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

 

Mission

Sovereignty First is a free-lance diplomatic firm.

We generate political and cultural transparency in countries and cities, and the social trust necessary for the establishment of enforceable agreements.

We combine on-the-ground shuttle diplomacy; a cross-cultural vocabulary to describe national or civic capacity; peer assessment; education; training; and networking, to generate common understanding and cross-factional networks among the local, regional, and international organizations most influential in the life of the country or city.

Our clients include corporations, investment funds, foundations, and governments.

The more a client engages with our Shared Information Platform, the better they are able to predict and mitigate their political risk

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Diplomatic Advisors

 

COL (RET) John Agoglia

National Defense University, former director of the United States Army Counterinsurgency Training Center - Afghanistan. 

Nancy Bearg

Author, former National Security Advisor to United States Vice President George H.W. Bush, former National Security Council staffer

 

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Michael Flanagan

President of Flanagan Consulting, former representative to the United States Congress, 5th District of Illinois.

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Ambassador John Herbst

Director, Atlantic Council Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, former United States ambassador to Ukraine & Uzbekistan.

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 LTG (RET) Guy Swan

Vice President, Association of the United States Army, former Commanding General United States Army North.

Maj Gen (Ret) Charles Tucker

Co-founder, the World Engagement Institute, former Director of Doctrine, Training, & Force Deployment United States National Guard Bureau.

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Business Advisors

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Mark Carson

 

Managing Partner, Boulder CPA Group

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Chris Jones

 

Partner, Aloha Capital

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Kurt Lieberman

 

 

CEO of Global Magni Asset Management

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Anna Stillwell

 

 

Chargée d’Affaires/VP of Culture at the Wikimedia Foundation. 

 

Staff

 
Eric Wolterstorff: Founder and CEO Dr. Wolterstorff understands how groups respond to threats, sustained stress, & traumatic shocks. For 30 years, he has helped leaders manage crises, including post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, & Indonesia. He has led or co-led five successful turnarounds, co-founded three businesses & spun off two. In 2013, Dr. Wolterstorff assumed leadership of the Coalition for Stabilization Reform at the request of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen.

Eric Wolterstorff: Founder and CEO

Dr. Wolterstorff understands how groups respond to threats, sustained stress, & traumatic shocks. For 30 years, he has helped leaders manage crises, including post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, & Indonesia. He has led or co-led five successful turnarounds, co-founded three businesses & spun off two. In 2013, Dr. Wolterstorff assumed leadership of the Coalition for Stabilization Reform at the request of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen.

Regina Vayaliparampil, PhD Research & methodology

Regina Vayaliparampil, PhD

Research & methodology

Phil Yang Sales

Phil Yang

Sales

Shannon Gibson Cross-cultural psychosocial support.

Shannon Gibson

Cross-cultural psychosocial support.

Anna Laura Weygand: Operations Ms. Weygand has spent more than 15 years managing highly complex global, cross-functional projects with a strong foundation in business analysis, software design & development, computer system validation testing, marketing, training and technical support. She has worked in diverse industries in the United States & internationally, including pharmaceutical, software, and US federal government environments. Ms. Weygand has held Top Secret security clearance with the US federal government. 

Anna Laura Weygand: Operations

Ms. Weygand has spent more than 15 years managing highly complex global, cross-functional projects with a strong foundation in business analysis, software design & development, computer system validation testing, marketing, training and technical support. She has worked in diverse industries in the United States & internationally, including pharmaceutical, software, and US federal government environments. Ms. Weygand has held Top Secret security clearance with the US federal government. 

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