim the benefits of collaboration for your group or organization.

Workshop schedule and content: we start at 10am and end by 6pm each day

Friday Morning: Supporting a Culture of Collaboration

However much we individually dedicate ourselves to collaboration, we cannot singlehandedly transform a culture and make it more collaborative. This requires attention and change at the systemic level. Collaboration rests on finding effective ways of attending to multiple needs. Its full benefits require aligning all systems with the principle of focusing on needs and purpose at all levels. On Friday morning, we plan to focus on creating collaborative systems in 5 areas (decision-making, resource allocation, information flow, feedback loops, and conflict resolution) based on shared purpose and values.

Friday Afternoon: Creating and Sustaining Strong Teams

Sometimes strong, vibrant teams are simply miracles. More often, though, they are an accomplishment that emerges from implementing key practices that make collaboration productive and generative. Sadly, many teams lack both the commitment and the skills for taking on complex group issues, leaving teams vulnerable to power play, hidden competition, and plain old ineffectiveness. Meetings turn into a waste of time, and work is mostly done by individuals on their own – with only formal nods to collaboration. On Friday afternoon, we plan to focus on team-wide collaboration, including attending to power differences.

Saturday Morning: The Inside Job of Collaboration

Although we are evolutionarily designed for collaborating with others when attending to our basic needs, the weight of the systems and cultural messages we have inherited interfere. Many of us are doubtful that collaboration is possible or effective, and most of us lack both the faith and the skills to live collaboratively, regardless of cultural imperatives. On Saturday morning, we plan to focus on cultivating a collaborative orientation regardless of the systemic context.

Saturday Afternoon: The Building Blocks of Dialogue

One of the reasons why collaboration is the exception rather than the norm is because so many of us don't know how to work through differences effectively – even when we want to. Often, and especially in work environments, we encounter a general perception that conflict or disagreement is a problem, an individual failure, or bad luck. We also lack skills that would enable us to transform stuck moments into generative, mutually beneficial outcomes. We know we want to tell the truth, yet don't know how; we know we need to hear from others, yet don't know how to do that well while holding on to what's important to us. On Saturday afternoon, we will focus on dialogue and collaboration, including basic feedback giving and receiving.

About Miki Kashtan

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and Lead Collaboration Consultant at the Center for Efficient Collaboration. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using collaborative tools based on the principles of Nonviolent Communication. She shares these tools through meeting facilitation, mediation, consulting, coaching, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her latest book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working together to Create a Nonviolent Future (2015) explores the practices and systems needed for a collaborative society. Miki blogs at The Fearless Heart and her articles have appeared in the New York Times ("Want Teamwork? Encourage Free Speech"), Tikkun, Waging Nonviolence, Shareable, Peace and Conflict, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.


This workshop is organized by the Center for Transformative Action in collaboration with Communication Matters.


1. What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?


Friday: The Africana Center has limited parking on Friday. Visitors must park in the six designated guest spaces. Please note that one of the spaces is specifically designated for those visitors who need accessible parking. All visitors parking in guest parking must sign the parking register located on the door to Room 103.

If the guest spaces are full, visitors should park at the nearest Parkmobile site, Hurlburt House (Ecology House), at 111 Country Club Road, directly behind the Africana Center. Please visit the Parkmobile website for more information.

Saturday: All the spaces in the Africana Center's parking lot are available on Saturday. There is overflow parking at the Hurlburt House (Ecology House,) 111 Country Club Road, directly behind the Africana Center.


Many TCAT buses stop near the Africana Studies & Research Center. The #81 and #82 stops at the corner of Triphammer and Jessup. The #32 will make an on demand stop outside of the building. Click here for more information on TCAT. Please note that the academic year and summer bus schedules are different for your planning purposes.

Africana has bike racks near the main entrance.

Africana is about a 15 minute walk from Day Hall.

2. What time should I arrive and when does the day end?

We will begin each day at 10am and finish by 6pm. Please arrive on time, factoring in enough travel time plus time to find parking, if relevant.

3. Will food be provided?

Yes, we will be serving a full lunch as well as snacks and beverages throughout the day. You are also welcome to bring your own food, although we do not have access to refrigeration.

4. How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please contact Anke Wessels at akw7@cornell.edu or 607-255-6202

5. When do ticket sales end?

The last day to buy ticket is October 26th.

6. What's the refund policy?

Complete refunds will be provided up to 30 days before the event start date.

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Date and Time


Africana Studies and Research Center

310 Triphammer Road

Ithaca, NY 14850

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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