Comments: Occupy and Mediation: Two Movements That Offer One Another Massive Opportunity

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John , Edinburgh UK     12/03/11
Great to get the dialogue going. With 2 mediator colleagues, we offered a workshop in the Occupy tent here in Edinburgh this week - on Conversations in Difficult Situations. As ever the key is to listen, and to build trust and relationships. There is no other way, manning the barricades is unlikely to solve the problems. And we have much more in common than separates us. The time for polarisation has passed but addressing complexity is not easy - whether you are a protester or a banker.

Martin , Victoria BC     11/30/11
I have been following the Occupy movement and writing about it as a very important phenomena. The circle consensus and human mic processes immediately show that this is no ragtag group. It takes highly functional people to subject themselves to two hours of consensus when a dictator would wrap it up in 30 seconds. We know that so much of our current house of cards is not going to survive much longer and so we need new models of processes including conflict management that we can design into place rather than just collapse into mayhem. We are at the peak of peak everything getting ready to slide down the other side and knowing that all the systems that are in place for the trip up here are irrelevant to the world on the other side. These are very focused and intelligent people reaching into the void to find out where we are going. I like their choices.

Ellen , Pittsburgh PA   11/30/11
Having talked to some people from Occupy Pittsburgh and having read this article I have been thinking about if and how mediation can work in situations where a group is still really in the forming stage. The Occupy movement is not just one group. It is diverse and many factions within the movement do not have designated leaders. The decision-making and information decimation structures and processes are still forming. I am wondering if there is work to be done prior to any mediation. Perhaps what is needed is conflict coaching to help individuals and factions gain clarity about goals, strategies, resources and options. Or perhaps there are organizational development experts who could get involved to help the groups think about what if any additional structure they want or need.

Cheng , Hong Kong   11/29/11
I went to meet the group in Hong Kong when I firstly know the group resolved conflict by General Assembly. Please refer to Susskind' s book, Breaking Robert's Rule, you will more appreciate of this article. I will work to merge these two movements that could lead us to a harmonious community. Please let me know if you there is any insight of this movement.

John , Oak Park IL     11/23/11
thanks so much for this article
I so appreciate this article, will spread it around Occupy Chicago. Melamed's right: their first tendency is toward "mediation", every time. In the Occupy Chicago "Conflict Resolution" committee, there is a searching, it seems, for effective tools. Some discussion of "juries" where occupiers accused of theft or drug use or violence will "hear charges against them" and then possibly get permanently booted from the Occupy. Or "shamed" into proper behavior. There is conflict here too about how to deal with conflict!! This article will help the movement! Gives me much confirmation and guidance. Thank you.