by Florence de Vesvrotte
3RD ANNUAL WORLD MEDIATION SUMMIT-MADRID
An international summit that makes Madrid THE meeting place for local and international mediators (www.worldmediationsummit.com
For its 3rd year in a row, the World Mediation Summit is taking place in Madrid this coming June, at the prestigious Complutense University. Here is why you should attend.
Conflict has a cost (and a high one)
Conflict is everywhere. At the workplace, at school, in communities, between companies, among sports teams, in family, medical and politics. According to the Guardian, the world’s steady shift away from peace and into conflict inflicted a $14.3tn (£9.21tn) cost on the global economy in 2014.
Conflict happens in stable societies which it viciously de-stabilizes. It cost companies across the world billions of dollars, slows down learning opportunities at school, reduces hospital effectiveness, scares insurance companies, disrupts democracies and so on.
Stewart Levine, from ResolutionWorks categorised workplace conflict costs in four branches:
- Direct costs – fees of lawyers and other professionals
- Productivity Cost- the opportunity cost of what those involved would otherwise be doing
- Continuity Cost- Loss of ongoing relationships including the “community” they embody
- Emotional Cost -The pain of focusing on and being held hostage by our emotions
While conflict seems to be the norm, it should not be ignored. Never before have our societies been striving for better communication and new avenues for dialogue, and this is our opportunity to be creative.
Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift, wrote: “The place we need really imaginative new ideas is in conflict theory. That’s true with respect to war and peace, but also it’s true domestically. The real weakness is the lack of conflict resolution methods other than litigation and guns.”
An innovative solution
There is however, one method not even remotely explored enough, which has slowly been making its way up and that is mediation.
Mediation is a method of dispute resolution in which parties to a conflict attempt to reach an agreement with the assistance of a mediator. It is flexible, voluntary and informal, which allows parties to a dispute to negotiate an early resolution to their conflict, instead of pursuing legal action.
- A reduction in the time and financial costs of the traditional litigation process by resolving some or all of the dispute;
- A reduction in the stress that can result from ongoing conflict;
- A greater understanding of the dispute;
- Maintenance of business and personal relationships; and
- The creation of a high quality positive outcome.
These advantages apply to all types of conflict, something the Harvard Dispute Resolution Centre has shown, hence its growth as a profession in the recent years and recognition as an effective mechanisn to reduce conflict. It was used in the recent climate negotiations, and many European countries are legislating for it. Companies too, have invested millions of dollars to develop better access to mediation as they realize the costs unmanaged conflict have.
Winner of the coveted 2015 AMMI National Mediation Project Award, our Summit is an initiative gathering mediation professionals from across the globe to expand this method of conflict resolution. From sports mediation to commercial and political mediation, it is the place to rendez-vous for experts eager to see it develop.
Judges, ambassadors, diplomats, mediators,lawyers and industry representatives will attend. We garantee invaluable networking, trainings, and debates and this year’s theme, ‘The Art Of Mediation: Designing Our Destiny’, is an opportunity to address the upcoming trends in mediation and move our profession forward.
We believe mediation is an extremely powerful tool to solve conflicts. The WMS is an opportunity to see the benefits of mediation and get closer to a more peaceful society.
Join us June 7-10, 2016 for the World Mediation Summit at Complutense University, Faculty of Law. All details may be found on our website www.worldmediationsummit.com or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Stewart Levine is the founder of ResolutionWorks that provides training, facilitation and conflict resolution services. This article is adapted from his book, Getting To Resolution (Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, 1998) The book is a selection of the Executive Book Club and was nominated as a top ten business book for 1998.