“Half moons ago people were hollowed-out tablets of stone spaces were given them according to spaces they left . . . some spaces were filled with darkness no light would shine there . . .” – From “Afkasi” by Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, former poet laureate of New Zealand Many of you will be familiar…

In theory, we expect the parties’ opening statements to be swift, persuasive and forceful. At least, this is what I teach my students in ADR classes. In my mediation room, sadly, this occurs rather sporadically. The communication at the table is, unfortunately, not faultless. I guess every mediator has witnessed long, ambiguous monologue instead of…

What mediators do with words

‘The world is made, not found’ (W. Barnett Pearce) (1) I just spent an intensive weekend on Zoom with my students, helping them navigate their early steps into mediation practice. So much has changed. I have never met most of them face to face; we sit at home on our screens; there are no coffee…

Might we get better results in many of the tasks we undertake if we gave more thought to the way we do things before focusing too early on what to do?  As mediators we know that spending sufficient time on the process of problem solving and negotiation pays dividends in terms of the content. There are…

“As we plan our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we have a profound opportunity to steer our world on a more sustainable and inclusive path – a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind.” António Guterres, Remarks to Petersberg Climate Dialogue, [28…

“in the wreckage left behind by the coronavirus pandemic, a new era is beginning. What does it hold?….What is clear is that the old economic paradigm is looking tired. One way or another, change is coming.” The Economist This quote relates to the way in which economies are managed at a macro level – where the…

“The grandchildren put out a treble tongue, Law is the senses of the young” W H Auden, “Law like Love” “In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” ― Czesław Miłosz (Polish-American poet, 1911-2004) A couple of months ago, our 15-year old granddaughter,…

“The greatest single antidote to violence is conversation, speaking our fears, listening to the fears of others, and in that sharing of vulnerabilities discovering the genesis of hope. . . Conversation – respectful, engaged, reciprocal, calling forth some of our greatest powers of empathy and understanding – is the moral form of a world governed…

Paul Watzlawick’s well-known axiom “you cannot not communicate” has taken on a new relevance in recent months. It means that silence and other non-verbal behaviour are just as much a form of communication as what people say. We cannot switch the communication channel off, at least not if it is analogue – meaning continuous. Take…

“Value will change in the post-covid world. On one level, that’s obvious: valuations in global financial markets have imploded, with many suffering their sharpest declines in decades. More fundamentally, the traditional drivers of value have been shaken, new ones will gain prominence, and there’s a possibility that the gulf between what markets value and what people…