Duncan Autrey – Conflict Transformation and Resolution; Our Role to Play a Part in the Whole

December 18, 2018
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In this episode, Joe interviews Duncan Autrey, a conflict transformation catalyst and educator. He runs a podcast, Fractal Friends, that covers topics of self-similarity across our diversity. During their conversation, Joe and Duncan discuss ways of resolving conflict in our relationships and society.

3 Key Points:

  1. Duncan Autrey is a conflict transformation educator, working for peace and cultural change.
  2. Conflict happens when one person wants to be heard so much that they stop listening to the other side. It is a product of living in a diverse world.
  3. We have more rights than we think we do when facing law enforcement.

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Navigating Psychedelics

Show Notes

What is Conflict?

  • Conflict is a product of living in a diverse world
  • Conflict resolution is about how to get different perspectives working together
  • Conflict happens when someone is really passionate about their side of the topic
  • Conflict also happens when one person wants to be heard so much that they stop listening to the other side
  • The ARC of conversation
    • A stands for acknowledge
    • R stands for reflect back
    • C stands for be curious

Resolving Conflict

  • Its okay to be certain about your own experiences, but someone might also be certain about their experiences and the key is to find a mutual ground
  • “How do we understand ecological issues better and work with each other to find how to create better conversation around it?” – Joe
  • In a conversation of conflict, the other side may be the antidote to your extreme
    • Interdependent Polarity – each side has something positive and negative, and each side should acknowledge the negative but aim to pull out the positive of the other side
    • Iceers
  • “It’s better to find a way to navigate the question, rather than to answer the question” – Duncan
  • In a hierarchy of permanence, laws are really low. Laws come and go
  • 3 ways we resolve conflict over time; power, violence and laws
    • But the interest based model includes everyone and all sides and works through conflict to live in and share the same planet with each other

Impressive Resilience in Humans

  • “Shifts happen”
  • People that Duncan works with start thinking to themselves “I’m a good guy facing a bad guy” and the person on the other side of conflict also thinks “I’m a good guy facing a bad guy”
    • Helping guide the people in conflict to just listen to the other person fully is what starts the shift

Law Enforcement and Conflict

  • It’s important to recognize the difference between the system and the individuals
    • Our whole system of television, movies, everything is all feeding into this
  • There are sociopaths in the world (5% of the population), and they are falling into roles like prison guards and CEO’s
  • Duncan brings up a story where he was in a car with someone who got pulled over, and the car got completely searched
    • He had vitamins on him, and the police assumed it was MDMA, so he was arrested and spent 4 days in jail
    • “This is a place where the people who are on the right side of the law, are being treated like assholes, and where people on the bad side of the law, are on their best behavior” – Duncan
    • This is a systemic issue, where the society says that you are a good person for doing something good, and are a bad person for doing something bad
    • But we shouldn’t be defined by what we are ‘caught’ doing, either good or bad
    • People should be able to hold onto their humanity (not be locked up for life) for something like possession of a drug
    • “If we’re going to care about our shared humanity and our right for everyone to be here, we have to figure out the path of restoration” – Duncan
    • “Slavery isn’t okay, unless someone gets convicted of a crime”
    • Victoria’s Secret has people in prison slavery making lingerie in South Carolina
    • People have to pay off debt from their incarceration, before they get a license, to get a job, that they have to apply to as a criminal
    • Society doesn’t make it easy to be human after prison
    • People in grad school with the same amount of debt, have an education, (usually) a job, and have hope for the future

Rights When Getting Pulled Over

  • Right to remain silent is real
  • Right to consent for search – you don’t have to say yes
    • Law enforcement tries to use the fact that you think you’re guilty and will let the search happen
  • You can’t be detained without probable cause (4th Amendment)
    • You can be detained long enough for a traffic citation, but not enough to be caught for another crime
  • Smoke smell in the car is probable cause, even in s state where it is legal
  • Joe mentions dash cams so that there can be recordings on both ends, not just one end (the police’s evidence)
  • Duncan had the thought that maybe once they realize that his vitamins were not MDMA, that they might try to switch out the vitamins with MDMA
    • His attorney said they aren’t that corrupt, or smart



Check out our online course, “Introduction to Psychedelics”

About Duncan

Duncan Autrey has worked in facilitation and conflict resolution for over fifteen years in diverse contexts ranging from rural Paraguay and Colombia to cities of Seattle, Washington, DC, Cuenca and Buenos Aires. He approaches conflict from a belief that it arises from the diverse cultural experiences of common human needs. Every conflict or complicated situation, large or small, is an opportunity for deepening our relationships and improving the world we live in. Duncan currently runs a podcast called Fractal Friends covering topics on exploring our self-similarity across our diversity.