Situation: Political conditions of the world have changed

In the past, keeping information centralized & secret was smart. Now the opposite is true. 

Political environments are becoming transparent. Those who adapt first will have an advantage.

Closed political information platforms are inadequate

Influential actors are isolated from one another and knowledge is fragmented.

Open inclusive political platforms work better for multi-party agreements

With an adequate process, publicly shared information leads to common understanding.

Our platform: Sovereignty First builds political deal landscapes

With local, regional, and international actors influential in the life of the country

Sovereignty First’s political deal landscapes reveal: 

  • National economic, political, social, & cultural capacity to support different initiatives

  • Partnership opportunities & risks—who can be trusted as a partner & in what way

1st deal landscape:

  • List of local, regional, and international actors influential in the life of the country
  • Measures of the amount of perceptual confusion about the situation

2nd deal landscape:

  • Areas of agreement about the situation
  • Easiest opportunities for negotiations

3rd deal landscape:

  • Points on which prime actors are willing to change their assessments based on feedback from others
  • Easiest opportunities for dialogue to search for common ground

4th deal landscape:

  • Entrenched positions that have not shifted in response to new information
  • Ways to increase the flexibility of one’s own organization and partner organizations
  • Ways to engage more effectively with other prime actors holding seemingly intractable positions

 

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

Sovereignty First generates an open platform to reveal dimensions of development opportunities and the actors who can influence them.

Our methods are trauma-informed, on the ground, and engage participants face-to-face.

With our deal landscapes, any actor can see pathways to help themselves and their country.

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's expertise is measuring and shaping group behavior, especially at the intersection of self-governance, development, and large-scale threats or traumas. For 25 years, Eric has helped leaders manage crises, including in post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, and Indonesia, and has conducted social trauma analyses of the United States, Germany, Israel, Japan, China, and Rwanda.   Eric deals with why people, societies, and cultures often fail to reach their objectives. In particular, he has found that systemic change is often thwarted by cultural traumas. The most useful intervention he has found is to cultivate a shared understanding among powerful actors, of threats and the capacities of cultures and organizations to adapt to those threats. Applying this intervention requires working with people across sectors, factions, and borders, a skill he has developed personally, cultivated in his team, and built into his approach. Over the past three decades, Eric has developed a conceptual tool, the Inclusive Nationalism Country Assessment (INCA), and the Sovereignty First Framework to help leaders and other influential stakeholders deal with these problems expeditiously. He has applied and tested this new framework with businesses and partnerships in both the private and public sectors—from post-Katrina New Orleans to an Indonesian-Australian carbon market program. Eric has led or co-led six turnarounds, five of which were successful. He has served as a C-level advisor to eighteen organizations, and presented to dozens of others. Additionally, he has co-founded three businesses and spun off two. 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's expertise is measuring and shaping group behavior, especially at the intersection of self-governance, development, and large-scale threats or traumas. For 25 years, Eric has helped leaders manage crises, including in post-Katrina New Orleans, Germany, and Indonesia, and has conducted social trauma analyses of the United States, Germany, Israel, Japan, China, and Rwanda. 

 Eric deals with why people, societies, and cultures often fail to reach their objectives. In particular, he has found that systemic change is often thwarted by cultural traumas. The most useful intervention he has found is to cultivate a shared understanding among powerful actors, of threats and the capacities of cultures and organizations to adapt to those threats. Applying this intervention requires working with people across sectors, factions, and borders, a skill he has developed personally, cultivated in his team, and built into his approach.

Over the past three decades, Eric has developed a conceptual tool, the Inclusive Nationalism Country Assessment (INCA), and the Sovereignty First Framework to help leaders and other influential stakeholders deal with these problems expeditiously. He has applied and tested this new framework with businesses and partnerships in both the private and public sectors—from post-Katrina New Orleans to an Indonesian-Australian carbon market program.

Eric has led or co-led six turnarounds, five of which were successful. He has served as a C-level advisor to eighteen organizations, and presented to dozens of others. Additionally, he has co-founded three businesses and spun off two. 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
Director

Anne is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology. She has worked at the Asian Development Bank evaluating the efficacy of income and livelihood restoration programs in four countries and as a program associate at Global Water. Anne's natural disposition for leadership, along with an anthropological perspective, makes her an asset to the Sovereignty First team. In the Sovereignty First framework, Anne is responsible for the knowledge and process management systems.  Contact Anne at anne.kroeger@sovereigntyfirst.com

Anne is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology. She has worked at the Asian Development Bank evaluating the efficacy of income and livelihood restoration programs in four countries and as a program associate at Global Water. Anne's natural disposition for leadership, along with an anthropological perspective, makes her an asset to the Sovereignty First team. In the Sovereignty First framework, Anne is responsible for the knowledge and process management systems. 


Contact Anne at anne.kroeger@sovereigntyfirst.com

Anne Kroeger
Knowledge and Process Manager

Karen is a mediator and conflict professional with extensive restorative justice experience working with people with various illnesses, victims of violent crimes, and in jails and prisons. She is the Executive Director of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). Karen's unique and diverse skill set and determination to do good in the world makes her a perfect fit for the team. In the Sovereignty First framework, Karen is responsible for participant interviews.  Contact Karen at karen.dickman@sovereigntyfirst.com

Karen is a mediator and conflict professional with extensive restorative justice experience working with people with various illnesses, victims of violent crimes, and in jails and prisons. She is the Executive Director of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). Karen's unique and diverse skill set and determination to do good in the world makes her a perfect fit for the team. In the Sovereignty First framework, Karen is responsible for participant interviews. 



Contact Karen at karen.dickman@sovereigntyfirst.com

Karen Dickman
Interviews

Staff

Phil Yang
Interview recruitment

Cecelia Steinback
Interview recruitment

Heather Payne
Interviews & website

Jasmine Passa
Interviews

Shannon Gibson
Psychotherapeutic support
Bookkeeping

Madeline O'Harra
Marketing and sales

Janet Therrien
Sales

Ines Zekri
Translation

Naseim Omeish
Translation

 

Regina Vayaliparampil
Research

Mary Dumas
Training

Cayenna Johnson
Training

Tadios Tekeste
Accounting

Get Involved

Contact Madeline with your resume at madeline.oharra@sovereigntyfirst.com. 

 
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. 

Interested in volunteering? 

 

Sovereignty First

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

madeline.oharra@sovereigntyfirst.com

(703) 272-5012