Building upon the foundation established over recent decades, The Mediation Futures Project will gather and report upon our best thinking about the future of the mediation field and mediation practice.
The Future of International Mediation

International Articles


The Future of Mediation - Video Interview of Ken Cloke

(2/22/17)Kenneth Cloke, Peter Adler

The use of mediation has grown and evolved over last the thirty years. As the “founders” begin to retire and new voices emerge, what is the future of mediation from a global perspective?

Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination

(11/22/16)Robert A. Baruch Bush, Joseph P. Folger

For us and the colleagues we’ve worked with for many years, our first premise has always been that self-determination, or what we call empowerment, is the central and supreme value of mediation – a premise probably shared by many in the field.

Henry Brown

Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity

(3/02/15)Henry Brown

I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.

Mediation and the Black Belt Lawyer

(3/01/15)Andrea Maia, Juliana Loss de Andrade

The symbolism of the term ‘’black belt’’ may lead us in the first place to its meaning in the martial arts field, especially when you had your childhood influenced by the lessons from Mr. Miyagi and Daniel San’s hard path in Karate Kid. Comparatively, but differently from the Karate world, our corporate environment also has “black belts” who rely on knowledge, discipline and wisdom.

Sandra Untrojb

El Futuro de la Mediación: Los Adolescentes y la Tecnología

(2/27/15)Sandra Untrojb

En mi opinión el futuro de la mediación se basa en dos pilares fundamentales: los adolescentes y la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías.

Katherine Triantafillou

The Art of Conversation and The Future of Mediation

(2/20/15)Katherine Triantafillou

Although I am pretty good at envisioning the future, I don’t really have any grandiose images of the future of mediation. Rather, I have some cautionary tales and a few suggestions for how we might impact the future and avoid the pitfalls of insularity.

Alex Azarov

APR: Alternative Political Resolution

(2/20/15)Alex Azarov

Mediation has proven to me that adversarial litigation is an archaic way to resolve many of our conflicts. I think it's logical that we the best for the future is to use mediation to resolve the political deadlocks that are plaguing our societies, transforming democracy from the divisive popularity contest that it has become to the participatory civic engagement that so many have fought for.

Mary Aderibigbe

The Importance of Preventive Law to the Growth of Mediation

(2/10/15)Mary Aderibigbe

We are in the information era marked by influx of ideas, data flexibility and improved efficiency. This information age has to a large extent contributed to global decline in career and employment opportunities.

F=T(Q+I) F = The Future; T=Trust; Q=Quality; I=Information

(2/02/15)Michael Leathes, Deborah Masucci

The Future of mediation hangs on several factors. Probably the most important is Trust. If mediation is not widely trusted by users, it has a mediocre future. This is simply because mediation depends on the parties, who usually do not trust each other, fully trusting the mediator and the mediation process. Unfortunately, mediation appears to stand some way down the trust stakes.

Robert Benjamin

The Place of an Old Fashioned Deal Broker in the Future of Conflict Management: An Interview with Kenneth Feinberg

(2/02/15)Robert Benjamin

Robert Benjamin recently interviewed Kenneth Feinberg for Mediate.com about his career over the last 30 years. He has managed the settlement of complex and difficult claims in the wake of some of the largest catastrophic events we have faced as a society and has pioneered an approach that has altered, not only the legal landscape, but also our culture. Read the interview in this article.

Debra Oliver

Mediation: Centerpiece of World Recovery

(1/20/15)Debra Oliver

This articles examines the future of mediation as a tool for global improvement. There are a variety of venues where mediation might prove to be the only answer for entrenched conflict.

Kenneth Cloke

The Future of Mediation: Toward a Conflict Revolution

(1/18/15)Kenneth Cloke

We evolve, not only as individuals, but as couples, families, groups, organizations, societies, economies and polities, both in the nature of our conflicts and in our approaches to resolution, moving from simple to more complex, nuanced and skillful forms. But in order to evolve, it is necessary for us not merely to settle or resolve the particular conflict we are facing, but also its hidden coda, essential nature, or binding principle, by learning the secret lesson it took place in order to teach us.

John Sturrock

Hope for The Future of Mediation Internationally

(1/13/15)John Sturrock

My own work has taken me into the legislatures of many of the assemblies and parliaments in the countries of the United Kingdom to train and coach members in “scrutiny skills”. I believe that many politicians do understand the real value of this training at an individual level. I believe that they wish to move away from the time-consuming, energy-depleting, morale-sapping and often futile game of positional politics. They sense that this change is what their constituents want too.

