About the Partners

Four Worlds was founded in 2014, with its primary base in Corvallis, Oregon USA. Our work builds on the philosophy that to transform disputes each party’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs must be met. Negotiations evolve through multiple stages: adversarial, reflective, integrative and action, though not necessarily in that order. Four Worlds guides that process. We engage in integrative bargaining to increase stakeholder inclusion, find common ground, and transform conflicts, to produce a greater outcome than could otherwise have been achieved.

Our expertise includes: facilitation, mediation, negotiation, water conflict management, water management, spiritual transformation, and collaborative processes. We have the advantage of having worked together on various projects as colleagues and friends. Our styles and skills complement each other. We are Lynette de Silva, Lisa Gaines, Todd Jarvis, Gregg Walker and Aaron Wolf.

Lynette de Silva - Headshot2Lynette de Silva is an educator, mediator and facilitator. She directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University (OSU), and teaches graduate courses in water conflict management. As a consultant to UNESCO, de Silva conducted (2013) water conflict management training to senior water professionals from east Africa, in the Skills-Building Workshop: “Train the Trainer.” Beyond the water-field, de Silva volunteers (2011 – Present) as a mediation practitioner, within Benton County, Oregon court and community mediation systems. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in areas emphasizing water resources and land management practices, which includes directing OSU’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy (2012); working on projects to assist water conflict prevention and resolution; mitigating flooding in the Red River Basin; and identifying and overseeing remediation of soil and groundwater contamination in Indiana.



Mediate cert_vert 2jarvisTodd Jarvis is a consulting groundwater hydrologist with nearly 30 years of experience in deep well drilling in fractured rock and karst. Prior to joining Oregon State University (OSU) he worked for global water/wastewater engineering and groundwater engineering firms. He also worked as an expert witness and provided litigation support on groundwater rights and water well construction in the western US before becoming enlightened as a licensed and insured mediator in the US. He currently specializes in dispute prevention and conflict resolution related to groundwater resources and water well construction. He co-instructs weeklong intensive courses in Water Conflict Transformation and Wicked Problems through the Natural Resources Leadership Academy at OSU. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Oregon Law School teaching Environmental Conflict Resolution. He is a consultant to UNESCO in their Shared Waters training program. He provided weeklong “train the trainers” for African water professionals in 2010 and 2013 and “train the trainers” and advanced negotiations for Arab water professionals in 2011 and 2012. He is an Associate Editor of the journal Groundwater published through the National Ground Water Association. He recently served on the Oregon State Board of Geologists Examiners through an appointment by Governor Kitzhaber. His book Contesting Hidden Waters: Conflict Resolution for Groundwater and Aquifers was released in 2014 by Earthscan.


Aaron2xcolor_Lo-ResAaron T. Wolf is a professor of geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. His research and teaching focus is on the interaction between water science and water policy, particularly as related to conflict prevention and resolution. He has acted as consultant to the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and several governments on various aspects of transboundary water resources and dispute resolution. All told, he is (co-)author or (co-)editor of seven books, including Core and Periphery: A Comprehensive Approach to Middle Eastern Water, (Oxford University Press, 1997), Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Resolution, (United Nations University Press, 2000), Managing and Transforming Water Conflicts (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and close to fifty journal articles, book chapters, and professional reports on various aspects of transboundary waters, from the local scale to the international. A trained mediator/facilitator, he directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, through which he has offered workshops, facilitation, and mediation in basins throughout the world.