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Conflict Resolution Category Archive

Mon, May 12, 2014

Engaging Conflict for Fun and Profit: Current and Emerging Career Trends in Conflict Resolution

A new report has been published by the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (aka MACRO) exploring career trends in Conflict Resolution. Based on my initial review I think it represents the best information available at the moment (early 2014) on this important topic.

The report is entitled Engaging Conflict for Fun and Profit: Current and Emerging Career Trends in Conflict Resolution and it was developed by Robert J. Rhudy in conjunction with the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO).  You can find the full report here (pdf).

As the representative quotes (see below) from the report that I have selected suggest, it is quite a mixed bag (some positive, some not so much) regarding employment opportunities. First up is an example of a hopeful finding coming from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its May 2012 report, projected a 14% growth rate in the conflict resolution field for the period 2008-2018, stating that:
[E]mployment of arbitrators, mediators and conciliators is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Many individuals and businesses try to avoid litigation, which can involve lengthy delays, high costs, unwanted publicity and ill will. . . . Demand will also continue to increase for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators because all jurisdictions now have some type of dispute resolution program.

On the other hand, there is considerable evidence to suggest that jobs are not easy to come by, as suggested by this quote:

Making a living as a mediator… is anything but fun for many of those trying…[While] there are some mediators who are busy enough to gross a million dollars or more per year…the private mediator market is similar to markets for entertainers or professional athletes…[S]upply exceeds demand. More mediators want to enter the market than there are mediation jobs…

The author of the report, Robert Rhudy, has also posted an online version (shortened?) of the study over at if you want to browse it that way.  Robert has done the field a real service by pulling together this information and sharing it publicly.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2014 05 12 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Research Tools  

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Fri, Jan 31, 2014

MCC Roleplay Book

The Mennonite Conciliation Service has posted their great (and now out of print) book of conflict resolution roleplays online as a pdf. The late 1990’s era collection, edited by Ron Mock, includes 41 scenarios that can be used for discussion and practice honing your conflict intervention skills. Categories addressed include One-Party, Simple Interpersonal Conflicts, Complex Interpersonal Conflicts, Multiparty Conflicts, Victim-Offender Reconciliation, and Scripts, Sociodramas and Case Studies.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2014 01 31 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Mon, Jan 06, 2014

Say Peace - Islamic Perspectives on Conflict Resolution Manual for Muslim Communities

The Salam Institute for Peace and Justice based in Washington D.C. has released a new resource that looks really interesting. The 150+ page training manual is entitled “Say Peace…” Islamic Perspectives on Conflict Resolution Manual for Muslim Communities.

The “…Say Peace” manual was developed specifically to help Muslim communities translate their understanding of Islam as peace into practical knowledge and skills that can help them transform how they operate within conflict and help others around them in transforming conflict situations. Grounded in an Islamic worldview, and with an understanding of the diversity of Muslim communities, the manual brings together Islamic sources of peacebuilding and conflict resolution with experience and methods from the larger multidisciplinary field of conflict analysis and resolution into a training resource that strives to be relevant to daily life.

As the Institute website page for the resource explains, the “…Say Peace” manual developed gradually over a period of years through the interaction of graduate students and faculty, under the leadership of Salam’s Dr. Amr Abdallah.  The project was originally developed within the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences.  Since its production, the manual has been used in trainings for Muslim communities internationally, as well as for participants of other backgrounds working within Muslim communities or who had an interfaith interest in understanding more about Islamic approaches to peacemaking.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2014 01 06 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Wed, Nov 20, 2013

GATHER Guidebook for Convenors

Earlier this year, Rockefeller Foundation and Monitor Institute released GATHER as a free hands-on guidebook for all convening designers and social change leaders who want to tap into a group’s collective intelligence and make substantial progress on a shared challenge.

GATHER provides simple frameworks for the questions that are often ignored: whether convening is the right tool to use to advance a strategic agenda, and how a convening can be used to achieve a specific purpose. It then helps you understand how to customize the design to fit that purpose, laying out a clear series of steps for what is a naturally chaotic workflow. It then offers principles to use for each of the many tactical choices involved. GATHER and its accompanying workshop materials are designed for you to use in your own work, with a team, and with larger groups both inside and outside an organization.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 11 20 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Mon, Nov 04, 2013

Presentations from the ACR 2013 Conference in Minnesota

This year the Association for Conflict Resolution has made available many of the presentations shared at the annual conference using SlideShare. You can review 22 different presentations and catch up on what you may have missed.

