In this summer's ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine just out, mediation visionary David Hoffman takes the long view of our collective future in an article titled The Future of ADR: Professionalization, Spirituality, and the Internet.
'The challenges – both the problems and the opportunities – that lie ahead are formidable and exhilarating. Are these challenges related? I think they are. The computer operating systems that have become a dominant feature of our lives and an increasingly important component of our work are dramatically expanding the horizons of our outreach to others, and will enable dispute resolvers to work on a global scale. Meanwhile, advances in neuroscience are deepening our understanding of the finest calibrations of our internal operating systems, and will enhance our ability to connect with the parties that we work with. The accelerating pace of change – both outward directed and inner directed -- could make it that much harder, but all the more necessary, to develop, from pockets of increasingly specialized ADR expertise, a methodology for identifying best practices and creating a true profession'[read more]
And at the risk of tooting this blog's horn, David's article footnotes a blah...blah post on spirituality in mediation and a typically erudite comment by Diane Levin that starts off 'As an atheist, I personally have little use for or interest in getting in touch with the so-called spiritual aspect of conflict'
Also see Hoffman's 2008 article Colliding Worlds of Dispute Resolution: Towards a Unified Field Theory of ADR published in the Journal of Dispute Resolution.