Founded in 1997, the Meridian Institute is dedicated to helping people involved in society's toughest issues solve problems and make informed decisions. At Meridian Institute, they design and facilitate collaborative solutions to some of society’s most complex and controversial issues. In addition, Meridian offers expert administrative and meeting logistics services, as well as the creative and appropriate application of information technology tools, to support the projects.
Meridian Institute helps people solve problems, make informed decisions, and craft solutions to address society’s most complex and controversial issues. They accomplish this by designing and applying collaborative approaches, including facilitation, mediation and strategic consultation.
Meridian’s professionals have decades of hands-on experience working on these topics. They bring objectivity to controversial and contentious topics, advocating only for an outcome based on collaborative problem solving. The people they work with value the roles as neutral third parties who encourage fairness, inclusiveness and respect for diverse viewpoints.
Multi-Party Problem Solving
Meridian Institute brings together diverse stakeholders to identify and solve problems of mutual interest. These multi-party processes range from one-time information exchange workshops to in-depth, multi-meeting processes. Examples include:
Expert working groups and assessment processes
Public-private partnerships and institutions
Site-specific, community-based collaborations
Technology development and innovation processes
Strategy Assessment and Planning
Meridian helps public, private, and nongovernmental organizations understand political trends, stakeholder perspectives, and internal dynamics and priorities to aid in developing focused strategies and improving internal decisions. They offer an array of services to individual institutions, including:
Strategy development and revision
Information collection, synthesis, and dissemination
Facilitation of external advisory groups
Leadership in the Theory and Practice of Collaboration
The professionals have more than three decades of experience designing and implementing collaborative problem-solving approaches and are well-known as leaders in the field. They make it a priority to participate in furthering the use of collaborative approaches throughout society. For example, they:
Speak at conferences and educational institutions
Contribute the insights and case examples to researchers
Convene and facilitate reflective workshops and conferences
Serve on advisory panels in the field
Meridian Institute offers three daily news services— AGree: Transforming Food and Ag Policy, Food Security and Ag-Biotech News, and Food Security and Ag-Biotech News (French). These news services, which are available free of charge via e-mail, RSS news feed, and online, provide succinct summaries of articles from peer-reviewed journals, international news wires, and a variety of publications from industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations. Food Security and Ag-Biotech News covers global developments relating to agriculture and food security, with a strong emphasis on issues related to the controversy over agricultural biotechnology. These news services are examples of the unique and useful tools and strategies developed by Meridian Institute to help people solve problems and make informed decisions.
Information Technology Services
Meridian Institute provides information technology services in support of the projects. Applications of information technology are tailored to meet the communication, information, and data management needs of the clients and projects. With these innovative tools, they can design the most appropriate and cost-effective strategy for meeting a project’s objectives, using both online and traditional face-to-face settings.
Meridian has the ability to support projects with the following IT tools and services.
Publicly available project websites that include document libraries, contact lists, calendars, discussion forums, media support (e.g., photo galleries and streaming video), links to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, RSS feeds, listservs, wikis, polling tools, and more.
Collaboration portals for project participants using SharePoint. These portals have the same functionality as the websites described above, but in a password-protected environment, so project participants can share draft documents and work together collaboratively online.
Online dialogue capabilities that enable dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of people to engage in dialogue. These tools enable broad engagement and dialogue beyond what would be possible through traditional face-to-face meetings.
Additional tools such as online surveys, online forms for providing input (e.g., on draft documents), “mind-mapping” techniques, real-time voting tools, and web-supported teleconferences.
Logistical and Meeting Planning Services
Expert logistical support is integral to efficient and effective meetings. Meridian has extensive experience providing complex logistical and administrative support for domestic and international meetings. The support services include:
Developing administrative procedures to ensure the efficient operation of each project and its meeting needs
Locating meeting space, anywhere in the world, that is appropriate to meeting objectives
Securing space, food, lodging, and transportation for meetings
Assisting with the development and distribution of background materials and logistical information to meeting participants
Developing and maintaining participant databases
Providing on-site meeting support
Where is Meridian Institute