Get the slides here.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 11 04 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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ODR Cyberweek 2013 is Nov 4-8

Please join us for another exciting opportunity to explore the many facets of online dispute resolution (ODR). This year ODR Cyberweek will be happening during the first week of November, hosted by the ADRhub hosted by Creighton University. You can view the full schedule here.  If you register for the event (no cost), you’ll get daily emails with news about featured events and activities for the day. Cyberweek 2013 includes many live webinars (at least 2 per day), live demonstrations of tech platforms, moderated discussion forums on current topics of interest, simulations, contests (e-mediation and ethics), twitter chats, and more. There are activities all week in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. A pdf with an overview of the event structure and key activities is available here. Hope to see you online!


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 11 04 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Tech News  

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Conflict Analysis Tools and Models WebQuest

Recently Carolyna Smiley-Marquez shared some work she has been doing for the United States Air Force Alternative Dispute Resolution program, including an online webquest-style learning module on doing conflict analysis. The module introduces some core concepts and encourages you to click on various resource links to expand or deepen your awareness of conflict assessment tools and frameworks. A quiz at the end helps you check your knowledge. You can take it for a spin here.

The image below shows a page where you can review a variety of different models that have been used to understand conflict dynamics in more detail.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 11 04 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Sat, Oct 26, 2013

Conversations with a Long-time Mediator featuring Zena Zumeta

You are invited to join us for the ninth annual Hank Marx Lecture in Dispute Resolution: “Conversations with a Long-time Mediator: Lessons from Experience.” The event will be held at the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium November 7, 2013 at 3:00pm at the Wayne State University Law School Bldg. (Grab a flyer with parking map.)  You can also watch the event live via web streaming at on Nov 7, 2013

Our featured speaker is Ann Arbor-based Zena Zumeta. Zena has been practicing mediation since 1982, and has seen many changes in the field and in practice during that time. She will take the opportunity to reflect on the practice of mediation today, the hopes for the field 30 years ago, and her experiences along the way. The journey has been both eventful and satisfying. Come journey with her, and bring your own questions and reflections!

Ms. Zumeta is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the National Education Association/Saturn Corporation Award for Union-Management Collaboration; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.

Zumeta practices in the areas of family, employment and civil mediation. She teaches mediation in Michigan and nationally and does consulting and conflict intervention in organizations. She is a past board member of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, a past member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Council of the State Bar of Michigan and past president of the Academy of Family Mediators, the Michigan Council for Family and Divorce Mediation and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan - Washtenaw Region. She is an Advanced Practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and has served on many of its committees. Ms. Zumeta has presented at national conferences for the American Bar Association, ACR, and the Association for Family and Conciliation Courts.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 10 26 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Tue, Oct 08, 2013

CR and Peacemaking in Higher Education Symposium - Philadelphia area

If you are interested in integrating peacemaking and conflict resolution content into your higher education offerings AND you happen to live within driving distance of Philadelphia, then you are going to want to check out this Conflict Resolution Day event hosted by the Association for Conflict Resolution Great Philadelphia Chapter. The event provides a networking opportunity and a chance to hear the latest news from keynote presenter David Smith, editor of Peacebuilding in Community Colleges: A Teaching Resource. The event will be held October 17 from 1:30-3:30 at Chestnut Hill College. See the attached flyer (click on image) for details and additional contact information.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 10 08 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  

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Wed, Sep 11, 2013

Quandry, a Free Online Game, Teaches Perspective Taking and Conflict Resolution

A conflict resolution game has been named game of the year at the 2013 Games for Change Festival in New York! The game, entitled Quandry, is aimed at upper elementary and middle school students. The premise is that you, as the player, are serving as the captain of a space colony. Part of your job responsibilities are to step in and assist the other colonists when disputes arise. You have to learn the various dimensions of the dispute by talking to interested parties to get their perspectives, while sorting facts from possible solutions from more general opinions or preferences. For the tough cases, you must eventually propose your solution, one that seems best based on your interviews, to a council of elders on Earth who will make the final decision. You get maximum points by listening to all the game characters, and accurately predicting how they will respond to the eventual solution, something that is only possible if you’ve come to understand each character’s point of view.

Check out the game’s trailer video here:


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 09 11 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Fun Stuff  Learning Objects  

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Fri, Jun 21, 2013

Slides from ODR 2013 Presentation Exploring Peer Mediation on Twitter

Below are the slides I presented at the ODR 2013 Forum in Montreal, made available via Slideshare. Thanks to Karim Beyekhlef, Karine Gentelet and their staff at the University of Montreal and to Fabien Gelinas of McGill University for jointly hosting the 12th International ODR Forum (and for including me on the program).

