Trends In Conflict Throughout the United States as Recorded in Online Search Queries

Trends In Conflict Throughout the United States as Recorded in Onli... from The Werner Institute on Vimeo.

Why do my coworkers hate me? Should I leave my husband? Can my landlord evict me? How can I stop my child from being bullied? These are difficult, discouraging questions for any person to confront. Individually, they provide a glimpse into the troubles facing the questioner. In the aggregate, however, these inquiries contour a collective conflict profile -- an opportunity to explore the prevalence and trends of Conflict in America.

This interactive session will introduce an ongoing research project analysing what people search for when in conflict. 

Built upon an extensive analysis of over 150 million online, conflict-related search queries over the past two years, this project provides a detailed, Big Data dive into the personal challenges confronting the nation. While the research is ongoing and scheduled for completion in early 2015, participants get the very first look at this nexus of conflict-related queries and the search for resolution. Substantial time will be devoted to crowd-exploring the creative insights, practical applications, and exciting next steps for this forthcoming, publicly available research.

Presenter Bio:

Justin R. Corbett is the Chief Project Officer of Advancing Dispute Resolution, an organization dedicated to moving our field further, faster by creating resources which support practitioners and enhance the field's social resonance. His overarching interest is in seeing greater awareness, accessibility, and utilization of ADR. This interest has been shaped by his varied roles within the field, including Sections Director for the ACR Board of Directors, former Board Member and Executive Director of NAFCM, former Executive Director of a local community mediation program, mediator, assistant professor, researcher, trainer, and volunteer. This combination of roles has heightened his appreciation for the potential of constructive conflict engagement at everything from the personal to broad societal levels.

With his personal drive to broadly advance the ADR profession, Justin is excited by the demands of forging programs and policies which inform the future of our daily practice and our developing profession. Whether administering national initiatives, supporting practitioner communities, or conducting wide-ranging research through Advancing Dispute Resolution, Justin regularly has his mind turned toward major developments in the field, and his efforts tuned to hastening their impact. He finds some of the most compelling opportunities currently facing our field to be connective and disruptive uses of technology; resonant, policy-informing research; the empowerment and engagement of young and first-profession practitioners; and the inclusive, yet measurable development of our profession. You can connect with and read more about Justin's interests and activities via LinkedIn or Google+.

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Thanks for an the opportunity to preview our ongoing project: "Conflict in America." As I'd feared, my enthusiasm for reviewing all the initial findings precluded too much audience participation. Sorry!

For folks who attended the live event, or who watched the replay, what are your thoughts? How would you like to see this data used? What would you hope to learn from this resource?

Feel free to share your ideas via a reply here or by contacting me on LinkedIn or Google+.

Thanks for the wonderful presentation Justin. The archive has now been uploaded to the top of the forum page. Enjoy!

Hi Justin.  i like the work you're doing; a lot!

How do you envision making the data available?  Will there be some sort of analytics engine that can be used (via user interface); e.g., to conduct queries, identify variances, trends, patterns, opportunities, etc.?  

How current will the data be, at any point in time? 

Your work reminds me of the work done by others in mining web data; e.g. work done by Quid folks, in data mining 24,000 TEDx talks... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv_uyUTx5Po  Their data mining efforts, which appear to be very computer resource-intensive, also introduce the outcome of 'emergent' data - maybe like those surprising relationships that you touched on, in your presentation today?... unintended consequences so to speak.

I'm particularly intrigued by data from your work that could 'disrupt' the current ways of thinking.; e.g. around ADR supply/demand. Maybe you're on a journey to uncover a bottomless pit of disrupters? :)

Inspiring work you’re doing. You are obviously putting a tremendous amount of work and thought into it. We in the ADR community are lucky to have your initiative.

Ben

Thanks, Bryan! Kudos to you and the Werner Institute for hosting yet another exceptional year for Cyberweek! Your efforts are definitely appreciated. 

Bryan Hanson said:

Thanks for the wonderful presentation Justin. The archive has now been uploaded to the top of the forum page. Enjoy!

Being considered "disruptive" may indeed be the best compliment I've received on this project thus far! Thanks, Ben!

Honestly, the more I dig into this dataset, the more I realize there's far more potential here than I'd first realized. Some of the growing list of potential uses include:

  • Performing language analysis on the actual text used to enhance the resonance of our public outreach;
  • Further reducing the financial, emotional, and social costs of conflict by effectively engaging people at far earlier stages of the conflict lifecycle;
  • Generating a more comprehensive picture of "Conflict in America" than traditional measures have allowed;
  • Discovering correlations with -- and possible leading indicators of -- offline activities (e.g. court filings);
  • Forecasting select conflict contexts in specific areas and mobilizing resources/information accordingly;
  • Enhancing the content and flow of ADR websites;
  • Collaboratively promoting ADR in both broad and granular fashions;
  • ...and likely much more!

With all this potential, we're very mindful of the potential power of widely sharing this data (and possible tools to effectively utilize it) with our colleagues. At this point, we're anticipating releasing an online report of our data analysis/insights (a la the Volunteer Mediators report) in February 2015. Included with that release, we're planning to include some level of access to the data. The format and granularity of that access, however, are still uncertain at this point. While certain restrictions from Google understandably prevent us from wholesale republishing what is effectively their proprietary data, we're committed to finding ways to let others play in this rather deep and treasure-laden sandbox, as well.

In the meantime, we're riding high on the amazing feedback we've received following Tuesday's presentation. There's been a lot of interest from a variety of folks exploring different applications of this resource. What started as a hunch and a hobby project is definitely growing into quite a bit more! Stay tuned...

Justin 


Ben Ziegler said:

Hi Justin.  i like the work you're doing; a lot!

How do you envision making the data available?  Will there be some sort of analytics engine that can be used (via user interface); e.g., to conduct queries, identify variances, trends, patterns, opportunities, etc.?  

How current will the data be, at any point in time? 

Your work reminds me of the work done by others in mining web data; e.g. work done by Quid folks, in data mining 24,000 TEDx talks... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv_uyUTx5Po  Their data mining efforts, which appear to be very computer resource-intensive, also introduce the outcome of 'emergent' data - maybe like those surprising relationships that you touched on, in your presentation today?... unintended consequences so to speak.

I'm particularly intrigued by data from your work that could 'disrupt' the current ways of thinking.; e.g. around ADR supply/demand. Maybe you're on a journey to uncover a bottomless pit of disrupters? :)

Inspiring work you’re doing. You are obviously putting a tremendous amount of work and thought into it. We in the ADR community are lucky to have your initiative.

Ben

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