Tuesday, June 21 – Michael Ambühl
Michael Ambühl is a Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management at the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics of ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.
He studied applied mathematics and management science at ETH and graduated as Dr. sc. techn. ETH.
Following his work as academic assistant, senior assistant and lecturer in the Economics Faculty of the University of Zurich, Michael Ambühl became a member of the diplomatic service of the Swiss Foreign Ministry in 1982. Following engagements in Kinshasa, Bern, and as Head of the Economics Division of the Embassy in New Dehli and member of the negotiation team “Bilateral I Agreements between Switzerland and the EU” in Brussels, he was promoted to Ambassador in 1999, then State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in 2005, and State Secretary in the Finance Ministry in 2010. Michael Ambühl was nominated full Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management at ETH Zurich in summer 2013.
In his different functions he was a member of the “Swiss-EU Bilateral I”- negotiation team, he led the negotiations of the “Swiss-EU Bilateral II”- agreements (including Schengen), he was facilitator of the Geneva Iran-P5+1 talks, and in the Armenia-Turkey Protocols, signed in Zurich in 2009. He negotiated the Swiss-US UBS-deal, the Tax treaty Switzerland-UK&Austria, the Swiss-US FATCA Agreement and the Swiss-US Tax deal.
From 2000 to 2009, Michael Ambühl lectured in the Law Faculty of the University of Zurich, and since 2010 he has been a permanent guest of honour at the University of Zurich.
Michael Ambühl’s teaching and research at ETH Zurich focuses on the theoretical background of negotiation engineering, different technical and applied negotiation schools of thought, mediation and conflict management, with the practical appreciation of negotiation based on his mathematical background and more than 30 years of experience as a Swiss diplomat and negotiator.
Keynote: Negotiation Engineering in Diplomacy
Research on negotiation, including the areas of applied game theory, negotiation analysis, and behavioral sciences, has made considerable progress over the last decades. Many phenomena have been intensively studied and well described. However, the insights and methods of this research are less frequently applied to real-world diplomatic negotiations. During his career as a diplomat, Michael Ambühl relied on his academic training in engineering and applied mathematics in his function as a negotiator. This provided a different perspective on problems and enabled new solution strategies, resulting in notable negotiation successes.
Professor Ambühl presents a conceptualization of his approach called Negotiation Engineering. The key elements of Negotiation Engineering are the reduction of problems to their basic structures and the application of heuristic methods to problem solving. He argues that the use of mathematical language in negotiations problems enables an increased logical accuracy in negotiation analysis and allows for the use of a variety of helpful existing mathematical tools to achieve an agreement. The practicability and usefulness of this approach is demonstrated in the context of three different international diplomacy case studies where Michael Ambühl applied the concept to achieve negotiation solutions: 1)The land transport agreement between Switzerland and the European Union, where a linear optimization helped to determine an acceptable negotiation solution. 2) The pre-negotiations of the Schengen/Dublin Agreement between Switzerland and the European Union, where game-theory sensitivity analysis supported the decision taking. 3) The quantification of nuclear enrichment activities by Iran using a mathematical formula, in order to facilitate the re-launching of the negotiations with P5+1 in 2008.
Panel Session – 16:00-17:30
Values, Problems and Solutions: Negotiation, Leadership and Technology
Melvin F. Shakun, New York University
Tung Bui, University of Hawaii, USA
Amer Obeidi, University of Waterloo, Canada
Melvin Shakun, New York University, USA
John Zeleznikow, Victoria University, Australia
Abstract: Agents (human, computer) have purposes/values – desired intentions that they would like to realize. A problem for an agent arises from not realizing values. A problem solution (decision, action) brings realization of these values or evolved ones. For intractable problems, solutions appear unrealizable. In this panel, we discuss values, problems and problem solving involving negotiation, leadership and technology. Frameworks for problem solving will be considered. Applications of inter est include business, economies, political conflict, social problems, understanding historical situations, international negotiations, Middle East conflicts, terrorism, emergency response, climate change, e-negotiation, social media, etc. Panelists will make opening remarks followed by discussion with audience participation.
Wednesday, June 22 – Tung Bui
Tung Bui holds the distinguished professorship of global business endowed by the Matson Navigation Company at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned a doctorate in managerial economics from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and a Ph.D. in information systems/economics from the Stern School of Business, New York University. Prior to joining the University of Hawaii, Bui was on the faculty at the United States Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, the Universities of Fribourg and Lausanne, Switzerland, the University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He holds honorary professorship at Hue University, Vietnam and at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China. Bui is the permanent chair of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) – celebrating its 50th year, HICSS is widely considered as the top research conference in the MIS discipline.
