Mon, Jun 02, 2014
Softskills video training series for Michigan workers includes nice conflict resolution module
SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments; its partner organization, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC); and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation have recently announced the release of 14 videos that provide training on soft skills for the Michigan workforce.
The videos bring to life the SEMCOG/MAC report from 2012, Lifelong Soft Skills Framework: Creating a Workforce that Works. They are intended to raise awareness about essential skills needed for workplace success. They can be used by educators, employers, and for self improvement.
These 15-minute videos focus on 14 essential soft skills â€“ humility, communication, (managing) conflict, ethical character, personal judgment, problem solving, time management, diversity and inclusion, self-confidence, teamwork, positive attitude, initiative, flexibility, and work ethic. They define, assess, and provide strategies for developing the skills in a fun, accessible way.
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 Mediate.com 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.
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.
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 â€œâ€¦Say Peaceâ€ 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 â€œâ€¦Say Peaceâ€ manual developed gradually over a period of years through the interaction of graduate students and faculty, under the leadership of Salamâ€™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.
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 groupâ€™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.
Mon, Nov 04, 2013
Presentations from the ACR 2013 Conference in MinnesotaThis 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.
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!
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.
Sat, Oct 26, 2013
Digital Attack Map
The new Digital Attack Map is a live data visualization of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks around the globe, built through a collaboration between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks. The tool surfaces anonymous attack traffic data to let users explore historic trends and find reports of outages happening on a given day. DDoS attacks are now common-place as bot-nets become available for rent as tools to attack websites groups disagree with. Distributed Denial of Service attacks can be used to make important online information unavailable to the world. Sites covering elections are brought down to influence their outcome, media sites are attacked to censor stories, and even businesses are taken offline. The map is embeddable in other sites, as shown below.
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 http://www.wayne.edu/live 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.
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.
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 youâ€™ve come to understand each characterâ€™s point of view.
Check out the game’s trailer video here: http://www.quandarygame.org/contest
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).
Tue, May 28, 2013
Training Modules for Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding
The Learning Portal for Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding is a web resource promoting good practice among peacebuilding professionals by sharing resources and creating a community of practice. The website currently hosts close to 500 resources openly shared with the broader community.
A key resource on the site is a set of learning modules developed by Search for Common Ground on the basic processes involved in the design, monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding initiatives. This collection is presented as a series of 26 downloadable pdfs. Here’s the description from the portal listing:
This self-guided modular curriculum breaks the project cycle down into easily manageable stages as they relate to the design, monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding projects and programs. The modules are meant to enable peacebuilders to learn simple, practical, and effective tools to design high quality programs and follow them up with rigorous monitoring and evaluation. It is primarily intended for program staff and M&E specialists working in peacebuilding and conflict transformation programming.
Developed by Search for Common Ground, the curriculum is based off SFCGâ??s Designing for Results: Integrating Monitoring and Evaluation into Conflict Transformation Programming, authored by Cheyanne Church and Mark Rogers. The modules synthesize key messages of Designing for Results, and expands on the original publication by providing real-life examples, tips and practice exercises to deepen your understanding and comprehension of this crucial knowledge for effective peacebuilding.
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 http://democracyis.us/active. 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!