This year’s conference theme is ‘Widening the Scope’. The conference will look at the current scope of mediation. Where is it being used and how is it making an impact? It will look at mediation in action and the different skills being applied in different circumstances. It will also look to the future and, using the projects being discussed as a starting point, ask the question of how the scope of mediation could be widened.
We have two excellent plenary sessions.
Jo Berry and Patrick Magee are in conversation about Building Bridges for Peace. Building Bridges for Peace advances conflict transformation by facilitating those involved in hostilities to break the cycle of violence and revenge by appreciating the humanity of their opponents and the power of empathy. Founder Jo Berry and Patrick Magee – who was convicted for the Brighton bombing that killed Jo’s father – facilitate workshops around the world which enable dialogue between opposing groups and give talks on conflict resolution and alternatives to violence.
Aileen O’Brien and Chris McDonagh from the Traveller Mediation Service (TMS) are presenting a session which will tell us about an exciting and innovative TMS project in Ireland which has trained Travellers themselves to mediate Traveller conflicts. They will also tell us about their pilot peer mediation project which was delivered in an Irish prison where inmates were predominantly from a Traveller background. This offers an interesting new perspective on the use of a peer mediation model which has more often been used in schools.
Our workshop programme includes;
Sarah Welsh from Scottish Mediation will discuss the Young Talk Peer Mediation Project and consider how things are working and how it could potentially develop in the future.
Alison Ebbitt will explore mental health in relation to mediation. The workshop will cover: understanding mental health; the impact of stress; and, behaviour in conflict and how it impacts upon mental health. Alison will also consider situations when mediation would not be appropriate.
Will Linden, Co-Deputy Director of the Violence Reduction Unit and Sam Tedcastle, Senior Practitioner at the Centre for Good Relations will be an explore the potential of mediation to prevent and reduce violence in communities. They will consider two different communities and how they are affected by violence. How does the violence manifest and what is underpinning it? They will then consider what are the mediation roles that could help prevent and reduce violence.
Using their new Housing Mediation Project at the University of Strathclyde as the focus for debate, Charlie Irvine and Carolyn Hirst will deliver a Workshop which considers the mixed feelings about mediation in the resolution of legal and contractual disputes. Drawing on their knowledge and experience of mediation theory and practice, they will encourage discussion on the structural and ideological barriers to using this form of dispute resolution and what might be needed to improve mediation receptivity.
Denise Triessman will deliver a workshop looking at self-care for mediators. (Both AM and PM sessions)
Dr Lesley Allport and Roland Chesters will explore the growing development of Disability Mediation as a specialist area of practice. They will discuss the work of the Disability Mediation Working Group, supported by the College of Mediators and its progress so far and identify the difference between inclusive working and disability mediation. Participants will be invited to consider what it means to be a disability mediator and the issues and challenges that this work raises.
Sam Tedcastle, Senior Practitioner at the Centre for Good Relations will explore how civic mediation processes can be used to support respectful dialogue across groups with opposing and extreme views. This work will consider where these conversations can build resilience in Scottish communities and encourage participants to reflect on some of the personal dilemmas that may arise when facilitating such a process.
And finally, the Workplace and Employment Initiative Group (WEIG) will present a session entitled The Influence of Lawyers on Mediation – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, delivered by Alun Thomas, Employment Partner at Anderson Strathern.
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