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  Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by the whole Brexit affair. I’m not talking about the result of the vote itself, but about the referendum process, the behaviour it engendered, and its aftermath. All the classic features were present. Classic features of what? Well, of binary processes. Those that offer a win/lose, yes/no, remain/leave…

Recap Last time I wrote as a young mediator about my mediation path, I had just arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was February 2014, when people began being killed at the Euromaidan on Independence Square in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. I was trying to ‘break into the peacebuilding field‘ but did not have much…

I begin with two poetic images. One is from an 8th century Taoist poem – I asked the boy beneath the pines. He said, “The master’s gone alone Herb-picking somewhere on the mount, Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.” [Chia Tao (777-841)] And the other, more recent, from W H Auden’s poem “Law Like Love”: And always the…

On 15 February 2016, the European platform for solving disputes arising out of online purchases (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/odr)the ODR Platform, based on EU Regulation 524/2013 (the Regulation) was officially launched. The platform enables EU consumers and traders to settle their disputes by putting them in touch with the ADR providers selected by Member States. This platform is…

I said in last month’s entry that that was going to be one of my occasional funky entries. Should I be concerned that for this month’s entry, I have decided to write on something equally funky? Bear with me, it’s clearly a stage I’m passing through. Either that, or my medication is wearing off! I…

“Stand by your devices”; or “Access through the [virtual] looking glass” I take the first phrase of this blog title from a throw-away line in one of the recent comments by a student in my current Negotiation and Mediation class. The context is this: my university has implemented an Emergency Preparedness Teaching and Learning [EPTL]…

In 1861, the then Secretary to the Education Department, Robert Lowe, addressed the UK House of Commons on the pressing matter of elementary education, in particular on the linked questions of access to education, funding, and quality. His proposal was to introduce a system of “payment for results”, designed both to limit the costs of…

‘Tis the season to be merry. And indulgent. ‘Tis also the season when favourite songs are compiled by well-meaning souls into apparently themed collections. In the UK, we have a long-running radio show called “Desert Island Discs” in which celebrities and others select their favourite pieces of music as they reminisce about their lives. The…

To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

“Yes we speak of things that matter With words that must be said” [Paul Simon, “Dangling Conversation”] I’m posting this a litle earlier than usual, but we all know of the distractions that will only be compounded in the coming week. For about ten years, before we moved to Singapore, our Thursday morning breakfast conversations…