The Future of Mediation in Different Sectors

(1/05/15)Susan Dubow, Elinor Robin

Mediation has come a long way in the last 4 decades since it was endorsed, but this article examines all of the areas in which mediation still needs to grow.

Doug Yarn

Re-conceptualizing the Work as Something Bigger than Ourselves--Reconciliation

(1/05/15)Doug Yarn

After toiling in this field for 30 years, I have the strong sense that the patina has worn off and the institutions we have created are fraying and unsustainable in their current manifestations. I’m in good company in this perception; however, that doesn’t mean there is no future for mediation.

Maria Eugenia Sole

Utilizing Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Co-parenting Issues in Families with a History of Domestic Violence

(12/17/14)Maria Eugenia Sole

This video discusses family mediation, domestic violence, and online dispute resolution. Maria Eugenia Sole discusses that different cultures have different definitions--with different understandings of what should be tolerated and what requires help. She also discusses different steps that can help.

Donald T. Saposnek

Mediation Going Forward: What Do We Know? What Can We Expect?

(12/17/14)Donald T. Saposnek

The current complexity of our problems, at least in the U.S., is close to the point of overwhelm; for the individuals involved, for the governments that rule them, for the courts that adjudicate them, for the economic systems that support them, and because of the corrupted values that guide them.

Michael A. Zeytoonian

Lessons from Jerusalem: What Attitude Do We Bring to our Conflicts?

(10/13/14)Michael A. Zeytoonian

Strange as this might sound, I had the good fortune of being in Israel during a war, a declared cease fire and its aftermath, and experiencing how these impacted the people involved. While it was a source of some tension and heightened vigilance, it provided a rare opportunity to experience the shifts and changes that occur when a war stops and a cease fire is in effect, in this place that has been a historical hotbed for conflict.

Harvesting Data to Shape the Future of International Dispute Resolution

(9/22/14)Michael Leathes, Deborah Masucci

Among the early words of wisdom expressed by Sherlock Holmes was this classic line: "I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." And so it is with dispute resolution. There is a paucity of reliable statistics out there to enable users of dispute resolution services, as well as advisers, providers, educators, adjudicators and policymakers, to understand how best to prepare and steer ourselves for the future.

Katherine Triantafillou

Mediators Beyond Borders Dialogue Team Shares Secrets of Success

(2/21/14)Katherine Triantafillou

Building on the success of an international partnership with the Athens based Hellenic Mediation and Arbitration Centre, members of the Mediators Beyond Borders International dialogue training team will be presenting a strategy for promoting the non-violent resolution of international conflicts.

Best Practice Guide on the Use of Mediation in Cross-Border Disputes

(2/21/14)Zeno Daniel Sustac, Jamie Walker

Sometimes, the act of justice leaves one or more parties being unsatisfied with a judicial decision and generates a resolution based on the “loser-winner” paradigm. The consequence is often, in addition to the preservation of their conflicted status, the prolonging of the expensive and stressful judicial dispute. Mediation, as an alternative method of conflict resolution, starts with the principle of seeking to most capably satisfy the parties’ interests with a sustainable agreement based on free will. This approach, in the context of globalization, confers mediation with the quality of being an effective cross-border and cross-cultural method of conflict resolution. This article is an excerpt of a thesis analyzing the benefits and unforeseen consequences of mediation in cross-border disputes. This article focuses on the importance of training mediators on cross-border disputes.

Joe Markowitz

Mediation's Future

(2/14/14)Joe Markowitz

I've heard a number of evangelists of the mediation world talk about the seemingly limitless future of the mediation process. That future seems to depend on the public finally becoming more aware of the possibilities of mediation to resolve not only conflicts that have already worked their way through the court system, but also conflicts that have never even made it to court, or that might be unsuitable for court.

F. Peter Phillips

Multidoor Courthouse on a Global Mediation Scale

(2/07/14)F. Peter Phillips

A young, vibrant and alive mentor once taught me that it costs no more to dream big than to dream little. And Michael Leathes is dreaming big.

Guillermo Kleinlein

Intercultural Mediation

(1/31/14)Guillermo Kleinlein

Throughout time, Intercultural Mediation in China has become the preferred method for Dispute Resolution. It preserves social peace in a country with huge extensions and diverse orography, and with a population of various ethnic origins. We shall compare the subjacent conditions with those in the Argentine Republic and propose some alternatives to implement such method as a Dispute Resolution System.

