Picking Berries


Prof. Dietrich Fischer – TRANSCEND Media Service

Have you ever picked berries from a thorny bush? If you have eaten all those that you can see from your angle, and move slightly, you suddenly see a whole bunch more. After you have picked those, and move again, you see still more. If you want to pick all or most of the berries, you have to look at the bush from many different angles, ideally from every possible angle, even separate branches to get a look inside the bush.

This is a metaphor for work on peaceful conflict transformation. If you look at a conflict from only one point of view, you see a very limited set of problems and possible solutions.

To gain a better picture of the whole conflict, it is necessary to hold extensive dialogues with all parties involved, to see the situation from many different angles. This unveils new problems, but also many more possibilities of positive, transcendent outcomes, which may create a better future for all parties.


Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.

Excerpted from Dietrich Fischer’s Stories to Inspire You – TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Oct 2017.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Picking Berries, is included. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate to TMS to join the growing list of TMS Supporters.

Share this article:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Comments are closed.