The platform helps you negotiate agreements—that are timely, effective, cost-appropriate, and enforceable

Enforceable agreements are the basis of national stability, responses to large-scale threats, capital investment, growth, and development. They are the foundation of sovereignty, of self-governance.

Sovereignty First's shared information platform will help you: 
 

 1. Learn what you need to know before reaching out to partners:  

  • Identify specific areas of opportunity to stabilize, rebuild, and develop a country.
  • Understand the limits of the current economic, political, social, and cultural capacities in a country.
    • What human, social, technological capital does your initiative need?
    • How much is actually available in the country at this moment?
  • Account for the confusion and lack of agreement among prime actors about the country and each other. 
  • Identify other prime actors whose cooperation will likely be necessary to design, implement, and sustain your initiative.
  • Learn how other prime actors view you, so you can present yourself most effectively.

2. Build the relationships you need to advance your venture:  

  • The platform reveals who has convening authority concerning the country. If you want to invest in a country but lack the necessary political influence, the platform will reveal influential partners who can include other actors in negotiations.
  • The platform reveals pathways to common interests with other actors, and the types of overtures each is likely to respond to positively. 
  • When prime actors use the platform over time, together they generate a common political and social operating picture. This common understanding is the essential prerequisite of effective agreements.

3. Get better negotiations:

  • The open nature of the shared information platform, and the generation of a common political and social operating picture, fundamentally improves the process of negotiation.
  • Mutual transparency brings new information to negotiations, which makes more timely, appropriate, and effective agreements more likely.
  • As transparency becomes the dominant strategy, hidden agreements risk being revealed and causing lasting damage to conspirators.
  • The platform identifies hidden power-brokers, potential spoilers, and possible leaders, all of whom will likely make their influence known later, and all of whom have the power to expedite negotiations when included from the onset.

4. Enforce the agreement together with other prime actors: 

  • When there is value for all parties to an agreement, every actor will benefit from enforcement.  The shared information platform reveals potential costs and benefits of enforcement to all parties.
  • The platform creates the common operating picture that allows governance networks to arise spontaneously. These governance networks are necessary for the enforcement of any agreement.
  • The platform shifts responsibility for enforcement from a single-actor to a network of actors (from a hub-and-spoke model of accountability to a matrix of relationships). With transparency, common understanding, and aligned incentives, a governance network better aligns risks and responsibilities. It is more likely to succeed than a command-and-control approach.  

NEXT STEPS:

Let's meet, learn about each other, and see if there is a fit.

RESEARCH & JOURNAL ARTICLES

 

Vision

Countries build sovereignty and stability one agreement at a time.

Sovereignty First makes it possible to craft multi-party agreements that increase the power, choice, and freedom of local, regional, and international coalitions, organizations, and governments.

Mission

We build shared information platforms on the ground in difficult environments. 

Our approach combines radical transparency, a national-scale methodology,
personal interviews, & long-term relationships.

With our agreement mechanism, any actor can see pathways to help themselves and their country.

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Advisors

Partners

Cooperative Capacity Partners (CCP)With over two decades of development work as consultants, evaluators, and project managers, CCP understands the vital importance of partnership. CCP provides measures and feedback systems that help host country agencies, NGOs, and donor programs improve the health and strength of their partnerships.

Global WaterFounded in 1982, Global Water is a volunteer-based, international, non-profit humanitarian organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States. Global Water is focused on providing safe water supplies, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and related health programs for rural villagers in developing countries.

The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD)The mission of IMTD is to promote a systems-based approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deeply-rooted social conflict. Furthermore, IMTD focuses on the advancement of clinical education in peacebuilding and the holistic development of university students and professionals new to the field.

Trauma DynamicsTrauma Dynamics is an exposure therapy that focuses on organic body processes to resolve stress and trauma. Trauma Dynamics uses a comprehensive, tested, and reproducible treatment protocol for PTSD that it trains students in nationally. The model is used at mental health agencies including University of Colorado Hospital’s CeDAR addiction treatment center as well as being referenced in the MAPS training for future MDMA psychotherapists.

The United States Army War College Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)The US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute promotes the collaborative development and integration of Peace and Stability capabilities across the US government and the international community in order to enable the success of future Peace and Stability activities and missions.

World Engagement InstituteWEInstitute's activities and services primarily concentrate on providing career-enhancing professional trainings, developing and managing international capacity-building projects, and fostering worldwide collaborative institutional partnerships. All our international projects, academic partnerships, and educational programs are closely interconnected with one another. Moreover, they are specifically designed to help us fulfill our mission: to connect students, academics and international development professionals with one another and with world-changing international organizations for the development of globally responsible leaders and sustainable communities.