Bui has published 14 books and over 160 papers. His research interests focus on effective use of IT in large organizations, information literacy, electronic commerce, sustainable development, and in collaborative technology, including group decision and negotiation support systems and crisis management.
Bui is a regular consultant and advisor to both governmental and private organizations on a number of public policies. He is participating in APEC work on climate change adaptation and “smart” economic development, and on cross-border entry facilitation during times of crisis. In 2013, he released a significant APEC report, funded by USAID to deal with emergency response travel facilitation. He is the recipient of the 2003 U.S. Department of Commerce SBA Small Business Research Advocate Award for the State of Hawaii and the Western region of the U.S. His work has also been cited at the Upper and Lower houses of the State of Hawaii legislature, and the US Department of Labor.
Keynote: Group Decision and Negotiation in Non-Binding Virtual Communities
The extensive literature on group decision and negotiation mostly involves formal institutions with well-defined and legally bound structure, either in the context of or market interactions, private organizations or centralized governmental bodies. In contrast, this presentation explores group decision and negotiation in virtual communities in the context of informal, open, loosely coupled and ephemeral institutions. To appreciate the growing importance group decision process in these virtual communities, we discuss the institutionalization phenomenon of two Facebook groups involving more than 500,000 members following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. A longitudinal study using Netnography, a qualitative research method to study online communities, was conducted to analyze activities of netizens who joined hands to help earthquake victims and defeat cyber-hate. Using Scott’s model of institutional pillars and recent theoretical development on coordination theory, we retrace how institutional carriers emerge and evolve during the collective co-creation of anti-cyberhate mechanism within self-emerging online collectives. As it seems critical to bring social activists together, this presentation suggests directions for future research that are needed to help sustain the existence of purposeful virtual communities through coordinated distributed collective decisions.
Thursday, June 23 – William Samuelson
William Samuelson is Professor of Finance and Economics at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, which he joined after earning his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. His research interests include decision making, negotiation & dispute resolution, game theory, experimental economics, microeconomic models, and competitive bidding.
He has written numerous articles for scholarly journals including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Finance, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Management Science, Operations Research, and Quarterly Journal of Economics. He is co-author of two books, Game Theory and Business Applications and Managerial Economics (8th Edition). A number of his pioneering articles – “Optimal Auctions,” “The Simple Economics of Bargaining,” The Winner’s Curse in Bilateral Negotiations,” and “Status Quo Bias in Decision Making” – have ben republished in leading research volumes. He is currently the Chairperson of the Finance Department at Questrom and is a past teaching award winner in Questrom’s Executive MBA Program. He has consulted to business and government in the areas of auctions and procurement.
Keynote: Negotiation Insights using Game Theory and Experiments
For the past 40 years, game theory has provided valuable insights into the negotiation process in two main respects: 1) Defining the negotiation rules, information available, possible outcomes, and resulting player payoffs and values, and 2) Identifying and guiding optimal negotiation strategies and evaluating the resulting outcomes. A game-theoretic analysis helps answer the following questions for a particularly defined negotiation setting: What are the best available mutually-beneficial outcomes available? If both sides pursue self-interested negotiation strategies, what is the resulting outcome? How does actual behavior, in experimental settings or in the real world, differ from ideal behavior and for what cognitive or psychological reasons?
The study of negotiation has produced both elegant theoretical results suitable for academic journals as well as genuine insights that can be demonstrated by stripped down negotiation games in the classroom. The address will provide a selective tour of some illustrative negotiation games under complete information and incomplete information. We remark on the well-known “negotiator’s dilemma: Each side’s self-interested actions to claim value work against attaining efficient agreements all of the time. According to the mechanism-design approach, this is formally true under incomplete information. Key questions remain for incomplete information settings: How do typical negotiators actually behave? Short Answer: More cooperatively than optimizing negotiators. Is making the opening offer advantageous? Short Answer: That depends on the opening offer. Nearing a bargaining deadline, is patience a virtue? Short Answer: Yes.
We conclude with two discussion points. First, the simplest negotiation settings – those with complete information – generate some of the greatest differences between actual and optimal behavior (witness the play of the Ultimatum Game). Second, when will artificially intelligent negotiation agents be able to replace human negotiators?
Friday, June 24 – Keynote by Springer GDN Section Award Winner