ODR and eNegotiation


by Ernest Thiessen, Bruce Hiebert, Paul Miniato

This chapter is from "Online Dispute Resolution Theory and Practice," Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Ethan Katsh & Daniel Rainey ( Eds.), published, sold and distributed by Eleven International Publishing. The Hague, Netherlands at: www.elevenpub.com.

May 2013


Online dispute resolution (ODR) and eNegotiation are two overlapping components within the world of electronic group decision support systems. eNegotiation encompasses all online transactions in which two or more parties seek an agreement through negotiation. These negotiations can range from e-Commerce to international peace treaties. ODR includes all forms of electronically assisted dispute resolution, often with human intervention including online mediation and arbitration processes that do not involve negotiation. In exploring the use of eNegotiation for ODR, these boundaries can become fuzzy, and in the future they may blur even more as intelligent agents become part of eNegotiation technologies.

eNegotiationis derived from “electronic negotiation” in the same way that e-mail is short for “electronic mail”. It is a process that uses a negotiation support system including computers or other forms of electronic communications that enable parties to negotiate their own agreements. In its most advanced form, eNegotiation is a form of artificial intelligence that fully automates mediation (perfectly neutral, super intelligent, and very secure). While in many cases unnecessary, eNegotiations can include face-to-face meetings if such meetings enhance the process.

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Biography





Ernest Thiessen is President of iCan Systems Inc. of which Smartsettle is a division. He is responsible for the direction and management of the company as well as its government, industry and community affairs. Thiessen has led iCan’s research and development efforts to implement the ICANS patent, creating the world’s first secure multiparty negotiation support system on the Internet. Dr. Thiessen has been a guest speaker at most of the Annual International Forums on Online Dispute Resolution since they began in 2002. Prior to founding iCan Systems Inc. in 1993, Thiessen worked for seventeen years as a consulting engineer and researcher in Canada and in Nepal. Thiessen received his PhD degree from Cornell University in 1993, majoring in Water Resource Systems Planning and Analysis in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. While at Cornell University, Thiessen developed an efficient methodology to solve very complex negotiation problems. This methodology has been patented and is now embodied in both Smartsettle One (for the simplest possible cases) and Smartsettle Infinity (for the most difficult multiparty cases).

Dr. Bruce Hiebert is Vice President for Applications and Ethics, Smartsettle (iCanSystems Inc.). He is a Senior Faculty at the University of Canada West and Adjunct Professor at Vancouver School of Theology. He has trained in pastoral counselling and mediation, and is a certified Smartsettle facilitator. He has fifteen years of senior management and management consulting in a wide range of industries. He holds a Ph.D. in historical ethics from Simon Fraser University, Canada and is an award winning instructor in business, philosophy and religion. He is the author of Your Soul at Work (Northstone, 2005) and Good Work (Northstone, 1996).


Paul Miniato is a certified Smartsettle facilitator, and is working towards a certificate in third-party mediation with the Justice Institute of BC. With four decades of experience in the computer industry, he is an active member of Smartsettle (iCan Systems Inc) and has been assisting with the Smartsettle products since 2007.

The views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc., Mediate.com or of reviewing editors.




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