At the request of Mediate.com, a small group of US-based public policy and large group mediators/mediation trainers met online during the winter/spring of 2021 to consider best practices and ideas to enhance online training and practice. All of us had moved our practices to the online setting as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of us had moved our trainings online before Covid (if not completely through university-based online programs, then as a hybrid tool as practitioners). All of us had found the online transition to have benefits AND limitations both in practice and in training. None of us have yet found a way to completely mirror hallway conversations, the ‘breaking of bread’, or the before/after small-talk time during which so much rapport is built that supports creative resolution of public policy and large group conflicts.
As a result, we identified areas for which additional understanding and support could enhance both the training and practice of online public policy and large group mediation. This report summarizes our ideas and recommendations for ourselves, our colleagues, and Mediate.com. We look forward to sharing this with others in order to build upon the tools we have identified that can support the processes we and our trainees run…so we can all better serve the public.
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