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About OCDR

OCDR History

The Minnesota State Office of Dispute Resolution was founded in 1985 to promote the use of means other than litigation for resolving disputes affecting the public interest. Now the Minnesota State Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution, its mission has expanded to include a broad array of collaborative processes.

OCDR programs have included management of the Minnesota Special Education Mediation Service for the then Department of Education, administration of a Department of Human Rights mediation program, a workplace mediation program, and more.

Public policy consensus building projects have included a mercury reduction initiative with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, changes to child custody legislation with the state legislature, I-35 noise walls with the City of Richfield and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, joint school/city activity center design with the Hopkins School District and the City of Minnetonka, and many others.

OCDR has worked with more than 20 state agencies including the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Commerce, and MnSCU; 25 cities including St. Cloud, Woodbury, and Minneapolis; and a number of other public sector entities.


Serving as a statewide catalyst to advance:

  • Sustainable resolution of matters of public interest
  • Broad use of community mediation throughout Minnesota
  • Effective collaboration and dispute resolution in state and local government


  • Advance and increase the use of collaborative public policy dispute resolution processes in Minnesota by working with professional collaborative dispute resolution providers to convene processes that address significant public policy matters
  • Enhance and strengthen Minnesota's community mediation programs and the direct services they provide to citizens
  • Meet the unique and varied dispute resolution needs of Minnesota's state and local government agencies
    • Increase the use of collaborative dispute resolution methods employed by government agencies
    • Decrease costly inter- and intra- agency conflicts
  • Ensure high quality, sustainable operations and programming for the OCDR

Guiding Principles

  • Promotes and models high standards for collaborative dispute resolution in Minnesota
  • Provides all Minnesotans with access to vetted information on effective dispute resolution resources and collaborative approaches
  • Partners with experienced collaborative dispute resolution providers to promote impactful dispute resolution and collaborative initiatives
  • Fosters responsive, collaborative communication in all interactions with stakeholders, partners and customers
  • Leverages limited state dollars wisely and effectively
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