Principals

Eric Wolterstorff, PhD Director For 30 years, Eric has helped leaders manage crises, including in post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, and Indonesia. He has led or co-led 6 turnarounds, 5 or which were successful. He has served as an advisor to 18 organizations, co-founded 3 businesses, & spun off 2. In 2013, at the request of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, Eric assumed leadership of the Coalition for Stabilization Reform Contact Eric at eric.wolterstorff@sovereigntyfirst.com

Eric Wolterstorff, PhD
Director

For 30 years, Eric has helped leaders manage crises, including in post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, and Indonesia. He has led or co-led 6 turnarounds, 5 or which were successful. He has served as an advisor to 18 organizations, co-founded 3 businesses, & spun off 2. In 2013, at the request of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, Eric assumed leadership of the Coalition for Stabilization Reform

Contact Eric at
eric.wolterstorff@sovereigntyfirst.com

Anne Kroeger Research and Knowledge Management Anne's Ph.D. is in Anthropology. She has worked at the Asian Development Bank evaluating the efficacy of income & livelihood restoration programs in 4 countries & as a program associate at Global Water.  Contact Anne at anne.kroeger@sovereigntyfirst.com

Anne Kroeger
Research and Knowledge Management

Anne's Ph.D. is in Anthropology. She has worked at the Asian Development Bank evaluating the efficacy of income & livelihood restoration programs in 4 countries & as a program associate at Global Water. 

Contact Anne at
anne.kroeger@sovereigntyfirst.com

Karen Dickman Interviews Karen is a mediator & peacebuilding professional with extensive restorative justice experience working with victims of violent crimes, as well as in jails & prisons. She is the Executive Director of Global Water & the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). Contact Karen at karen.dickman@sovereigntyfirst.com

Karen Dickman
Interviews

Karen is a mediator & peacebuilding professional with extensive restorative justice experience working with victims of violent crimes, as well as in jails & prisons. She is the Executive Director of Global Water & the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD).

Contact Karen at karen.dickman@sovereigntyfirst.com

Staff

Mark Carson, BS, JD, CPA
Boulder CPA Group

Anna Laura Weygand
Marketing

Chris Jones
Principal at Aloha Capital  

 

 

 

Madeline O'Harra
Sales & Marketing

Regina Vayaliparampil
Research

Shannon Gibson
Psychosocial support

 

 

Mary Dumas
Training

Heather Payne
Interviews: Beirut

Phil Yang
Participant recruitment

 

 

 
Kurdish journalist Friyal Faisal being interviewed by a local news network. May 2016

Kurdish journalist Friyal Faisal being interviewed by a local news network. May 2016

Syrian Promise team members help Karen Dickman of Sovereignty First to obtain participant interviews in Gaziantep.

Syrian Promise team members help Karen Dickman of Sovereignty First to obtain participant interviews in Gaziantep.

Relatives of slain Pershmerga at the opening of the Museum of the Fallen in Chamchamal, Iraqi Kurdistan. The quality of decision making in governance directly influences the lives of individual people, families, and communities as a whole. 

Relatives of slain Pershmerga at the opening of the Museum of the Fallen in Chamchamal, Iraqi Kurdistan. The quality of decision making in governance directly influences the lives of individual people, families, and communities as a whole. 

Maj Gen (Ret) Charles E. Tucker,  Dr. Mahmoud Duwairi, Craig Coletta, Sawsan Alfayez, and Dr. Eric Woltertorff on the University of Jordan campus.

Maj Gen (Ret) Charles E. Tucker,  Dr. Mahmoud Duwairi, Craig Coletta, Sawsan Alfayez, and Dr. Eric Woltertorff on the University of Jordan campus.

Jordanian politics, society and culture is built on thousands of years of development and history.

Jordanian politics, society and culture is built on thousands of years of development and history.

Ahmed Qadir Balkhayi and a new friend at dinner with Sovereignty First in Erbil. 

Ahmed Qadir Balkhayi and a new friend at dinner with Sovereignty First in Erbil. 

Talk with us about buying a platform.

Contact Eric Wolterstorff

eric.wolterstorff@sovereigntyfirst.com

 

 Want to join a startup?

Contact Madeline O'Harra

madeline.oharra@sovereigntyfirst.com

 

Sovereignty First

1901 N. Fort Myer Drive
Suite 405
Arlington, VA 22209

(703) 272-5012