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Ten Keys to Unlock Mediation’s Golden Age

Mediation has fallen far short of its potential since starting to take root some 40 years ago.
The right growth strategies, or keys, can maximise mediation’s potential within 10 years.

They need to be devised and implemented by the main stakeholders1 working collaboratively.
We see ten keys that can unlock mediation’s Golden Age by 2030:

1. Global leadership network
  • Leaders collaborating to correct current fragmentation and balkanization in the field.
  • Sharing strategies & creating a mutually-supporting international network.

2. Robust scientific underpinning
  • Generating data derived from real-life to create dependable “mediation science”.
  • Developing new negotiation/mediation theories, knowledge, skills & training tools.

3. Generating instinctive user recognition and demand
  • Marketing to lawmakers, government and business users etc.
  • Enunciating the value of mediation with familiarity programs & credible statistics.

4. Global recognition and enforcement of mediated settlement agreements
  • UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.
  • Actively encouraging all States to sign & ratify the 2019 Singapore Convention.

5. Mediating becomes widely recognised as an independent profession
  • Establishing universally-accepted high standards of training and skills attainment.
  • A clear and comprehensive code of professional ethics, applicable internationally.

6. The use of mediation routinely extends beyond dispute resolution
  • Selling the value of mediation in negotiations where there are no active disputes.
  • Appointing business ambassadors to proselytize the wider benefits.

7. Adequate funding and resources are generated
  • Funding though professional dues, government grants, sponsorships.
  • Creating a worldwide multi-lingual network of websites using shared materials.

8. Negotiation/mediation/collaboration skills routinely included in core education
  • In business schools as well as law and other professional courses.
  • Businesses to be more specific and demanding about real-world management skills needed.

9. Governments take visible and meaningful steps to promote mediation
  • Dispute resolution clauses in all Government contracts to include a mediation step.
  • Legislation and procedural rules that encourage mediation.

10. Arbitration institutions take a robust lead in promoting mediation
  • Rules require active good faith consideration of mediation as routine process steps.
  • Institutions promote and adopt specific rules and procedures for Arb-Med-Arb.


1 Mediation’s stakeholders are considered to be: users of mediation services; professional advisors to users;
professional institutions (including users’ organizations and arbitration organizations); mediation service
providers; individual mediators; scholars and researchers; knowledge and skills trainers; Governments and
NGOs; dispute resolution media; and civil society.


Michael Leathes

Michael Leathes is a former in-house counsel and in that capacity a frequent user of mediation services. After retiring in 2007, Michael helped establish the International Mediation Institute (IMI) as a charitable institution and served in a pro bono capacity as the first Executive Director of the IMI. He stepped… MORE >

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