The Olympics have come and gone with all of the emotion and inspiration they bring. In our recent, fully-subscribed, residential Summer School on mediation skills for leaders, we reflected on the learning from Rio. We watched a video replay of the men’s taekwondo -80kg final in which Team GB’s Lutalo Muhammad lost to his Ivory…

Writing a post in the aftermath of what happened on Friday, the 24th of June 2016, is an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to conduct an effective mediation process, and above all a constructive dialogue. Clearly this post is an insight on my own personal reflections to date. With the weeks ahead, I…

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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…

Ireland is grinding to a halt. Or, at least, looking in from the outside one could think it is. 40 days on from the general election, we have no government. None of the parties had a sufficient majority, and no coalition can be formed. The latest attempt at talks ended yesterday almost before it had…

As I write this, I am looking across the Gulf of Aqaba at the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, near the place where the Egyptian border abuts Israel, south of the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat. This morning’s BBC news tells us that Israel is on alert for IS attacks in the Sinai. The accompanying…

We have just reached the end of the annual marking season (grading for North Americans). The verbal joust of examinations is almost over. Students get their blows in first; teachers’ strike back with marks and comments. It’s a familiar ritual with its own rhythm and reasoning. It can be viewed as arduous by both sides…

Ireland is changing. It is changing at a pace that few would have anticipated. Recent weeks have seen the latest step in the process of building peace and reconciliation between Ireland and the UK with Prince Charles making a meaningful and moving visit to Mullaghmore, County Sligo, the site of the IRA bombing which took…

I was twenty-five years old when I joined Young Mediators’ Initiative (YMI) and first participated at the Andalusian System for Labour Conflict Resolution (S.E.R.C.L.A) as an official mediator. At SERCLA, we normally have an average of ten people at the mediation table. Sometimes, not only am I by far the youngest person in the mediation…

Last month, Al Jazeera carried a piece called “‘Mama Boko Haram’ grasps for peace in Nigeria”. It detailed the activities of Aisha Wakil (pictured above), a Nigerian lawyer who has become a de facto mediator between Boco Haram and the Nigerian government – often at considerable risk to herself. “Mama Boko Haram”, as she has…