The guest article this month entitled "On Bob Dylan and Reverse International Development" was written by Brad Heckman, Chief Executive Officer of the New York Peace Institute. Before being the founding CEO, he was Vice President of Safe Horizon and International Director of Partners for Democratic Change. He currently is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University's Center for Global Affairs. I encourage everyone to take a Mediation Minute to read his article.
For some years, I worked internationally for Partners for Democratic Change, helping build mediation centers throughout the former Soviet bloc and the Balkans. Partners aimed to avoid common international development traps by building organizations that were 100% managed and staffed by locals, with the freedom to adapt their programs to fit on-the-ground need...while retaining the shared identity and values of the larger network. I was humbled and awed by how my colleagues overseas infused our North American ideas with unimagined creativity and resourcefulness.
About seven years ago, I felt the need to contribute to my own community, and my work here in NYC is like international development in reverse -- bringing it all back home. Much of what I've envisioned for the New York Peace Institute was directly influenced by my amazing local partners abroad.
The American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Section has an active Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance ("Ethical Guidance Commission"). The purpose of the Ethical Guidance Commission is to answer ethical questions that arise in practice or that you've been pondering. The Commission issues advisory opinions based on questions asked by mediators and the general public. The Ethical Guidance Commission is always looking to take questions from mediators on how to act in an ethical manner. If you have a question that you would like answered, you may complete the ABA's Intake form that outlines the submittal process. If you prefer, send your questions to Kristen Blankley (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she will forward them to the Commission. Poll Question
Q: When you think of international mediation, what comes to mind?
Responses (29): Take your skills overseas - 13.79%; Work at developing reconciliation processes across borders - 44.83%; work with diverse cultures locally - 31.03%
New Poll Question: From Mediator to Conflict Specialist - In what areas have you utilized your mediation skills to expand your practice?