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Public Decision Making in California: 
Designing a Network of Marine Reserves 
INFORMS Conference 
November 9, 2014 
San F...
A marine reserve is an area of the ocean that 
is protected from extractive or destructive activities. 
© 2014 Baker Stree...
Many factors have to be considered when 
designing a marine reserve network. 
Size and spacing 
Habitat representation 
an...
California is leading the way 
toward more enlightened 
ocean management. 
1998 Marine Life Management Act 
- Manage for l...
“Design and manage a network 
of Marine Protected Areas the 
length of the California coast.” 
Science Advisory Team 
© 20...
California 
Fish and Game 
Department’s 
second attempt 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
And then the State ran on to hard 
times. Budgets were cut. 
And the Fish and Game Department said, 
“We can’t implement t...
So, the Resource Legacy 
Fund Foundation said, 
“We will provide some of the money if you 
(the State) will sign a Memoran...
We created an organization designed to clarify process, 
encourage participation, and support collaboration. 
Blue Ribbon ...
Central Coast 
Pilot Region 
It was decided to do a 
section of the coast as a 
Pilot. 
Lessons learned could then be 
use...
Most environmental decisions are framed by the Law. 
Regulators 
Insurance 
Companies 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC...
Every decision has a frame and a basis. The basis has 
three elements: alternatives, information, and values. 
Values 
Wha...
Decisions involve three kinds of people. 
Decision Makers 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
Act ...
Here’s where it gets complicated. 
Decision Makers 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
Act 
Action...
The MLPA Science Advisory Team (SAT) wrote a set of 
guidelines that clarified the advocacy issue. 
“It is not the role of...
The next challenge is to integrate the interests of 
stakeholders. 
Decision Makers 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. ...
We need a process that moves 
people toward collaboration 
and mutual learning. 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All ...
Our habit is to negotiate. 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Mother Nature does not negotiate. 
Stakeholder 
Group A 
Stakeholder 
Group B 
Science People of 
Stakeholder 
Group C 
Ca...
What is the alternative to negotiation? 
The Mutual Learning Model 
The model is normative. 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishin...
This is how we say we should think and behave in 
decision making situations. 
Your Purpose 
•Informed choice 
•Valid Info...
We think and act much differently than we say 
we should. We practice a Unilateral Control 
model. 
• Unilateral control 
...
The confirmation 
bias is one example 
of unilateral control 
behavior. We tend 
to hear what we 
want to hear and we 
ign...
The challenge is to move large groups 
of people toward the mutual learning model. 
© 2014 
Results 
How do we discuss dil...
We have two tools for facilitating 
mutual learning. 
Balancing Advocacy 
and Inquiry 
The Ladder of Inference 
Observable...
We tend to get stuck because we begin discussions 
high on the ladder. 
Actions 
based on beliefs 
Beliefs 
about the worl...
Science and Facilitation come together on the 
ladder. 
Actions 
based on beliefs 
Beliefs 
about the world 
Conclusions 
...
The MLPA Initiative used a well-proven, 
four-phase design process. 
Decision Makers 
Alternative 
Generation Analysis Syn...
Stakeholder and scientist roles were clear. 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
Framing 
Alternati...
Status Quo 
The stakeholders synthesized a “hybrid” proposal 
based on what was learned from the “advocacy” 
proposals. 
©...
The Blue Ribbon Task Force welcomed the work 
of the stakeholders and approved the “Hybrid.” 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishi...
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 2007 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
San Francisco Chronicle, December 25, 2012 
© 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
My role was decision coach. 
Knowledge Management and Training 
© 2014 
Facilitation Project 
Process Tools Management
Important lesson: strategic decision making is not 
a strength of bureaucracies. 
Strategic 
Decision 
Making 
© 2014 Bake...
