Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution

Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution is different from typical mediation. In these complex situations the mediator is an advocate for problem solving and for solution(s). We have process expertise over substance expertise.

The role of the process expert is to ensure that everybody has the resources that they need. The field may be known by another name, collaborative leadership, making it broader than dispute resolution because in some cases these processes occur to avoid disputes.

This field started in the late 1970s by a group of people who were labor mediators who were involved in disputes that exceeded the bounds of labor management. The first dispute of record was a garbage strike. It typically would have just dealt with the garbage workers, but it ended up that there were a lot of racial issues, social justice issues, and the people who were labor mediators were asked to help settle the dispute.

And this is how the field emerged, It has evolved over time. The people who were involved in that first dispute essentially wrote the principals of it. How do we do this? How does it compare to a typical dispute? And then how do we take people who are trained as labor mediators and teach them this skill?