The Forum website is HERE
The Second Forum of the Online Mediation Training Task Force took place April 30 and centered directly on new and emerging issues of online mediation and the training of mediators online.
The effects of COVID-19 has meant that not only is nearly all mediation now taking place online, nearly all mediation training is now taking place online. This is true whether the ultimate intended mediation is “face-to-face” or “online” mediation, and is true globally. As a result, “every mediation case is now also an online mediation case" (whether the participants get physically together for some discussions or not).
This Forum first considered how COVID-19 has changed the world of mediation, mediators and participants, including specific consideration of the family, elder, workplace and public policy mediation sectors. We explored evolving and effective online mediation and facilitative approaches for practitioners programs, and trainers. Challenging new issues such as privacy, security, new ethical challenges, training techniques, technical enhancements and imbalances and the "digital divide” were also addressed.
This Forum considered:
- What does this mean for the mediation field when historic mediation training and ethical standards were developed in and for a "non-internet" world
- What does it mean for the field of mediation if “every mediation case is now an online mediation case?”
- What do all mediators need to know about mediating online?
- How should our mediation programs and trainings be adapted to the new online mediation reality?
- Might working and training online enhance access for participants, observations, co-mediation, mentorships and apprencticeships?
There are many fascinating issues regarding the extent to which new and experienced mediators can achieve their required and desired training online. How much of one’s training can a mediator reasonably accomplish online? All? What does that mean for those training mediators online? Does that training need to be “live” or can it be recorded? And if a mediator plans to only mediate online, s it fair to require this “online mediator” to get their mediation training “face-to-face”? Is in-person training that teaches online mediation skills effective?
Thinking “big picture,” our opportunities and abilities to reach the masses with capable mediation have never been greater. Mediation is ultimately about communication, not about whether we are physically together at a certain time and place. This Online Mediation Training Forum, and our other forum sessions, will help us discern how mediation, mediators mediation programs and mediation trainers can respond to these unprecedented opportunities for the expansion, improvement and elevated relevancy of mediation in our rapidly changing world.
Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been in private practice as a mediator since 1979 and currently is practicing mediation and collaborative law 100% online serving clients throughout the world. Woody is a founding partner of the Mosten-Guthrie Online Training Academy for Mediators and Collaborative Professionals. He is Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law where he teaches Mediation, Family Law Practice, and Lawyer as Peacemaker. He and has been in private practice as a mediator since 1979.
Woody is the author of six books and numerous articles on mediation, collaborative law, legal access, and building a peacemaking career. Woody served as convener for the 1999 international symposium, Training Mediators for the 21st Century. He has been Guest Editor for the Family Court Review’s special issues 4 times, most recently for the July 2015 issue on Peacemaking for Divorcing Families.
Woody trains mediators, collaborative professionals, and lawyers in conflict resolution courses ranging from basic to master classes and trainings for mediation trainers and presents keynotes at conferences throughout the world. In 2019, Woody received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and, in 2020, the Southern California Mediation Association established the Forrest Mosten Star Award for Excellence and Innovation in Mediation. Woody can be reached at www.MostenMediation.com.
Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 and served as CEO of Mediate.com through June 2020 (25 years). During Jim's tenure, Mediate.com received the American Bar Association's 2010 Institutional Problem Solver Award. Before Mediate.com, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993. Jim was also the first President and Executive Director of the Oregon Mediation Association (1985-86). Jim's undergraduate degree is in psychology from Stanford University and his law degree is from the University of Oregon.
Jim has received the following awards: The Oregon Mediation Association's 2003 Award for Excellence; The Oregon State Bar's 2006 Sidney Lezak Award of Excellence; The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) 2007 John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; The 2012 Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) "Getting To Yes" Award; The APFM's first Outstanding Mediator Award (2018); and the Oregon Mediation Association's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.