The Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory (NCRC) is becoming a global hub for climate change negotiations and environmental conflict.

NCRC aims to be:

  1. An education hub and continually develop research-based teaching toolkits and curriculum materials for in-person and online teaching.
  2. A provider for accessible education, offering resources for free (or exceptionally at low cost) to support learners and empower educators worldwide.

NCRC aims to be:

  1. A central exchange point where students, practitioners, and academics come together to discuss how research can inform practice, and how practice can inform research.
  2. A trusted convener where climate practitioners can engage in candid conversations to accelerate progress towards sustainable solutions.

NCRC aims to be:

  1. A provider of accessible (both free and low cost) online education, focusing on training youth practitioners from underprivileged and marginalized communities in climate change negotiations, environmental negotiations, and environmental conflict, democratizing access to essential knowledge and skills.

Empowering Young Climate Professionals for a Brighter Tomorrow: 'Turn the Tide' 

We aim to break barriers and transform the climate action landscape. We work with youth negotiators predominantly from vulnerable countries to help them make a real impact. Last year we trained and coached over 300 youth negotiators virtually. Self-paced learning elements combined with real-time coaching allows for us to act in virtually all time zones across the planet.

Empower, Inspire, and Connect the Future Climate Leaders

  • Empower young leaders for immediate impact.
  • Foster reflective work practices early in their careers.
  • Connect the next generation of decision-makers.

With climate negotiators, for climate negotiators

We believe in teamwork. Our program was developed in collaboration with top university faculty and climate negotiators. We've joined forces with:

  • Emerging professionals to pinpoint what's missing for them and what's needed.
  • Seasoned experts to share valuable career lessons and wisdom.
  • Academics to develop the best pedagogical approach.

The learning journey participants go through integrates skill-building and a deep grasp of complex multi-party negotiations, particularly in the climate policy arena. We begin with core negotiation principles, shedding light on the intricacies specific to climate negotiations. Our focus: unravel the complexities of hundreds of parties forming historically rooted, cross-cutting coalitions in the UN process. Participants gain a holistic understanding of effective negotiation strategies and acquire specific skills to navigate this challenging terrain.

Work with partners to leverage what each can do best

Great capacity building programs exist. Most focus on training people in knowing the process—how and by whom are decisions being made?—as well as knowing the substance—what are we negotiating? These aspects are critical, yet they are not enough. People need to know how to exert influence. And they need access to decision-making tables.

To maximize our impact, we work with other organizations who grant youth negotiators access as well as knowledge and provide targeted skill-building training to those.

The below graph summarizes the needed skills and highlights in red the focus of the NCRC program.

Focus of NCRC program


Collaborate to Empower Youth

We train and coach young negotiators who negotiate on behalf of their countries at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties as well as youth civil society leaders, activists and organizers predominantly from the most vulnerable countries. We collaborate with organizations such as the Youth Climate Champion of the COP28 Presidency, the Climate Youth Negotiator Programme, the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School, and the Climate Reality Project.

Work with next generation climate leaders at the Harvard Kennedy School: ‘Boiling Point’ 

“Boiling Point” is a highly interactive workshop series designed to build leadership and negotiation skills to drive action on climate change, which will take place in Spring 2024.

Applications will open in January 2024.

There are no formal prerequisites to take the workshop, but experience and familiarity with international climate change are an asset.

Boiling Point is designed for highly motivated and committed currently enrolled HKS students and selection requires an application process. The application process is now open. For questions regarding Boiling Point or the application process, please contact the Collaboratory at  

Rand Wentworth is the Louis and Gabrielle Bacon Senior Fellow in Environmental Leadership and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received the Manuel C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2021 and served on the faculty of the Senior Executive Fellows from 2017-2019. Wentworth also serves as president emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance, a national federation with 1000 land trusts, 13,000 board members and6.3 million members. He served as president from 2002-2016 and is widely recognized for expanding the pace and quality of land conservation in America.

Monica Giannone is the Director of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is also an Instructor and teaches two negotiation courses for graduate students. The Collaboratory's work seeks to innovate at the intersection of negotiation and public leadership by bringing together academics and scholars with front line negotiators to produce research, trainings and workshops, and increase the capacity of public leaders to better negotiate, overcome difficult situations, and collaborate across difference.  Monica is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the Management Division at Babson College and teaches negotiation in the M.B.A. program. Monica’s current areas of work focus on international climate negotiations, overcoming partisan divide in U.S. legislatures, negotiation in cities and local government, value-based conflict, situations of low-power, and gender and negotiation.

Anselm Dannecker is a Fellow at the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and a Part Time Lecturer at Northeastern University College of Professional Studies. Dannecker focuses on complex multistakeholder negotiations in international finance, climate change, and European politics. Dannecker’s approach to negotiation is grounded in game theory and behavioral sciences. Currently, he is leading a project to explore how findings from other fields can be leveraged for negotiating effectively. As a Coach for the Kennedy School Negotiation Project, Dannecker has worked with individuals in targeted one-on-one settings on understanding default behavioral patterns in negotiation settings and improving individual negotiation performance. Dannecker has trained and consulted clients from various sectors, including European legislators and international climate NGOs.

Q: How does this seminar compare to IGA-455? 
A: There is some cross over. The workshop is focused on climate negotiations (as opposed to broader environmental negotiations) and the stakeholder interests that constrain international climate negotiations. It is just two days and is not for credit. We use MIT’s En-Roads platform to test how various actions will affect the global temperature at the end of the century.  IGA-455 covers a broader range of environmental issues and focuses on three core leadership skills: Persuasion, Advocacy and Negotiation. The flagship simulation is also run in IGA-455 but we have a mechanism in place to prevent too much overlap.

