We agree sometimes to engage in a simple dialogue or in a mediated conversation with other people, but do we necessarily mean the same thing when thinking about dialogue? Are there significant process impacts induced by our perspectives and expectations? And could the dialogue process be more effective should these differences are clarified beforehand? What…

I had the privilege of running a workshop with Marcus Lim (Executive Director, Singapore International Mediation Institute) at CDRC Vienna. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CDRC Vienna, it is a law school competition which focuses on components of negotiation, mediation advocacy and mediation. It is in its third year of running, and…

In 2011, a computer gained fame as a celebrity. Its name was Watson*, of IBM. This was right after taking part in a very popular Q&A show on American TV (Jeopardy), in which Watson, with its ability to understand our language using only information recorded in its memory, and working offline, managed to successfully overcome…

On the face of it clarity and certainty would always appear to be preferable to ambiguity, in order that people know where they stand and can plan and act accordingly. However, in a recent article Fintan O’Toole reflected on the position of Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations and concluded: “…stopping the violence meant creating…

I am travelling back from a couple of days in and around Dublin, discussing an initiative on respectful political dialogue with politicians, academics and conflict resolution professionals. It was a privilege to spend time at Glencree, the centre for peace and reconciliation which was one of those places where so much was done in recent…

This is another blog in the spirit of earlier entries along the lines of “what would you do with XXX at your table.” The challenge will emerge in the course of reading. Myth and metaphor, and the etymology of mediation, are amply available to convey the mediator’s task of steering between – or finding a…

The German Mediation Act was passed five years ago on 21 July 2012, after nearly all EU member states were required by a 2008 EU Directive to implement mediation legislation. I took the opportunity to talk about the Act and its effects with two experienced mediator-judges working in German courts. Anne-Ruth Moltmann-Willisch has been a…

On 6 July I attended the finale of the Global Pound Series held in London, the last in the series of events held worldwide to an audience of over 2000 over 30+ events. I will say now I am not a mediator, I know you are asking why did I get asked to write a…

This post riffs on Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?” to probe the usefulness of the words “trust” and “respect” in mediation. Invitation Mediators the world over are taught to invite their clients to speak. We’re not there to tell people what to do; rather to ask them what they want…

I have in previous entries (July 2012, July 2013, November 2015 and August 2016) written about a peer mediation initiative called the Peacemakers Conference. The purpose of the Peacemakers Conference is to teach 13-16 year olds how to resolve conflicts amicably in a workshop cum competition format. This year’s Peacemakers Conference was held from 19…