The National Mediation Conference 2016-innovation for a new road map.

In mid September more than 500 participants met at the Gold Coast. Over the five days of the conference, we were presented with many innovative ideas around philosophy, methodology and practice. There was one overriding theme- it was suggested that we take these ideas on board and use them to compare maps, and look at our conflict management journey through fresh eyes.


Some have been travelling down this road for a long time; others had only recently begun their journey; but all were very enthusiastic and keen to share the route they had taken, landmarks they had passed, the highlights for them, as well as their destination and planned itinerary. There were many similarities, but some significant differences, and great energy was shared for the creation of a different pathway towards a new and exciting vision for mediation.


img_4031We were encouraged by the keynote presenters to look beyond the road map and the designated path that had been presented to us when we undertook our training and assessment. To consider side roads and other tracks that may result in us approaching our destination from a different angle, and change our perspective of what we do, and more importantly, the experience for those we are working with.


It was suggested that we might consider slowing down the pace of our journey so that we can clearly and fully experience the sights and sounds of the landscape we are passing through, rather than being focused solely on the horizon where we are heading, and getting there by the most direct road, and as quickly as possible. We were told that what is important is appreciating the here and now, and not being concerned for the past or worried about the future.


We were encouraged to aim at creating a positive dialogue of what should and could work better. We were told to facilitate hope for a brighter future, with consideration for autonomy, accountability and responsibility-modeling these qualities and attributes, so that others involved could see how influential and powerful they are. We were presented with examples of the focus on projecting and supporting confidence that things will be better, and the onward path that will lead to a smoother and more pleasant journey. We were reminded of the need to keep in mind that the journey will not finish now or even soon, but is likely to continue for a long time.


img_4035I took many messages from the conference, and I am keen to explore the many different tracks and pathways suggested. The index of my road map has been expanded significantly, and I look forward to traveling new routes and experiencing new landscapes and highlights in my journey as a mediator!


Congratulations to all the organisers and presenters for such a thought provoking and enriching conference!!







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