I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a workshop led by William Ury in which small teams of participants were invited to apply his BB3 framework to challenging situations they were confronting. BB3 brings together a number of ideas and approaches that Ury has contributed to the field of mediation and negotiation over…

Communication is one of the most important pillars of human relationships. Connections established through communication make life in society possible and it explains why so many different types of language have been developed and improved since the early dawn of civilization. However, while it unites us, communication can also divide us, as most of us…

Offers in mediation are too often approached with all the coyness of gauche teenagers at a school dance (acknowledging that this metaphor may reveal too much about my own youth!). It need not be like this. Here are some thoughts to ease the pain. Going first is not weakness. All mediations require offers to be…

According to the Wikipedia, “Make love, not war” is an anti-war slogan commonly associated with the American counterculture of the 1960s. It was used primarily by those who were opposed to the Vietnam War, but it has been invoked in other anti-war contexts around the world since then. The part of the slogan – “make…

The escalating situation in Ukraine brings challenges to those of us committed to mediation and peace-making. Is there a time when what we stand for does not work and cannot be pursued? When dialogue, even in the most threatening of situations, is not appropriate? I don’t pretend to have the answers but I have been…

On the first day of this year the international mediation community lost a wonderful friend and colleague. The memorial page established by his family shows just how wide and deep the affection reaches. He provided memorable experiences to so many of us. And whilst we both certainly remember (and enjoyed) his joie de vivre, the…

When I was recently asked to say something about the “future of mediation” for International Mediation Awareness Week, with a focus on dispute resolution and culture, I first got my crystal ball out of the cupboard, dusted it down, and had a good stare into it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working very well and I was…

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard (PON) sends to subscribers a daily blogpost of interesting negotiation thoughts and analyses. It regularly visits the negotiation styles of world leaders with the idea that ‘by studying the negotiation styles of famous leaders, we can identify what to emulate and what to abandon’. Unsurprisingly it has shone a…

John Sturrock and I recently had the pleasure of contributing a session on game theory and mediation to a workshop on global conflict and dispute resolution hosted by the Delhi Metropolitan Education College. Preparing for the event led me to reflect further on game theory and its relationship to mediation. In summary, game theory analyses…

“Humanity has outsmarted itself. With its ingenuity, this tribal ape has created a world its tribalism can’t manage. We know this…But the knowledge is not enough.” So began Martin Wolf in a recent article in the Financial Times following a meeting of the finance ministers of the G20 – one of the institutions created to improve…