School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
The skills and processes of ADR are indeed more broadly dispersed throughout society. Over the past decade, ADR and Conflict Resolution (CR) concepts and skills have been added to the core curricula and continuing education trainings in most fields, from law and medicine to engineering, education, and business management. The term “mediation” is rarely confused with “meditation” as it once was. Increasingly, terms like “mediation”, “arbitration”, and “ombudsman” are used in the media without the need to define them for the general public. Children have learned peer mediation in schools along with the interest-based negotiation model and listening skills. Indeed, information that was previously contained primarily in mediation training has now become mainstreamed. Workers and children alike are trained in methods to stop bullying, while pop culture books teach us how to apply CR concepts to improve our daily lives at work and at home. This is not to say we are “there yet.” Many people have yet to learn how to “listen for understanding” or interest-based bargaining. Yet, the trend toward the diffusion and adoption of these concepts is clear and undeniable.