“We have received a great deal of interest in our International ADR Center model over the last few months and wanted to present a series of blog excerpts from the book, In Justice, inAccord to illuminate this model for our interested alumni and other professionals. In this first installment of our ADR Center blogs, authors Shauna Ries and Susan Harter present the vision for this virtually networked global ADR Center initiative.
Mediators Without Borders was founded as an educational company to provide mediation training, which we hope will serve to help with the large social task articulated above. As a business entity, we are interested in delivering our unique inAccord model as a specialized product to a national and international market. Our delivery system dictates the expanding ADR Center model of education and services that is beginning to be established throughout the United States and abroad, currently in Romania, the broader EU, and Nigeria.
As of this writing, the Mediators Without Borders ADR Centers are planned at specific sites around the world, and will be linked both physically and virtually through technology to our central business and research team in Colorado. Our research team is led by second author, professor emerita at the University of Denver.
We designed the web of conflict resolution learning and mediation ADR Centers on the foundational concept of economic sustainability. The ADR Center model serves a multi-layered function of operating as a loci for multiple purposes, including: (1) teaching the inAccord model to social leaders and potential ADR practitioners, (2) conducting research using the inAccord survey instruments to provide feedback, and (3) providing local citizens with conflict resolution services using the inAccord model.
It is our vision that this network of educational ADR Centers will help create local solutions to conflict. By being connected to our organization, the local area can then archive these cases and their outcomes, which then can be used as resources for other ADR Centers dealing with similar issues. In this sense, an ADR Center in the Niger Delta that is successfully dealing with the tensions of an inequitable distribution of wealth and resources case might offer assistance to another ADR Center, half-way around the world in a village in Peru which is also struggling with inequitable resource issues, but in their own local context. This assistance could be offered in as simple a manner as a letter, email, or phone call, or through more advanced technology such as virtual classrooms, and web-based communication between ADR Centers and among practitioners. The hope is that the learning of what methods work to bring resolution to one area can inform and guide the process in another area due to the linkage through this organization.” (pp. 204-205)