The process of discerning what to write about in a blog is interesting. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly. On other occasions, there is a barren wilderness, or a hotchpotch of half-formed ideas. This month feels like the last of these. I thought to write about a really excellent new book by the Oxford economists, Paul Collier…

Do Black Lives Matter

“Racially discriminatory behavior may be reduced more effectively when racial issues are made salient rather than ignored or obscured.” (1) This week I’ve been thinking about white privilege. Ok, my white privilege. Like much of the planet I was horrified by the casual, almost routine asphyxiation of George Floyd. I wasn’t surprised by protest and…

Going online is an opportunity to rethink old ways and try out new ones. For mediators, trainers, coaches, and teachers. Professionally the crisis can be an opportunity. While of course also a threat, with loss of business and income in many sectors, including mediation, facilitation and coaching. The competition for work may become tougher. This…

Early in the morning, I got a call from a lawyer representing one of the parties in cross border mediation. “Would you consider changing the venue for our meeting?”, he asked. Usually not a surprising demand. This time an expected one. We were about to meet in Milan, Italy which at the time being had…

“The ground is so wet; it wasn’t like this in the past. We can’t get started on this year’s soil preparation.” In a recent mediation involving farmers, this was the response to my early inquiry about how things were going, generally. These days, I find that the topic of climate change and its effects arises,…

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…

At a lunch at Globe House, Temple Place in London in early 2006 on a balcony overlooking the Thames, the host, Michael Leathes, then an in-house corporate counsel with some years of user experience in mediation and the arb-med hybrid, asked me and the others present – Jeremy Lack, Tina Monberg, Miryana Nešić and Irena…

Mediation has taken me to many places – professionally, physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. Last week I was so fortunate to be doing six days of training in Tbilisi, Georgia, at New Vision University. Three days with students learning the skills of mediation and three days with young professionals reflecting on appropriate communication and challenging conversations…

A number of recent mediations have reaffirmed some essentials which I share here in the hope that they might be helpful to others: It’s not all about the money. Mr A had a very substantial claim against a bank running into hundreds of thousands of pounds Sterling, most of his life savings. When I asked…