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Thu, Nov 22, 2012

Nice new Video from ODR Provider MODRIA

MODRIA, the Online Dispute Resolution service provider founded by my friend and colleague Colin Rule (former director of online dispute resolution for eBay and PayPal) was featured on TechCrunch this week. As part of the story, they have released a nice new promo video, viewable below. I like their use of the term “Fairness Engine” for the web. Sounds like something we really need.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 22 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Tech News  Videos  

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Sun, Nov 18, 2012

Conflict Resolution Job at MIT - a model job description?

I recently received a job alert from the Chronicle of Higher Education (you can set up key word searches) announcing an opening for the Assistant Director of Conflict Resolution at MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). While this is only one university, and a unique one at that, I was pleased and impressed by the description of the duties for this position (see a clip below). It suggests to me, when coupled with the discussions we had this past year at the Association for Conflict Resolution on the state of dispute resolution in higher education, that the campus conflict resolution “ecology” is continuing to get more sophisticated and more educational in the approaches taken to working with and learning from conflict in higher education. The prevailing counter trend, a focus on risk management and conflict containment, pales in comparison in my mind. Hopefully, the Conflict Resolution field is also producing capable conflict-competent students who are prepared to fill these kinds of positions when they become available. 

Here’s a clip from the longer job description:

Reporting to the Director of the Office of Student Citizenship (OSC), the Assistant Director serves the mission of the OSC in assisting students to become active and reflective members of the MIT community and the world through education, outreach and direct service to undergraduate and graduate students on all matters pertaining to conflict management and resolution.  With a solid grasp of the developmental needs of emerging adults, the Assistant Director connects and engages with the diverse MIT student population to help them develop solid conflict management skills.  To that end, the Assistant Director will develop and conduct periodic assessments of the communitys needs for and views on a spectrum of conflict resolution methods, with an emphasis on conflict coaching and including mediation and restorative practices; develop conflict management and skill-building programs in response to these assessments; oversee the conflict resolution case management; develop and implement training programs; provide leadership in conflict resolution; and serve as primary resource concerning conflict resolution for students and student groups at the Institute.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 18 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Wed, Nov 14, 2012

Participation Compass

The field of public engagement practice has developed into a rich domain of knowledge and techniques that draw on the “wisdom of crowds” and seek to make shared decisions in effective and just ways. The new website entitled Participation Compass (based in the U.K.) provides a good window into the available processes and resource guides currently available. It extends earlier work done at a site called which was created with funding from the UK Department for Justice, the UK Department for Communities & Local Government and the UK Sustainable Development Commission.

The key feature of the site is a search tool that helps you narrow down your tool choices based on the goals you have for your public engagement initiative. Here’s the categories of interest:

Build skills and capacity of participants
Gather individual pre-existing opinions
Gather informed and considered opinions (deliberation)
Generate new ideas (innovation)
Create a shared vision amongst participants
Co-producing services
Reach consensus and overcome conflict
Make a direct decision


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 14 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  Research Tools  

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Thu, Nov 08, 2012

From Conflict to Cooperation - Cartoon Booklets on Resolving Conflicts from Co-operatives UK

From Conflict to Cooperation is a lovely series of five cartoon-style booklets from Cooperatives UK which aim to help groups not only deal with conflict when it arises but also to avoid unnecessary conflict. The nicely illustrated guides are about 20 pages each. They can be read online using a full-screen viewer or downloaded as pdfs. The author Kate Whittle has been working with co-operatives both in the UK and overseas for over 20 years. She has worked as a researcher, trainer, mentor and development worker for a wide range of co-operatives and social enterprises. Angela Martin, the illustrator is a well known cartoonist with vast experience of illustrating community guides and handbooks. The topics and links to the individual guides are provided below.

Booklet 1: Conflict - where it comes from and how to deal with it
Booklet 2: Communication Skills
Booklet 3: Meetings and Decision Making
Booklet 4: Organisational Growth and Development
Booklet 5: Role and responsibilities of the committee


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 08 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sat, Nov 03, 2012

Soliya Connect Program - Group Video Chats Promote Cross-cultural Understanding

I’ve been following the Soliya program for a while now, quite impressed with their creative use of web-enabled video to build connections across cultures. This new video follows a Soliya Connect class through their 10-week semester. As described on the Soliya project website:

Since 2003, the Connect Program has linked students from over 100 universities in 27 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe and North America. Through SoliyaĆ¢??s online videoconferencing application, the program allows students to connect to a global community of peers, engage in facilitated, sustained and substantive dialogue, and build respectful relationships across national, cultural, religious and ideological boundaries.



Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 03 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Videos  

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Cyberweek Blogtalk Radio Show with Colin Rule, Bill Warters and Pattie Porter

Cyberweek 2012 was quite engaging this year, with lots of conversations and platform demonstrations exploring Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) theory and practice. As part of the festivities, on October 30th, Colin Rule and I joined Pattie Porter on the Texas Conflict Coach live call-in radio show. The archive of that fun conversation on Technology For Better, Not For Worse: Online Dispute Resolution In Everyday Life is now available for online listening or download.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2012 11 03 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Podcast  

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