Many speakers stated that collaboration is fundamental to finding innovative solutions to prevent violence. Mr. Hersman talked about the fact that both networks and technological innovations are often created by people driven to organize to resolve problems to which existing institutions are not responsive. Dr. Rosenberg cited the need for establishing connections between the officials who can respond to a problem and the people who are reporting the violence as well as the need to incentivize participation and reporting. At present, the connections between a citizen making a report and the institutional responders are tentative or inconsistent, and a “trust bridge”—a term offered by Mr. Hersman—should be formed between the two sides. Huge institutional shifts might be required to form such connections and trust. Law enforcement is beginning to make this shift through the combination of social media, citizen reporting, and police practice. Dr. Viswanath cited the importance of institutions maintaining contact with citizens, especially those under stress, so they have an ongoing connection.
Mr. Halley echoed other speakers, agreeing that the larger the network, the more powerful it is, and that cross-boundary connections are important for innovation. His remarks were based on a paper he co-authored, “XBC: Creating Public Value by Unleashing the Power of Cross-Boundary Collaboration.”2 The central questions that this work tries to answer are: How can maximum value come from a network? What network structures are best for which purpose? How does one manage structures, and what should be considered in developing a network? Technologies for online collaboration can allow much larger numbers of people to become involved than is possible with the traditional networks used to find information or solve problems. Mr. Halley cited three steps that are at the heart of cross-boundary collaboration: connect, innovate, and execute. Connections break down barriers and increase the broad awareness of situations. When organizations take advantage of connectivity, they can rapidly source information and solutions at lower cost. Given the transboundary issues and complexity in the world today, Mr. Halley said an approach able to rapidly handle complex situations is needed.
Dr. Rosenberg mentioned the important role that advocacy groups have played in preventing and countering violence. Advocates began working to prevent violence against women 35 years ago. Attention to HIV/AIDS was galvanized by advocacy groups. Other types of violence prevention are now being supported by emerging advocacy networks, often facilitated through social media.