Uma Ramanathan

Solutions and Future Plans of Mediation as an ADR Method

(12/27/13)Uma Ramanathan

Mediation in our country is no more a toddler. It has started to have an identity and it is time that we devise a cohesive plan for the growth of mediation in a manner that would allow cohesion among the stakeholders in the process. Changing the mind set of all concerned is now essential to take stock of where mediation is heading and what is to be done.

Beth Graham

The Promise of International Commercial Mediation

(12/07/13)Beth Graham

Although international commercial arbitration has long been the preferred means of resolving cross-border business disputes, the international corporate community has become increasingly concerned about increasing costs, delays and procedural formalities. As a result, parties are looking for other means of resolving cross-border business disputes.

Jacques Joubert

Lessons in Mediation from Nelson Mandela

(11/08/13)Jacques Joubert

In 1964, George Bizos, a young lawyer, probably saved his client and good friend Nelson Mandela’s life by persuading him to change his now famous speech at the Rivonia treason trial. This speech helped to usher in skills of peace and negotiation.

Chris Poole

Spreading ADR Best Practices Around the World

(9/27/13)Chris Poole

Although many countries have not developed formal ADR processes as part of their legal systems, dispute resolution practices have been in place practically since the beginning of time. These practices have taken on many forms in different societies and they continue to evolve and mature. While many of us think of ADR only in a legal and commercial context, some of the most effective systems in the world exist in some of the least developed economies.

Maureen Dabbagh

Globalization of Family Mediation Rooted in Children’s Rights

(9/20/13)Maureen Dabbagh

Mediation now includes standards and guidelines for international family mediation. Unlike traditional family mediation rooted in state family law codes, international family mediation has developed within the context of international rights of children. The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HccH) used the principles found in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in framing international family mediation. The first standards for cross border family mediators was presented in December 2012.

Engineering Peace - Achieving the promise of mediation in the world's most difficult conflicts

(9/16/13)Nadja Alexander, Michael Leathes, Irena Vanenkova, Tina Monberg

Achieving the promise of mediation in conflicts that threaten the stability of societies and economies is one of the most important challenges of our time. Inspiring progress has been made in the past few years by the UN, and political leaders increasingly perceive mediation as vital for avoiding and resolving conflict at all levels in society, worldwide. Yet in individual cases mediation is rarely used as an avoidance and prevention process, and left until conflicts have escalated to the point that achieving a timely negotiated outcome, or avoiding a catastrophe, is virtually out of reach.

Sabine Walsh

Mediation in Cases of International Family Conflict and Child Abduction

(7/08/13)Sabine Walsh

The School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway hosted in association the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUIG and the Irish Centre for International Family Mediation a Conference on Mediation in Cases of International Family Conflict and Child Abduction on a typically damp Saturday in May in the West of Ireland.

ODR in Europe

(5/18/13)Graham Ross, Marta Poblet

This paper offers an overview of the present situation of ODR in Europe and discusses effective development of ODR deployments to handle online, offline, national and cross-border disputes in Europe. To do so, we proceed by first defining the scope of ODR and reviewing existing services. We then continue by analyzing the major challenges faced by ODR in Europe and finally conclude by suggesting some future scenarios.

ODR in North America

(5/18/13)Noam Ebner, Bryan Hanson, Arthur Pearlstein

In the chapter, the authors map out the state of ODR private market services and look at our federal government and its potential roles as a major provider and user of ODR services. The US and Canada have not only spear-headed the offering of ODR services. North American institutions were also the first to set up research institutes in this area of dispute resolution, as well as to incorporate ODR into academic curricula.

Mohamed  S. Abdel Wahab

ODR and e-Arbitration – Trends & Challenges

(5/17/13)Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab

This chapter is divided into five sections. In section 1, the author sheds light on the conceptual framework of e-arbitration. In section 2, the issues pertaining to the e- arbitration agreement are scrutinized. Section 3 focuses on e-arbitral proceedings and section 4 addresses e-arbitral awards. Section 5 provides an overview of some e-arbitration projects and initiatives. Finally, the author offers some concluding observations,

The Promise and Reality of Online Dispute Resolution in Australia

(5/10/13)Tania Sourdin, Chinthaka Liyanage

It is clear that Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has grown significantly in response to local and international factors within Australia over the past decade. This growth is partly attributable to a healthy Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) environment within Australia. The use of ADR in Australia is widespread and all Courts and Tribunals now have the power to mandatorily refer disputes to ADR processes.

