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    There is an unfulfilled need for a two-way channel between negotiation knowledge and negotiation practice – helping to turn knowledge into action, and action into knowledge on an international scale. To complement this drive, the art and science of negotiation now need to be widely recognized as skills requiring academic or professional education.

    These needs can be met by creating a global partnership of business, educators, scientists, skills trainers, governments and other negotiation stakeholders. This collaboration is being called the International Negotiation Initiative (INI).

    The INI will address two principal issues to facilitate businesses, educators and governments as they strive to improve negotiation competencies:

    Mobilize the development of an internationally credible “negotiation science”
    Empirical research in international negotiation is, in particular, limited by sub-optimal co-ordination and cost considerations. There is therefore an economic need to encourage negotiation research across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, avoid duplication of effort and cost, and accelerate the development of a credible global body of negotiation science.

    Promote wide recognition of negotiation competence and excellence standards
    There are no internationally1 recognized high standards of education and training in negotiation that would be valued by employers, employees, clients, practitioners, educational institutions and professional bodies. Universal recognition of what comprises negotiation competence in different contexts would increase the value of negotiation courses meeting or exceeding those standards, encouraging more trainees to attend them.

    The creation of a convened international negotiation platform to stimulate more and better research data and to establish transparent international standards of negotiation skills and competency will help make negotiation techniques better understood and more widely applied, thereby improving the attainment of high quality, sustainable outcomes.

    The INI is different from anything that currently exists. It will not be a service provider or otherwise compete in the marketplace. The INI will be set up as a genuinely global, not-for-profit public interest initiative. It will add value to researchers, educators and skills trainers by helping to promote and fund their work and be capable of attracting the strong support of the field’s leaders throughout the world.

    1 There are a few training organizations that have their own published negotiation assessment standards but they appear to differ quite considerably and do not apply at an international level.
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