Strait Talk

Brown University

Dedicated to promoting peace across the Taiwan Strait through dialogue. Join us at the founding chapter for our 13th symposium from Thursday, October 19, 2017 to Thursday, October 26, 2017

About Strait Talk: 

Strait Talk is a brilliant and creative idea, all the more remarkable because it is the creation of undergraduates. This project has the potential to build important bridges across a historically tense divide, and it comes at a very auspicious time.
— Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Strait Talk was founded as a nonpartisan organization in 2005 by Brown University undergraduate students to foster peaceful progress and constructive dialogue on Cross Taiwan-Strait Relations by educating, connecting, and inspiring future leaders to seek common ground across the Strait.  Students, scholars, policymakers, journalists, and professionals from mainland China, Taiwan, and the United States come together for a week-long symposium each year at Brown University for private conflict resolution workshops and a series of expert panels.  In search of truly open dialogue, the symposium will preserve freedom of speech while seeking the fullest possible representation of the diverse range of opinions and viewpoints involved.  Strait Talk Brown University is an open forum without a political agenda.


Delegate Experience

Strait Talk Brown University is a week-long symposium.  Accepted delegates will participate in 40+ hours of Interactive Conflict Resolution (ICR) workshops led by Dr. Tatsushi Arai, our facilitator since Strait Talk's founding in 2005, and attend expert panels which have featured speakers such as Richard Boucher, Douglas H. Paal, Richard Bush, and Stephen Young.  The symposium will culminate with presentations at Brown University and another university or think tank.  Delegates will be housed with Strait Talk committee members in Brown University's dormitory complexes.  

After the symposium, delegates will join the community of nearly 200 Strait Talk Brown University alumni and have the opportunity to participate as regional representatives for future Strait Talk delegate recruitment.  


Interactive Conflict Resolution (ICR)

The goal of the ICR workshops is to change the mindsets of the delegates.  The delegates will pledge confidentiality, and workshops will have no observers or records except potentially the Consensus Document.  The first step of ICR is to voice of concerns; participants must come to understand each other’s fears. Our facilitator, Dr. Arai, will encourage delegates to think analytically, not polemically. After a degree of mutual understanding has been achieved, delegates will then formulate solutions to resolve disputes.  Finally, delegates will seek to identify the barriers their solutions may face in implementation. Dr. Arai will assist in coming up with ways to overcome these barriers and plan new confidence-building measures. The delegates will then draft a set of suggestions, the consensus document, for the final presentations.   Every item in the consensus document must be agreed upon by the delegates.  If all 15 delegates agree, the Consensus Document may be released to the public.  

Ultimately, the ICR program will create a multi-national, cross-border community that will continue to dedicate itself to progress on Cross Taiwan-Strait Relations.