Like many of us I yearn to see the values we espouse in mediation lived out in the political realm which in the Australian context is heavily adversarial for all the reasons you have discussed, but I frequently despair at the difficulty we sometimes have within our own organisations and personal lives. We may often be able to assist others but struggle in our own situations. As well as aiming to influence those at the 'top', it is my hope that our influence can begin at home and 'trickle upwards' by starting in our homes, workplaces and organisations.
Jim , Eugene OR 01/23/07
Peter, I do think that the dispute resolution community, especially the mediation/facilitation community, stands for something "bigger" (not just the use of our services).
I think we stand for most capable dialogue and most capable deciion-making. And I have come to the conclusion that we do in fact need to advocate for inclusive, consensus-based decision-making.
Perhaps as much, we need to get community mediation and conflict resolution programs in our schools funded. How many hours of the Iraq War would it take to fund community mediation and conflict resolution in our schools for a decade? Answer: not many.
There is clear movement toward more capable decision-making approaches. If Governor Arnold gets it, it can't be rocket science. Our time has come. Issues from global warming to security to privacy to immigration to health care and education require that we are at our best.
Our times call for mediative leadership.
Peter Adler, Keystone CO firstname.lastname@example.org 01/23/07
Moving to Action!
I would welcome comments, feedback, and expressions of interest in collaborating on pushing the ideas in this paper to action.