  • Train Civil Society Youth for COP28
    We collaborate with the Youth Climate Champion of this year’s COP Presidency to train 100 civil society youth (predominantly from Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Nations) who will attend this year’s COP to represent young civil society from the most vulnerable countries.
  • Train Youth Country Negotiators for COP28
    We collaborate with the Climate Youth Negotiator Program to train 100 Youth Country Delegates who will negotiate on behalf of their countries and this year’s COP.
  • Train Latin American Country Negotiators for COP28
    We collaborate with the Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and the Climate Reality Project to train 60 early-career delegates from various Latin American countries.
  • and many more…

The curriculum follows a learning arc of

  1. Building negotiation fundamentals;
  2. Appreciating climate-specific sources of complexity and how they inhibit the enacting of negotiation best practices;
  3. Learning the advanced skills to master negotiation complexity.

Re 1) Negotiation fundamentals focus on seminal concepts with a particular focus on helping people understand and build the skills of moving out of a zero-sum negotiation mindset or a “haggling” approach to negotiations and into a negotiation mindset that focuses on collaboration to find mutually beneficial solutions. 

Re 2) Climate specific sources of complexity are clustered into three buckets:

  1. Complexity that is inherent in negotiations climate as the subject area (incl. e.g., the zero-sum nature of mitigation negotiations, fundamental uncertainty, lags between action and impact, etc.),
  2. Complexity that is typical of all complex multiparty negotiations (e.g., creating a process to get >100 countries to agree, dealing with coalition-building, and negotiating hundreds of issues simultaneously), and
  3. Complexity arising from the way in which the UNFCCC governance was set up (e.g., the fact that coalitions are often historical rather than determined by interests, the fact that there are few enforcement mechanisms, etc.).

Re 3) Advanced skills are clustered into the three buckets; the skills to master

  1. Process complexity: How do you exert influence in a PROCESS that unites >190 countries and often more than 70,000 people who are forced to exchange information following rigid rules and strict plenary protocols?
  2. Relationship complexity: How do you deal with the impact of coalitions? How do you build coalitions and manage potential counter-coalitions?
  3. Substance complexity: How do you effectively negotiate hundreds of detailed technical and political issues simultaneously?

NCRC learning arc graphical overview


Module I: Fundamentals

Session 1

Workshop Introduction + Cultivating Practices for Lifelong Learning

Norm-setting and outlining the overall training arc
Understanding the importance of and cultivating practices for deliberate preparation, feedback, debriefing and reflection
Session 2

Negotiation Fundamentals: Distributive Negotiations, Integrative Negotiations and Two-Party Dynamics

Cultivating basic negotiation vocabulary, understanding the critical difference between distributive, integrative and mixed-motive negotiations, understanding and applying basic principles of value creation and value claiming
Session 3 Negotiation Simulation: Frequency of Greenhouse Gas Reporting
Negotiation simulation


Module 2: Advanced

Process Session 4

When Process is Substance: The Importance of How to Negotiate
Case discussion: Bad COP and Not Much Copenhagen

Why was Copenhagen once deemed a “diplomatic disaster of epic proportions”? What can we generalize from these experiences about what an effective negotiations process looks like? How do formal negotiation settings differ from informal settings? How can processes be designed to allow for interest-based negotiations?
  Session 5

When Process is Substance II: The Importance of How to Negotiate
Case discussion: Towards a New Climate Alliance: The Cartagena Dialogue

How do formal negotiation settings differ from informal settings? How can processes be designed to allow for interest-based negotiations? How to transfer ideas from the informal process to the formal one.

  Session 6

Navigating various sources of complexity
Negotiation simulation: The Mercury Negotiation

Substance Session 7

Negotiating Text and Participating Effectively
Guest lecture + negotiation simulation

How to employ text-based negotiation strategies to overcome gridlock?
Relationships Session 8

Coalitions in the Climate Change Regime
Negotiation Simulation: Plastic Pollution?

How are coalitions in the climate change different from other fields? How to build power through coalitions? How to build winning and blocking coalitions?
  Session 9

Navigating relationship networks to build coalitions
Case discussion: Sequencing for Sequestering: Negotiating REDD+

How do we really connect with others? How do we understand the context that shapes the way others act and hear us? What does research tells us about our capacity to really understand others? How can we practice and cultivate key skills of inquiry and listening?
  Session 10

Cultivating Relationships: Inquiry & Listening
Negotiation Exercises: Listen to Coal

How do we really connect with others? How do we understand the context that shapes the way others act and hear us? What does research tells us about our capacity to really understand others? How can we practice and cultivate key skills of inquiry and listening?
  Session 11

Negotiating on Behalf of Others with Others I
Negotiation simulation: Disaster in Tuvalu

How do we effectively deal with the problem of sequencing country-internal and external negotiations? How are good negotiation mandates structured? How can those be carried out in teams?
  Session 12

Negotiating on Behalf of Others with Others II + Program wrap
Negotiation simulation: Disaster in Tuvalu

How do we effectively deal with the problem of sequencing country-internal and external negotiations? How are good negotiation mandates structured? How can those be carried out in teams?
  Session 13

Pulling it All Together
On the ground full day negotiation simulation






Learning how to be a reflective practitioner

Participants will follow a set of procedures for each exercise, including effective preparation, debriefing, and giving and receiving feedback. These will follow a set methodology that is introduced during the first session. Moreover, they will journal about their experiences in simulations and case discussions and will share their reflections in small teams.

Community Building Exercises

Most sessions will start with mixed small group reflections and short exercises designed for participants to get to know and build trust with each other.