Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Strait Talk Student Initiative Convenes Young Delegates, Academics, and Policymakers

November 14, 2011

This week, for the seventh year, the Strait Talk Symposium is bringing young delegates from Taiwan, Mainland China, and the United States together at Brown to develop consensus and steps toward ending the Taiwan Strait conflict.

Each year, Strait Talk identifies outstanding young people from the three communities, transforms them into active peacemakers through a dialogue experience, and propels them and their ideas to positions of influence through a high-level, inter-communal network.

As such, Strait Talk considers itself “a bridge between grassroots youth advocacy and elite-driven network theory.” Its process is based on the Interactive Conflict Resolution method, which has been used since the 1960s to facilitate dialogue between people engaged in apparently intractable conflicts. The basic goals of ICR are to create personal trust across conflict lines and to develop creative and workable ideas to help spur official dialogue.

During each year's week-long Symposium, the Strait Talk Steering Committee hosts a series of public lectures and discussion panels covering topics ranging from historical memory to economics to global security.

The goal of these events is to educate the delegates and the Brown community about the Taiwan Strait conflict by bringing leading scholars and stakeholders from both sides of the Strait to Brown to share their knowledge, and to thereby increase the reach and effectiveness of the Symposium.

This year's event series, supported in part by the Watson Institute, is bringing together professors, businessmen, researchers and other experts to discuss political theory, media, entrepreneurship, and historical narratives.

Strait Talk participants are blogging the week's proceedings on the China Conversation, a Watson-based multimedia platform for discussing issues and experiences during the University’s Year of China program of events and other activities. For more information on the Symposium, visit straittalk.org or follow the Twitter feed @straittalkbrown.