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1. Common denominators: Inter-sectoral meetings readily focus on the lowest common denominator, rather than seeking ways of benefitting from the variety of perspectives represented. This is often the price of a certain form of consensus.
2. Repetition: Everything that is easy to say about development-environment issues has already been said and written many times. It is questionable whether the time of an inter-sectoral dialogue should be used to make these points again amongst people who have made (and heard) them before.
3. Statement fatigue: Many are tired of each others position statements, whether of their insights or of their distortions. There is a need to move beyond the phase of "flag waving", testimony meetings, and intellectual and personal positioning.
4. Communication styles: Each sector tends to be impatient regarding insights formulated in the "language" of another sector. Differences in communication style are important, especially in a multi-cultural setting.
5. Elaboration: Those presenting insights tend to fail to present them in a sufficiently succinct language. This tendency exploits the limited time resources of the meeting -- and is essentially unsustainable.
6. Illegitimacy: Sectors tend to have difficulty accepting the legitimacy of other sectors, even if obliged to create the impression of doing so.
7. Self-righteousness: There is a need to move beyond the easy posture of self-righteous blaming of particular sectors -- and the old pattern of scapegoating another to emphasize the innocence of one's own sector.
8. Over-selling: Sectors tend to "over-sell" the merits of their concerns, skills and special perspective. Excessive enthusiasm can strin credibility.
9. Over-confidence: Sectors tend to fail to recognize the limitations of their own perspective with respect to domains of importance to others.
10. Obvious solutions: Some continue to believe in obvious or magical solutions and perceive as unconstructive (or "negative") any attempts to note the limitations of such solutions.
11. Authorities: The traditional approach of using respected authority figures to impose order on a "disorderly" dialogue is increasingly questioned. But the challenge of "self-organization" has not yet been fully accepted.
12. Facilitation: Efforts to use non-authoritarian, "neutral" facilitators or processes to mediate interactions are considered suspect. Facilitators necessarily have particular cultural, linguistic, ideological or disciplinary biases.
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