|Conflict Resolution Center to co-host transformative mediation conference|
The Conflict Resolution Center and the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT) are co-hosting “Purpose Drives Practice,” an international conference on transformative mediation Sept. 17-18 at the St. Paul Hotel in St. Paul, Minn.
“We’re very much front and center in the ISCT, which is a consortium of four universities, and in the planning and organization of this conference,” says Kristine Paranica, Conflict Resolution Center director and an ISCT Fellow. Paranica is a UND law grad with several years of experience as a prosecutor and judicial mediator in North Dakota.
“UND is the hub for the ISCT,” says Paranica, who will lead a conflict resolution workshop at the conference.
UND psychology professor James Antes, also an ISCT Fellow and conference presenter, says the conference aims to clearly show the many connections between ISCT, UND Conflict Resolution Center and related disciplines.
“The conference will provide a great opportunity for people to make those connections -- to note the very important premises that go well beyond the mediation field,” said Antes, whose presentations include one with Gretchen Graf, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Grand Forks. Graf is an adjunct faculty in religion at UND and is a member of the UND Campus Ministry Association. “Among them is the connection between spirituality and the mediation that we do,” said Antes.
“The conference theme, "Purpose Drives Practice," is about how what we believe and know about people that influences, drives, directs how we relate to one another,” Antes said.
The style of mediation that the Center represents first came to prominence following a request to the ISCT by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to redress the many workplace challenges it faced. The USPS now uses transformational mediation as its major workplace conflict resolution tool.
“That’s because transformative mediation created a culture change,” Paranica explained. “It’s now a model for the federal Transportation Security Administration and for the Department of Homeland Security, for several states, and for corporations such as Raytheon.” Detailed conference information is available at http://transformativemediation.org