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Designing a Network of Marine Reserves in California

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Describes the collaborative design approach used in designing a network of marine reserves on the Central Coast of California

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Designing a Network of Marine Reserves in California

  1. 1. Public Decision Making in California: Designing a Network of Marine Reserves INFORMS Conference November 9, 2014 San Francisco, California Stephen Barrager Ph.D. steve@bakerstreetpublishing.com 1
  2. 2. A marine reserve is an area of the ocean that is protected from extractive or destructive activities. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Boulder Cobble Sandy bottom Rock Ridge
  3. 3. Many factors have to be considered when designing a marine reserve network. Size and spacing Habitat representation and replication Commercial and Recreational Fishing interests Non-consumptive uses Enforcement © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. California is leading the way toward more enlightened ocean management. 1998 Marine Life Management Act - Manage for long term benefits - Pursue sustainability - Take ecosystem perspective - Apply science-based management 1999 Marine Life Protection Act - Design and manage a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) the length of the California coast. 2004 Create Ocean Protection Council - Manage ocean as public trust - Recognize web of life - Promote sound science - Designate MPA’s This talk is about implementing the Marine Life Protection Act. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. “Design and manage a network of Marine Protected Areas the length of the California coast.” Science Advisory Team © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. California Fish and Game Department’s First Attempt “Design a network that will get these guys off my back” “You didn’t ask us!!!!” “Here it is. We’ve done our best.”
  6. 6. California Fish and Game Department’s second attempt © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. And then the State ran on to hard times. Budgets were cut. And the Fish and Game Department said, “We can’t implement the law because we don’t have enough money.” © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. So, the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation said, “We will provide some of the money if you (the State) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding.” The MLPA Initiative was launched. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. We created an organization designed to clarify process, encourage participation, and support collaboration. Blue Ribbon Task Force “This group represents a wide range of perspectives and is highly regarded for having good judgment. Their track record of results and breadth of experience in statewide and national policymaking is going to play a huge role in the success of this effort. This group has been assembled to look objectively at the history, the science related to marine protected areas, and the process to ensure that it remains open, will be accessible and is considerate of all viewpoints.” Mike Chrisman, California Resources Agency Secretary Framing ? ? © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. MLPA Staff Professional Facilitators Staff Support ? Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (30+ stakeholders including 2 marine scientists) Science Advisory Team (23 biological/physical scientists and 2 socio-economists)
  10. 10. Central Coast Pilot Region It was decided to do a section of the coast as a Pilot. Lessons learned could then be used in subsequent sections of the coast. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. Most environmental decisions are framed by the Law. Regulators Insurance Companies © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Industry Political System What is legal? Social system What do we want? Economic system What does it cost? Technology (physical and social) What can we do? You are here. There is a hierarchy of systems involved.
  12. 12. Every decision has a frame and a basis. The basis has three elements: alternatives, information, and values. Values What we want. Frame LoAcgtiicon Information Alternatives What we know. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. What we can do. Source: Ron Howard This framework is useful for clarifying the role of scientists and the role of stakeholders.
  13. 13. Decisions involve three kinds of people. Decision Makers © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Act Experts/Scientists Stakeholders Action
  14. 14. Here’s where it gets complicated. Decision Makers © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Act Action Experts/Scientists A Stakeholders Frame Information Alternatives
  15. 15. The MLPA Science Advisory Team (SAT) wrote a set of guidelines that clarified the advocacy issue. “It is not the role of the Science Advisory Team to advocate on issues of value,i.e., what the people of California want or should want.” “The BRTF makes decisions consistent with three elements: what is known (information), what is desired (values), and what can be done (alt ernatives).The SAT’s responsibility is to provide information that is scientifically sound. Information provided by the SAT should be based on the best readily available science and be able to stand the test of scientific peer review. Of the three decision elements, the first, information is the clear purview of the SAT. The SAT also has a role in the third element by providing analyses of the scientific efficacy of proposed alternatives but has no role in value-based decision elements. Simply put, the SAT will be proactive in providing scientific information and scientific analysis of alternatives that will help guide the BRTF’s decisions. “ © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. The next challenge is to integrate the interests of stakeholders. Decision Makers © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Act Action Experts/Scientists A Stakeholders Frame Information Alternatives
