Using the MOOS

Heidi Burgess

Guy M. Burgess

January, 2017


This view gives a "tour" of the various options to view MOOS posts (on the Moving Beyond Intractability and Beyond Intractability sites, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  It also explains how to contribute your own ideas to the discussions.  The material shown here is a video summary of the information also available on the (text-based) "access" page. 

For information about what the MOOS is, why we are creating it, and how you can get involved, please see the companion video "Welcome and Introduction -- and What's a MOOS?"

More About This Seminar

Full Transcript

Hi. This is Heidi Burgess. Here I'd like to explain how to use the Moving Beyond IntractabilityMOOS.

“Using” can mean a couple of things. It can mean reading and watching the videos which we refer to as read-only engagement. Or it can mean contributing your own ideas, which we refer to as read-write contributors. Let's talk about reading and watching first.

The most versatile approach is to go to the Moving Beyond Intractability website--which has two possible URLs:, or the more familiar

On this page you can see everything that is involved in the MOOS. If you know what you're looking for you can go to the Quick Start links and there's links there to just about everything that people are likely to be using frequently.  There's a menu bar at the top that also has such links that isn't shown here.

If you're not familiar with the MOOS, you might want to go over here and read the material under What's A MOOS? And perhaps look at the essays about the underlying theory behind the MOOS that's down here under Intractability and Complexity. You can also read the latest MOOS posts here.

All of the material that's available on the Moving Beyond Intractability homepage is also available on the Beyond Intractability homepage, over on the left-hand side of the page. Again you will see the Quick Start links, all the latest MOOS posts and then you can see the Knowledge Base that's over on the right-hand side of that page. That's the traditional Beyond Intractability and now also CRInfo knowledge bases.

The MOOS is made up of many parts. All of it involves individual posts which are made up of a video, a short synopsis and text of that video, references to any materials that we cite in the video, and a full transcript. Often there are questions to consider and sometimes respond to in the read- write discussion section of the MOOS, and picture credits for all the pictures that were used in the videos.

Sometimes, particularly for the Conflict Fundamentals Seminar, we will be starting with essays instead of videos, but eventually hope to have videos in that seminar as well.

All of the posts are combined so that many posts together will make up seminars and blogs. We have two big seminars: The Conflict Frontier Seminar is the one that we envisioned originally as being the only seminar we were going to have. This is looking at frontier of the field issues, things that we really don't know very much or not enough about -- why conflicts remain intractable.

The other one is called the Conflict Fundamentals Seminar, where we're dealing with the things that are pretty well understood in the conflict resolution field, but are likely to be of interest to people who are new to the field.

In addition we're going to have a number of shorter brownbag seminars on particular topics. Right now we're thinking of one on US politics, we're thinking of on one of complexity and conflict, and another one that looks at competitors versus compromisers. These will be subsets of the material that we will be posting in either the Frontier or the Fundamentals Seminars--but mostly, the Frontier Seminar—they contain groups of posts that we think will have particularly specific audiences.

All of the seminars have syllabi, and if you click on the seminar link on either of the home pages, you will see the syllabi in chronological order from the first post to the last post. And once each of the videos gets posted, those links will be live, the ones that haven't been posted yet will not be live links yet.

Then we also have blogs. The Frontier Seminar posts, the Fundamental Seminar posts, and the Brownbag posts will all be put together in what we're calling the Core Materials Blog. And as all blogs work, those posts will be in reverse chronological order, so the latest post will be the one at the top -- opposite the syllabus.

We also are going to have what we're calling an Additional Resources Blog. This will include news articles and opinion pieces, scholarly articles, NGO reports and government reports that relate to the material that we are posting both in the Fundamental Seminar and in the Frontiers Seminar. And again, as with all blogs, the posts will be in reverse chronological order from the most recent to the earliest.

Another blog that we're going to start is what we're calling a Colleague Activities Blog. Lou Kriesberg, who's the person who's pictured at the far left, has already submitted some material to us that we're going to be posting soon in the Colleague Activities Blog. We've been working quite a bit with Peter Coleman, Robert Ricigliano, and Chip Hauss who are working on similar projects. We likely will be posting material of theirs in the Colleague Activities Blog as well.

And we'd like to post anything that other people would send that relates to what we're doing. So let us know what you're doing and we'll post it there.

All of the seminars and blogs are available on the MBI MOOS page and on the left side of the BI page. And they're all going to be available on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There's two options on both of those social networking sites. If you friend, follow, or connect with MBI MOOS on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you'll get the Core Materials Blog. If you friend, follow, or connect with Beyond Intractability on those same sites, you'll get what we're calling the All Materials Blog, which has all the core materials plus all the additional posts, so basically everything.

There's going to be about one post/day in the Frontiers Seminar, and one in  the Fundamental Seminar a day, and one, possibly two, in the Additional Resources Blog per day. So you can get anywhere between two posts to four posts a day depending on which of these two subscriptions you sign up for.

So to recap the reading options:  the Everything Blog and the Core Posts Blog are available everywhere. And all of the seminars and the other blogs are available on the BI and MBI-MOOS pages only.

So then there's the notion of being a read-write contributor, which relates just to the Conflict Frontier Seminar. The first thing that you'll see when you try to sign up or try to answer one of the discussion questions, is that we're asking people to register. This is so we can figure out who's posting, which we hope will help us keep the posts constructive and civil. I'm sure you've seen that there's a lot of problems with discussion boards, particularly on news sites and social networking sites, where discussions get pretty ugly pretty fast. If that happens we're going to have to stop the discussion on the MBI-MOOS and we really don't want to do that. So we're asking everybody who wants to contribute their ideas to register and we're strongly encouraging people to use their real names. If you can't use your real name for personal security reasons, we're willing to accept other names as long as we know who people are. But we will be trying to monitor everything pretty closely, we're starting with a very small staff so if this gets going really fast we may not be able to monitor everything immediately. But we will be keeping pretty close tabs on it, and if people start posting things that are not constructive, we will be blocking those people, hopefully, very quickly. And if you see something that you think is not constructive, we really want you to let us know!

The discussion questions show up after the referenced resources in each of the posts. They will be links, and if you click on the links, you will get to the discussion page. This has a longer description of the kinds of questions that we're thinking about, and things that we want people to answer.

And if you look at the top, you will see that there's a request there that you register. If you click on that link you'll get to a contributor registration page which will ask for your name and affiliation, then it asks a few other questions. This isn't required to answer to get registered-- but we're trying to find out who is engaging with us. And the more we find out about who is engaging with us, the better job we'll be able to do to focus on things that our users are interested in. So it would really help us if you fill out the entire contributor registration form, which doesn't take very long.

Then when you click -- after you're registered--and you click on a discussion, you'll get something that looks like this. And you'll be able to put a subject and then you'll be able to post your comment.

There are also of course the same discussion questions on the posts that show up on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But we hope that people won't answer those discussion questions there.  We can't stop you from doing that, of course, but that will create a string in four different places and we also can't block comments that aren't constructive on those sites, or at least I'm not sure that we can. (I'm not the expert on those social networking sites, somebody else is going to be doing that for us.) But we do want you to post on the MBI- MOOS or the BI page, which actually all resolve to the same place.

There's more details about all of this on the accessing MOOS content page, which has the URL So you can get lots of details there.


Picture Credits

Slide 2: Girl: url:  By Rgaudin (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Hands: pixabay:  CC0 Public DomainFree for commercial use No attribution required 

Slide 9: Bags: Brown bags  pixabay: cco no attribution required.