Online Dispute Resolution in Asia

(5/01/13)Zhao Yun, Timothy Sze, Chittu Nagarajan, Tommy Li

This chapter shall be divided into three parts; each part shall be devoted to assess the status quo of ODR in one of the three distinguished states, China, India and Japan, which have three of the highest Internet and mobile phone usage rates in the world.

Chris Poole

The Present and Future of ADR

(5/01/13)Chris Poole

The budget cuts to the court system have perhaps been felt more severely in California. In March, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye lamented in a speech to the state legislature, “our judicial branch budget has been cut greater and deeper than any other court in the United States.”

Gabriela Szlak

Online Dispute Resolution in Latin America

(4/15/13)Gabriela Szlak

What are the prospects for ICT and the development of Digital Economy in the Latin American region? Is the region ready for ODR? What about its readiness for a Global ODR system for cross border e-commerce? This chapter poses some answers to these questions, suggests some other possibilities, and poses several more questions for further discussion.

Daniel Rainey

ODR and Culture

(4/13/13)Daniel Rainey

This chapter begins with some basic definitions of culture, then address the relationship between ODR technology and culture, and finally offers observations about what may be the short term future of intercultural exchanges mediated by online dispute resolution tools.

Mohamed  S. Abdel Wahab

ODR in Africa

(4/01/13)Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab

Technologic implementation in traditional dispute resolution schemes, as well as the creation of new forms of technology based processes, is still at its inception in the overwhelming majority of African States.

Aura Esther Vilalta

ODR and E-Commerce

(3/23/13)Aura Esther Vilalta

Cyberspace has become a realm of commerce and a market with various kinds of transactions using acronyms such as: C2C, B2C, B2B, C2B or M2B. It removes traditional barriers between “offerors” (producers, sellers, etc) and “offerees” (clients, users, consumers.). Time, geographical distance and language are no longer obstacles to trade and, consequently, cross border disputes have increased. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) mechanisms have emerged as a natural response to the need for new dispute resolution systems.

Vikki Rogers

Establishing a Global ODR System for Cross-Border Online Transactions for the Sale of Goods

(3/16/13)Vikki Rogers

For the last couple of decades, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) experts have been creating protocols, standards and agreements for the creation of ODR systems that could resolve low-value disputes that extend beyond regional borders. To the dismay of many in this community, these various efforts never manifested into a wide-spread program offering redress to parties engaged in cross-border commercial activity.

Michael Leathes

The Future of ADR in 2020

(10/12/12)Michael Leathes

This article discusses the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of mediation. This is an edited version of the Opening Plenary Keynote Speech at the Inaugural 5C's ADR Conference held at the Supreme Court of Singapore on October 4-5 2012.

Matthew Rushton

The International Challenge

(9/14/12)Matthew Rushton

As ADR providers have begun expanding worldwide, a global shift towards ADR has gained momentum. Change at this pace generates interesting challenges and worthwhile debate as new entrants bring fresh ideas and new methodologies to the market.

Caitriona Heffernan

Mediation in Ireland: Current Trends, Future Opportunities: Part 2

(1/16/12)Caitriona Heffernan

This is the second article in a two-part series about mediation in Ireland. This article focuses on the current approach to training and accreditation and also looks toward the future.

Caitriona Heffernan

Mediation in Ireland: Current Trends, Future Opportunities: Part 1

(12/19/11)Caitriona Heffernan

In this two part series, Caitriona discusses mediation in a variety of settings in Ireland. In this section she examines the judicial system, collective disputes, conciliation, construction, and health care disputes.

Charlie Irvine

Hanging On The Telephone: The Future of Mediation?

(11/14/11)Charlie Irvine

I recently attended training in ‘telephone mediation’ delivered by two members of Mer Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) Small Claims Mediation team. Over 99% of their mediations are conducted over the telephone in an hour or less.

Michael Leathes

2020 Vision - Where In the World Will Mediation Be In 10 Years?

(11/17/10)Michael Leathes

Where could mediation be in 10 years time? Can stakeholders realistically exert a significant positive influence on the field’s future progression?

John Paul Lederach

A Wish For The Future

(12/21/02)John Paul Lederach

I have a wish for a gift given from our generation to our great grandchildren, from the adults of this decade to the children of the end of this Century: Let this be the decade remembered as the time when the beginning of the end of human warfare happened.



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