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Thu, Apr 22, 2010

Avatars Mediate an Online Course Conflict

I recently stumbled upon this animated 3D mediation demonstration. A conflict has developed between members of a team working in an online course. Two of the students come in to meet the professor who will mediate. The nicely produced video was created by Carla Cross, Karen Hamilton and Debbie Plested, apparently as as course project at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It looks like it was built in a tool like XtraNormal, but I can’t be sure.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 22 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Mon, Apr 19, 2010

The Eight Rules of Framing - a Mediator learning module from Zena Zumeta

Mediator and Mediation Trainer Zena Zumeta has released a nice new learning module providing tips for framing issues during mediation. Built using Captivate, the interactive and visually appealing module provides a hypothetical case of a divorcing couple as an example. The Eight Rules of Framing, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, walks you through each suggest rule and often provides an opportunity for you to choose possible alternative approaches and see how the couple might react. Nice job Zena!

Images from module


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 19 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Sat, Apr 17, 2010

Conflict Resolution in Online Communities - Chapter 9 from the Art of Community by Jono Bacon

book coverPeople in the open source software community are probably already familiar with Jono Bacon, community manager for Ubuntu, a very popular version of the Linux operating system. Personally I’ve enjoyed listening to Jono’s lovely sense of Brit humor now that he has become a regular participant on the FLOSS Weekly podcast that explores the open source software universe.

However, the reason readers of this blog should get to know Jono’s work better is because he is the author of a new book (August 2009) from O’Reilly called The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation which is available in multiple languages and under a Creative Commons License that permits it to be shared and reused with proper attribution. Kudos to O’Reilly for being willing to release a free version of this book alongside the paid options!

The book is written so that it’s lessons can be applied to communities that go well beyond the technical and software focused groups that command most of Jono Bacon’s attention as a software developer and community manager.

Chapter 9 of the Art of Community (see it embedded below) is all about handling conflict that may emerge within your community. Concepts from the chapter are illustrated using a case involving two influential members of an online community who have gotten into conflict over if/how to solicit donations to the group and how to best manage the funds that could result. Overall, a lovely chapter, which, while it takes a few digs at conflict resolution as a full-blown field of study, it does so in a friendly way that simply emphasizes the practical over the theoretical. (Note: Readers may also want to pay special attention to Chapter 3 on Communicating Clearly, as this relates directly to conflict management and prevention as well.)

From the conflict resolution chapter:

There is a science out there that explains how conflict occurs, but it is grounded in this plethora of variables, stimuli, nature-versus-nurture debates, and other elements. It is possible to devote your life to the topic: there is a sea of content about the psychology of conflict, anger management, cultural impact, expectations, and negotiation skills. Although you are welcome to submerge yourself in this academia, much of it will not be particularly useful when trying to figure out how to untwist the knickers of two people caught up in a fracas.

As a general rule, conflict is rare, and it doesn’t need a lifetime devotion to the library of academia. What it needs are straight, practical, hands-on approaches to dealing with common situations. With this in mind I wanted to include this chapter as a summary of the most important things to know when dealing with your community’s conflict. It will give you the tools for handling the level of conflict you are likely to deal with.

The Art of Community - Building the New Age of Participation



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 17 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Fri, Apr 16, 2010

World Economic Forum 2010 Risk Interconnection Map

The World Economic Forum has produced an interactive economic risk browser that lets you look at the strength of connections between various risks in a network diagram format. It’s interesting to see what economists consider to be the significant risks and how they are linked to each other.

Risk Map


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 16 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Wed, Apr 14, 2010

30 Days of Strength Men’s Violence Prevention Toolkit

Men Can Stop Rape is a group that has been very successful at mobilizing young men in high school to take a stand against sexual violence and relationship aggression. The primary vehicle for this are MOST (Men of Strength) clubs. Building off of April’s designation as Sexual Assault Awareness month, Men Can Stop Rape is providing a free “30 Days of Strength” organizing toolkit that provides enough ideas to run a 30-day awareness campaign in a high school using morning announcements, flyers, screensavers, handouts and giveaways, and more. Although the kit is geared toward April, the ideas can be used in other months with some small changes to the various flyers and handouts. Great stuff for bold young men who want to make a difference.

30 Days of Strength toolkit


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 14 | Filed under Learning Objects  

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Fri, Apr 09, 2010

BASES wiki - International Resources on DR between Companies and Communities

The multilingual BASES wiki “provides a place to find information, share learning, and engage with others about non-judicial grievance mechanisms around the world.”
Note that this project is now housed with The ACCESS Facility: -  “a platform for information about company-community problem solving and the new home of BASESwiki”.

As explained on the Who We Are page, BASESwiki is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, undertaken in cooperation with the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School and with the support and collaboration of the International Bar Association and Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the World Bank Group.

The project grew out of a yearlong multi-stakeholder consultation process, conducted by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University in collaboration with the UN SRSG on Business and Human Rights. The process examined the non-judicial mechanisms available to address grievances and disputes between companies and the communities or individuals their activities can impact. It explored different models of mechanism, stakeholders experiences of them, and what makes them more or less effective in practice.

During the consultations, stakeholders from all sides reported that the lack of readily available information about these mechanisms was a fundamental barrier both to accessing them and to understanding how to improve their performance.

The BASES project receives funding and support from the Open Society Foundation and it appears to be off to a good start. Currently more than 70 Case Stories are posted that illustrate a range of DR mechanisms at the Global, Regional, National and Local level and more than a 100 country profiles provide snapshots on what is happening in different countries worldwide.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 09 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Wed, Apr 07, 2010

CR Events Calendar


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 07 | Filed under

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Sun, Apr 04, 2010

Video on Restorative Justice in Longmont, Colorado

The RJ project in Longmont Colorado is a nice success story as far as community-based restorative justice initiatives go and as I understand it, was influential and inspirational with respect to the restorative justice work being done at the University of Colorado, Boulder (they have a video too - see here for more details). This 16-minute video, available via, introduces the Longmont project.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2010 04 04 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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