The Hesperia Seed Initiative is a six-party, multi-issue, scorable negotiation simulation that introduces students to issues of multiparty negotiation strategy, including coalition building, multiparty process, and tensions between creating and claiming value.
This simulation concerns the launch of an international initiative to donate genetically modified seeds to the fictional island nation of Hesperia. The Olea Foundation, a philanthropic foundation, has partnered with ARVENSIS, one of the world’s largest agricultural companies, to send genetically modified seeds to Pacific islands that have been severely affected by climate change and insect blights. Hesperia is the largest of these islands, and the primary recipient country of this initiative. However, based on local and international objections to the seed initiative, the President of Hesperia has placed a moratorium on the importation, sale, and use of genetically modified seeds – and Olea is concerned that other countries may follow. The President of Hesperia has created a Steering Committee for the seed initiative in the hopes of negotiating a policy framework for the initiative that could garner broad, institutional support both within Hesperia and abroad. If at least five of the six members of the Steering Committee can reach agreement upon a policy framework by the end of their negotiation, the President will lift the ban on genetically modified seeds and allow the launch of the seed initiative to proceed as planned.
This negotiation is best conducted in groups of six participants (one per role). A facilitator is needed to deliver instructions and conduct the three votes. Ideally, participants should be given overnight to prepare before negotiating this case; however, two hours of preparation time should be sufficient to read the General and Confidential Instructions for the case. The negotiation itself takes approximately three hours, including time to debrief with participants.
This product includes:
- General instructions for all parties to the negotiation;
- Confidential instructions for the Head of the Food and Agriculture Division of Olea;
- Confidential instructions for the Director of Philanthropy and Strategic Public Partnerships at ARVENSIS;
- Confidential instructions for the Policy Director at Hunger Watch;
- Confidential instructions for the Deputy Director of the Hesperia Biosafety Agency;
- Confidential instructions for the Head of Research at the Hesperia University Seed Research Center; and
- Confidential instructions for the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Hesperia Mission.
- Complete Teacher's Package with all files listed above, plus instructions for facilitating the Hesperia negotiation and review.
This case allows for the introduction and review of several intermediate and advanced negotiation concepts:
- To identify interests and create options in a complex multiparty negotiation;
- To understand tensions between creating and claiming value in a “scored” negotiation;
- To illustrate the importance of setting up and implementing a multiparty negotiation process;
- To highlight multiparty relationship, coalition, and spoiler dynamics; and
- To understand how to break impasses in multiparty negotiations.
Negotiation Simulation; Multiparty Negotiation Process and Strategy; Integrative and Interest-Based Negotiation; Principal-Agent Tensions; Coalitions; Spoiler Dynamics.
Geographic: International (Hesperia, a fictional Pacific island nation)
Industry: International Development, Public, Private, Government, NGO, United Nations, University, Research, Philanthropy, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Environment, Genetics, Biotechnology, and Agriculture
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