So ended a recent article in the FT by Martin Wolf on the economic response needed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In it he argues that Governments acting in the collective interest must be the buyer of last resort as well as the lender of last resort to prevent the economy imploding as…

Events last Friday have resulted in a harrowing few days for we mediators forced to move our practice online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all been using Zoom. Zoom immediately emerged as the “go-to” platform for video mediation for the simple reason it offered “break-out rooms”, a function inexplicably absent in FaceTime,…

This is a tale from an ancient piece of Chinese literature – Lu’s Commentaries of History – – compiled in 239 B.C. by Lu Buwei, the Prime Minister of the state of Qin.- “There was once a villager who had lost his hatchet. Thinking it was stolen by his neighbour’s son, Wang, he began observing…

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…

Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies- “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” Kurt Vonnegut God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater…

Years ago, as a student in the Harvard Program on Negotiation, I watched the now famous Hackerstar Negotiation video. It’s a great teaching tool and I still use it. It is a masterful demonstration of the power of effective preparation using the 7 elements. It’s also a great demonstration of what I call interruption compulsion…

Mediation: “The insertion of a human buffer between people who need assistance to interact with each other.” This definition speaks to the three core issues facing the mediator every time they enter a session. Human: to what degree does the mediator insert their own humanity into the process of mediation. Interact: to what degree does…