At a recent Global Ethical Finance Initiative event Katherine Trebeck of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance discussed her book ‘The Economics of Arrival’. The book explores the contribution of economic growth to wellbeing, particularly in the context of developed economies who could be considered to have ‘arrived’. It makes the argument that beyond a certain threshold,…

Mediators work hard to help parties to a dispute to explore and understand their underlying needs and interests, which might have been forgotten or overlooked in the defence of a position that was once adopted to promote their interests. A recent book by political scientist Krzysztof Pelc ‘Beyond Self-interest – why the market rewards those…

‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake is a fascinating look into the role that fungi play in making the natural world what it is. From the impact on humans to the symbiotic relationship between mycorrhizal fungi and trees. The relationship between humans, plants and fungi is also the focus of the Welcome Collection’s current exhibition ‘Rooted…

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a workshop led by William Ury in which small teams of participants were invited to apply his BB3 framework to challenging situations they were confronting. BB3 brings together a number of ideas and approaches that Ury has contributed to the field of mediation and negotiation over…

A disaster has unfolded in Ukraine and beyond in the month and a half since Russia invaded. Thousands of dead and injured, reports of horrific brutality, millions of refugees and towns and cities reduced to rubble. Russia is also suffering from economic sanctions, the loss of many of its brightest and best and a pariah…

In the 1930’s anthropologist Gregory Bateson developed the concept of Schismogenesis – the creation of division. He defined this as ‘a process of differentiation in the norms of individual behaviour resulting from cumulative interaction between individuals’, or groups of individuals. A process of this sort can result in individuals or groups drifting apart, almost becoming mirror…

To what extent do we have control over our future? There is a lively debate among philosophers, neuroscientists and others (summarised in an article by Oliver Burkman) about the degree to which free will exists, or whether what happens to us is predetermined by what has gone before. Burkman concludes his article with the reminder that:…

John Sturrock and I recently had the pleasure of contributing a session on game theory and mediation to a workshop on global conflict and dispute resolution hosted by the Delhi Metropolitan Education College. Preparing for the event led me to reflect further on game theory and its relationship to mediation. In summary, game theory analyses…

“Humanity has outsmarted itself. With its ingenuity, this tribal ape has created a world its tribalism can’t manage. We know this…But the knowledge is not enough.” So began Martin Wolf in a recent article in the Financial Times following a meeting of the finance ministers of the G20 – one of the institutions created to improve…

Erisology has been defined as the study of disagreement – where people are no closer to understanding each other at the end of an exchange than they were at the beginning. Sound familiar? Eris was the Greek goddess of discord.  The term was been coined by John Nerst, a blogger in Sweden, who is interested in…