Mobilizing the Third Side

William Ury

Director of the Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Q: Major obstacles? Major obstacles to the third side in general, but maybe you can contextualize it in Venezuela?

A: Major obstacles to the third side I think one thing is how do you mobilize it? How do you awaken it? How do you get people to realize the fact that they are third siders? Everyone is a third sider or potential third sider. Everyone has a role to play. And we need a language, third side is trying to give us a language and there may be better languages out there for all I know but we need a way to allow people to - get people to not think, "hey, it's none of my business." It's all of our business because it affects us all. Conflict anywhere right now affects us all, as the United States learned painfully on 9/11. So we all have a stake, and we all have a potential role to play, and to me, that's the great secret we're sitting with. How do you mobilize that or how do you awaken that? The media is a key mechanism. The website. The Web is a key mechanism. But I think we need new inventions for how do you awaken the nascent or latent power of lots of people playing lots of roles in a complex way that actually can work and we actually have examples of it working, like in South Africa or Northern Ireland and we need now to apply it to the other intractable conflicts around the world.