  17. 17. We need a process that moves people toward collaboration and mutual learning. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18. Our habit is to negotiate. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. Mother Nature does not negotiate. Stakeholder Group A Stakeholder Group B Science People of Stakeholder Group C California Scientific evaluations must be integrated into the decisions. Advocacy-based negotiation falls short when issues are complicated technically and economically. Science is value free and scientific judgments are not negotiable. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. What is the alternative to negotiation? The Mutual Learning Model The model is normative. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. This is how we say we should think and behave in decision making situations. Your Purpose •Informed choice •Valid Information •Internal commitment © 2014 Results •Increased understanding •More informed decisions •High commitment to action •Mutual learning •Better working relationships Acting •State thinking behind own view •Inquire into other’s views •Make dilemmas discussible •Express and reflect on emotion •Design ways to test merits of differing views Framing •How you see yourself -What I see is one perspective -I may be missing something •How you see others -Acting sensibly in own mind -Caught in a dilemma Source: Action Design. Adapted from Chris Argyris & Donald Schön
  22. 22. We think and act much differently than we say we should. We practice a Unilateral Control model. • Unilateral control • Win, don’t lose • Be rational • Avoid upset © 2014 Action repertoire • Assert own view • Take own reasoning for granted • Minimize inquiry into others’ views • Ask leading questions • Promote face-saving Aims Assumptions • I am acting sensibly. • Those who differ are wrong. • Mistakes are crimes or sins. Results •Limited understanding •Poor Decisions •Low commitment •Each sees other as problem •Limited learning (Adapted from Argyris & Schön, Theory in Practice, 1974)
  23. 23. The confirmation bias is one example of unilateral control behavior. We tend to hear what we want to hear and we ignore everything else. From Gary Larson, October 1983 © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 8
  24. 24. The challenge is to move large groups of people toward the mutual learning model. © 2014 Results How do we discuss dilemmas? Action Repertoire Aims Assumptions Your Purpose Joe, our team should think and act this way. What questions do you have? Acting Framing
  25. 25. We have two tools for facilitating mutual learning. Balancing Advocacy and Inquiry The Ladder of Inference Observable “data” and experience! © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. We tend to get stuck because we begin discussions high on the ladder. Actions based on beliefs Beliefs about the world Conclusions Assumptions based on affixed Observable “data” and experience! © 2014 meanings Affixed Meaning (cultural and personal) Selected data and experience We get stuck when we work at the level of beliefs. We learn and get unstuck as we move toward this level. Adapted from Action Science, Chris Argyris et al, 1985
  27. 27. Science and Facilitation come together on the ladder. Actions based on beliefs Beliefs about the world Conclusions Assumptions based on affixed meanings Affixed Meaning (cultural and personal) Selected data and experience Observable “data” and experience! © 2014 Facilitation Structural Models Science Adapted from Action Science, Chris Argyris et al, 1985
  28. 28. The MLPA Initiative used a well-proven, four-phase design process. Decision Makers Alternative Generation Analysis Synthesis Act Stakeholders and Exper ts Framing Scientists/ Experts Stakeholders © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29. Stakeholder and scientist roles were clear. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Framing Alternative Generation Analysis Synthesis Act Law and Memorandum of Understanding Stakeholders Science Team Stakeholders
  30. 30. Status Quo The stakeholders synthesized a “hybrid” proposal based on what was learned from the “advocacy” proposals. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Fishers Conservationists Hybrid Design
  31. 31. The Blue Ribbon Task Force welcomed the work of the stakeholders and approved the “Hybrid.” © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  32. 32. © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  33. 33. San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 2007 © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  34. 34. San Francisco Chronicle, December 25, 2012 © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
  35. 35. My role was decision coach. Knowledge Management and Training © 2014 Facilitation Project Process Tools Management
  36. 36. Important lesson: strategic decision making is not a strength of bureaucracies. Strategic Decision Making © 2014 Baker Street Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Leadership Operational Management (Execution) Strategic decisions require broad framing, stakeholder participation, multi disciplines, adaptability, innovation, and design. None of these are bureaucratic strengths. In general, bureaucracies are organized and staffed to follow rules.

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