The start of a new decade offers a great opportunity to reflect and plan. There is a growing consensus that the 2020s will be crucial in transforming the way we live and work if we are to have any chance of ensuring the planet is able to accommodate our species. Nearly everything we do is…

Recently, I had the privilege of facilitating a session at Scotland’s Citizens Assembly at which politicians from four political parties took the opportunity to discuss with the Assembly members (over 100 people randomly recruited from across Scotland) their vision for the future of the country. At the outset, I framed it as a departure from…

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. Dr Martin Luther King, 1956 Readers from New Zealand who are of a certain age will remember the headline corporate promise that accompanied advertisements for the home appliances company, LV Martin & Son: “It’s the putting it right that counts.” Such was…

A few days ago my daughter asked me a question that challenged and inspired me, and that has me thinking still. Often, we say it is little children who catch us out with their questions. But my two adult children seem to manage to test my assumptions, ideas and actions more and more the older…

People have very good reasons not to want to enter into dialogue with each other over conflict (with or without mediation). By this, I am not considering the rational choice that a dispute or conflict is “not suited” to mediation since the chances of a better outcome without amicable resolution are deemed higher. It is…

Many years ago, a group of friends were driving in the south of England in a rental car and, in need of directions (pre-Google maps and GPS), we pulled over to the side of the road to ask a gentleman the way. I leapt out, approached him and asked for the directions, to which he…

Mediators should speak up confidently for mediation. In this post I will consider some reasons why this might be difficult, and others why it is so necessary. It is not only that mediation is not sufficiently known. It can also be intimidating, and it is our job to explain it. Shortly after I had finished…

Brings you down to buy a paper If you read between the lines No one seems to have the answer To living in these troubled times Still you try and you try And you do what you must do “Living in these troubled times” R. Cook, S. Hogin, P. Donnelly; sung by Maura O’Connell (amongst…

A couple of weeks ago I came across a poem by the Native American writer Joy Harjo, entitled “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.” The title made me curious, as might be expected for a mediator. You can find the whole poem online on the Poetry Foundation website, or you can buy the book of poems…