Networked Individualism and ADR/ODR Process: Reflections Through the Lens of "Peer Mediation" on Twitter from Bill Warters


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 06 21 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Tue, May 07, 2013

Democracy is Us website launched

As a creative project developed in response to the Looking at Democracy Challenge, I recently launched a new website at If you like the project, I would appreciate your vote of encouragement. Voting for the Popular Choice Award runs from May 6-16, 2013. 

The project seeks to promote conflict resolution in education as a core foundation for democratic living. I had some fun with the design, developing a “parallax” side scrolling scene where a biker rides along the “pathway to democracy” passing various reminders of good practice. You can even swap bikes if you prefer a different ride than the initial high wheel bike. Also included is a timeline of examples of people-powered nonviolent actions for change and a calendar that lists information on world holidays, peacemaker birthdays and more. At the center of the site, however, are the videos showing a selection of good examples of conflict resolution education (broadly defined) being enacted in schools and communities. Also provided are some core resources should the viewer decide to try and implement some of these ideas where they are.

Here’s the entry description:

Democracy works best with an educated citizenry who have developed skills of conflict resolution, public engagement, and civility as part of their schooling experience. This proposal harkens back to the philosophy of education espoused by pragmatist John Dewey in his 1916 book Democracy in Education, while looking forward at the positive strides being made in conflict resolution skills development in education. Democracy can get us where we need to go, but it is human-powered. Making it work requires a proper education and the ability to work with others often unlike ourselves. However, by getting involved and engaging with others we can all look forward to an interesting and productive journey. Democracy is us! Ride on!

Also, please check out the prezi, embedded below, that I developed to explain the project’s focus.

I was hoping to include a bike riding game on the site, wherein the biker has to navigate some tricky terrain and avoid various obstacles to democratic practice, but I ran out of time, so I guess it will have to wait till after the contest wraps up in June when I’ll be free to make additional changes to the site. In any case, I do hope you like it and share the site with others. Ride on!


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 05 07 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Fun Stuff  Learning Objects  Tech News  

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Thu, May 02, 2013

Careers in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution Webinar archive

In April of 2013 the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the U.S. Institute for Peace hosted a webinar with Professor George Lopez, Chair in Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The session focused on Careers in the Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution Field. The webinar is archived and available for viewing online. Professor Lopez has been active in the field of peace studies for a very long time, serving for instance as Chair of the Peace and Global Studies Program at Earlham College in the late 1970s,  so this was a great opportunity. He also happens to be an alumni, like myself, of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, from whence great things often come.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 05 02 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Learning Objects  

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Mon, Mar 18, 2013

Connection Point Cross-Cultural Dialogues for Women

Peace by Peace is hosting a new Connection Point initiative that will be using facilitated video conversations using Google Hangouts to connect Arab and Muslim women with women from Western countries in a vibrant online community.

Women interested in serving as online facilitators should apply by March 22, 2013. Accepted applicants will receive training prior to the commencement of the online dialogues.

This program is based on a curriculum developed by Peace X Peace, with the intention of serving a growing community of global citizens who are interested in reaching a better understanding of conflict and ways to engage in peacebuilding, particularly when it comes to the relationship between Western women and Arab and Muslim women.

Screenshot of dialogue session in a google hangout


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 03 18 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Tech News  

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Resources from the University of Minnesota Student Conflict Resolution Center

The University of Minnesota Student Conflict Resolution Center has been doing a good job developing materials to help their constituents understand and deal with campus conflicts.

A few notable examples include their survey (2007 and then again in 2011) of graduate and professional students (more than 3300 respondents) regarding experiences with academic incivility, a set of DIY handouts promoting constructive problem management, and a series of videos exploring roommate conflicts, grading disputes and charges of academic misconduct.

The 2011 survey of graduate students showed improvement when compared with the 2007 results in terms of the percentage of students experiencing harassment, so progress is being made. Here’s a clip from the most recent survey summary:

Seventeen percent, down from 19% in 2007, reported being harassed by such behavior as hostile communication and threats to academic and employment status. Students reported being harassed most often by faculty who were not their advisers. Twenty percent reported the harassment, those who did not report said they feared retaliation or a negative impact on their career; half said that they didnt believe anyone would help them. Thirty percent of those who did report being harassed felt that they had been retaliated against as a result of reporting the harassment.

Seventy-nine percent, down from 83% in 2007, reported that the harassment somewhat or completely interfered with their ability to work or study. Thirty-six percent, down from 44% in 2007, of those who experienced harassment reported they considered leaving the U as a result. Eighteen percent, down from 29% in 2007, of students who observed another student being harassed considered leaving the U as a result of the harassment.

The University has made a public commitment to improving academic civility on campus for graduate students.


Posted by: Bill Warters on 2013 03 18 | Filed under Conflict Resolution  Videos  

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