2 Dispute Resolution Conferences that got my attention last week

You need not leave your home to attend a conference these days.  Yet, attending a conference, in-person, has its benefits.  I had the best of both worlds last week.

On the virtual front, I participated in a few of the sessions offered at Cyberweek 2011, a week long series of webinars and discussion forums, featuring bright lights in the world of Online Dispute Resolution.

On the physical front, I attended the ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) Institute of Canada’s National Conference (ADRIC) in Vancouver, October 27-28.

Here are a few conflict nuggets, that got my attention, from those conferences.  Hope these interest you, too.

Cyberweek 2011


Mediation diversity; Ian Macduff, a mediator based in Singapore, led a discussion on ODR, The Internet and Contemporary Diversity.  It got me thinking about the potential of adapting diverse mediation approaches to one’s own place/situation/context and what that might look like.  In my context, what if the French social mediation practice, and the best of the U.S. community mediation models, and the multi-lingual features of my own country, Canada, were integrated.  Thinking… how diversity is a path to innovation.

ODR business case; Texas mediator Pattie Porter regularly hosts a program on Blog Talk Radio.  She used that forum to host a conversation with three ODR illuminaries, Dan Rainey, Colin Rule and Noam Ebner, around the benefits of ODR.  One nugget I pulled from the conversation was offered by Colin that eBay buyers who went through a dispute resolution process had higher business/transaction activity, in the 3 months following their dispute; an observation that supports the business case for investing in ODR.  Another was offered up by Dan Rainey… use technology to search/troll/sort thru conversations for insights especially useful in multi-stakeholder dialogues.

More than ready; Jo Demars facilitated a webinar on ODR and Customer Support.  She sees big potential for new types of ODR applications; in banking, small level insurance claims, document reviews and that we need to pilot those opportunities in the real world. People are more comfortable with technology today surprisingly so we’re not luddites, any more.

E-Simulations; Skip Cole believes in the power of simulation platforms.  His Sea Change Simulations builds on the open source software approach. His webinar summarized his efforts to-date, along with pointing us to other simulation opportunities for dispute resolution; e.g., People Power: The Game of Civil Resistance, as a tool for learning non-violent approaches to conflict management.  Wonder if the Occupy movements played that game?

ADRIC 2011


Aboriginal rights; They (governments) have failed to acknowledge that First Nations rights are not just like the rights of a Skidoo Club, Jim Doswell, BC Treaty Negotiator, commenting on the inability of governments to effectively negotiate resolutions to Canadian First Nations (aboriginal peoples) land claims.  Another gem from Jim, we are all tribal, its just some of us are a long way from our tribes.

Seniors financial abuse; Today, financial abuse of seniors is, unfortunately, more than common.  Margaret Easton, of the Meridian Aging Project gave it historical perspective, though, how financial abuse of the elderly has been going on since ancient times; dating back to the Legend of Gilgamesh, the works of Rome’s Cicero in 44 AD, through to Shakespeare’s King Lear.  We got lots of work ahead of us!

Culture in mediation; A session from Mediate BC mediators Yuki Matsuno and Shelina Neallani did a session on addressing cultural diversity in a mediation and how culture is like a shopping cart, you need to be aware of what you take off the shelf and put in your cart, versus what comes pre-loaded?  and the importance of somehow tangibly recognizing the other’s culture, in order to create a positive emotional connection.

Mediation and TV; Sharon Sutherland did a fascinating plenary talk about mediation on television, in which she showed clips from various TV shows involve a mediator actor, in a leading role in addition to Next Door Nightmares, a UK reality TV show which features volunteer mediators taking on the challenge of disputing neighbours.  Well, why not!

How about you?  what grabbed your attention last week?

photo credit: oceanic on Flickr

[Leave a comment about this postSubscribe to the feed to get regular updates.]

Speak Your Mind