“All of humanity’s problems stem from [one’s] inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal, Pensées We have done a lot of walking in recent weeks. As we approach the end of the extended “Level 4” of the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, we look forward to only slightly lifted restrictions on…

“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…

“You’ve done what?” It took just a moment. The red mist descended. The words were out before I could haul them back in. “You’ve just gone behind my back and undermined what I set out, and we had agreed, we would do….you might at least have had the courtesy…..” The lawyer had just told me…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

“For nobody would understand, And you kill what you fear, And you fear what you don’t understand.” Powerful words. As a progressive rock music aficionado, these lyrics taken from the song “Duke’s Travels” by my favourite band, Genesis, have often brought me up short as I listen to the album from which they come, 1980’s…

“Across the great divide, Just grab your hat and take that ride” – The Band, 1969 (written by Robbie Robertson) We have all had those conversations or exchanges after which we’ve wished we had thought of a further point to make, a rebuttal of the other’s claim we only later thought of, a way of…

Music and art make continuing and surprising contributions to Dispute Resolution. Greg Bond’s June Blog, written as a means of keeping his promise to write about the Beatles, shared lyrics that gave conflict a new voice. Synchronicity has been at work and suddenly the Beatles lyrics are getting a lot of exposure in the conflict…