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The Future of Mediation

The Future of Mediation

How would you like to see the mediation field develop in the future?



Full Transcript

Wow. Another big question. Okay. Firstly, I think people need to have a sense of, as I said before, the breadth of the field. There is a danger in being caught in silos and not learning from what people are doing in other parts of the field. That’s important.


Secondly, there is the wider education bit. I also mentioned before. The big job we have really in front of us is in teaching human beings how to deal with difference and conflict. That is as much a role for mediators as is dealing with disputes immediately and in front of us. For that reason, I would like to see the profession having a much higher profile. I’d like to see pieces in serious newspapers addressing from a third party point of view situations of conflict which emerge all the time.


Now of course not everything can be mediated, we have to be realistic about this. There are groups, there are situations where actually this approach is just not going to work. There are many others where it does need to, where it can be applied. We need to bring ideas like the management of uncertainty into a much broader common consciousness, I think. One of the things which I often find at the end of any training course, people say that the value of this, “I’m going to apply it in my professional life, but gully, it appears to negotiating with my children or my partner or the Parish council or whatever as well.” Absolutely, yes. This stuff is actually about being a decent human being as well actually dealing with disputes.


Those are my three things. Firstly to understand the field itself, a much better neutral understanding, familiarity with it. Secondly the educational role and thirdly the broadening, publicizing of the role.

About the mediator

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Andrew Acland specialises in designing and facilitating stakeholder dialogue and consultation processes in complex, multi-party, multi-issue contexts, often with environmental and social sustainability dimensions. Andrew began his working life as a political analyst specialising in East-West relations and arms control. In 1985, while working on the staff of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, he acted as assistant to the Archbishop’s envoy, T... View Mediator