3rd International Congress on Transformative Mediation

23. - 24.11.2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lecturers and Topics

Robert A. Baruch Bush (USA, New York)

Prof. Baruch Bush is the Rains Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, where he teaches courses on mediation and alternative dispute resolution.  He is the co-originator of the “transformative model” of mediation, together with Dr. Joseph Folger, and co-author of the award-winning book, “The Promise of Mediation”, published in more than seven languages around the world.  He has authored or edited four books, and written dozens of articles, on mediation and other conflict intervention processes, published in every leading dispute resolution journal.  Professor Bush led the initiative to establish transformative mediation as the preferred process for resolving workplace conflicts in the nearly million-person workforce of the United States Postal Service.  In doing so, he and his team developed a training protocol and materials that have used across the U.S. and worldwide to train mediators in the transformative model. Most recently, he has authored an article advocating a pluralistic approach to mediation ethics, aimed at ensuring that transformative mediation is recognized as a legitimate and ethical approach to practice.  He is a co-founder and past-President of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, where he continues to serve as a Board Member and Fellow.

Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Dayton, OHSchool of Law, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Transformative mediation and Transformative Conflict Management

What is unique about the transformative approach: What makes the transformative approach unique and different, compared to other approaches/models of conflict intervention?  How are its goals, methods, and underlying values different from those of other approaches, and why would parties in conflict find it particularly appealing?

John Peter Weldon (Canada)

John Peter Weldon is an ISCT (Institute of the Study of Conflict Transformation) Certified Transformative Mediator and Trainer, focussed on providing French language Transformative Mediation trainings in Quebec, France and Belgium. After a 20-year cereer in civil, family and criminal litigation, he successfully mediated over 850 cases from a transformative perspective, many of them in family and workplace mediation. He teaches transformative mediation and communication seminars at the Continuing Legal Education Service of the Quebec  Bar, and  is an Adjunct Professor of Mediation at the Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead,  near New York.

Since 1997, he has been regularly facilitating communication style workshops in the workplace to help participants improve their team-building, personnel management, and conflict resolution skills. He has trained over 1700 lawyers, mediators, administrators and other professionals in Canada, France, and Belgium in this deceptively simple, pragmatic, and powerful approach. In 2009, in colaboration with the ISCT, he developed a course in French on Transformative Mediation in the workplace and in 2011, he launched the Reseau pour une approche transformative du conflict to support French-speaking professionals trained in the transformative approach. In 2018, he oversaw the publication of the first book in French by Bush and Folger: La mediation transformative -  un approche non directive du conflit.

John Peter Weldon; johnpeterweldon@gmail.com


Adapting Reflection to People with Different Communication Styles - Practical tools for optimizing the impact of non-directive interventions

Baruch Bush has said that practicing Transformative Mediation is a performance art. Non directive intervention does indeed require the mediator to step outside of him or herself to faithfully mirror the entire range of participant interactions in both content and tone. Yet due to the inherent chemistry, positive or negative, between the four basic communication styles, some people are easier to interact with than others. It was revealing to me that the vast majority of my mediation participants came in demonstrating an opposing communication style to that of their protagonists.

The interplay of converging and diverging communication styles is also present between mediator and participant. When the mediator has a similar style to a participant, a shared comfort zone is created, which, if it gets too comfortable, may lead to an appearance of collusion. On the other hand, when the mediator has a different style to a participant, a disconnect can happen, leading to a possible clash in styles. In either case, impartiality, or at least the appearance of impartiality, can be lost. So it's important that the way reflection, summary or check-in is delivered take into account each participant's specific communication style needs in orders to avoid creating either too close a bond or a disconnect. Learning which communication style you tend to project, how to identify other people’s styles, and choosing to make minor adjustments to your own style will help you intervene skilfully and impartially with participants of all styles.

Hans Demoed (Netherlands)

Hans Demoed is an experienced politician, trainer, manager, coach and mediator. Dynamic and innovative in style and able to work with a variety of groups in trainings, workshops and debates.

He is a registered mediator and intermediair in conflicts and difficult procedures to reach an agreement or joint solution for complex problems. In the early 90 ties Hans became a trainer for the CDA Steenkampinstitute, and today he is an international trainer, experienced in young leadership, Education and Capacity building, Social Economic Politics and much more.

He is also a chairman in several civil organizations in education, healthcare and cultural. He started as a member of the local municipality and chairman of the CDA delegation in his hometown. Later on he became a member of the regional parliament of the Province of South Holland for 14 years. For the last 8 years he was also leader of the delegation of CDA in this parliament and vice president of the parliament itself.

Hans Demoed

Transformative mediation practice on a local level

Hans Demoed, mediator and manager at a local municipality in the Netherlands, will be presenting his work with program of transformative mediation and empowerment they use to improve conflict resolution between  the government  and inhibitants or between inhabitants among eachother. They work on a long term relation trust between the municipality and the volunteers of the village councils.

Presented program teaches not only developing individual skills but also how to make a long term plan for the village, how to communicate with inhabitants and how to make a succesful board/council for the village. Since they started the program communication between the municipality workers, the city council, volunteers of the village councils and individual inhabitants has improved. The volunteers have more self confidence in their role and experience a better communication between the local government end the villages. With this important step the number of conflicts decreased with more than 50%.

The method can easliy be transformed to other countries and other regions all over Europe.

Maëlle Noé (Belgium)

Maëlle Noé is a conflict transformation trainer and coach, mediator, dialogue facilitator, illustrator and independent researcher. She is the the international associate at Catalyst IpF, and the executive assistant at Communities in Transition. Currently based in Belgium, she has worked with clients in North America (US, Canada), East and Central Africa (Rwanda, Malawi, DRC, CAR), and Western Europe (France, Belgium). She holds a dual Masters degree in International Communication (American University, Washington DC) and International Peace and Security (Korea University, Seoul), and was trained in mediation both in the US (by Catalyst IpF and the Dayton Mediation Center), and France (degree from IFOMENE, Paris). She has published research about international-national staff relations in INGOs with offices located in the East African region (Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC).

Catalyst Ipf, Takoma Park, MD

Transformative mediators in ad-hoc Dialogue spaces

The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT) has supported the development of a Transformative Dialogue methodology, led by Erik Cleven and Judy Saul, which is very much complete in itself and incredibly useful. However, it has increasingly been brought to the ISCT's attention that practionners trained in the transformative approach, from all over the world, have individually been confronted with/invited to ad-hoc dialogue spaces, and have spontaneously developped their own ways of facilitating such situations.

Hospitals, schools, anti-racist/diversity trainings in workplaces, religious communities, restorative justice-like community mediations, universities, colleges, dance classes, documentary screenings in youth centres, and immigration welcoming programs, are just a few of the contexts that practionners who generously gave their time to be interviewed have been working in.

The common starting point shared by these practionners, transformative mediation, coupled with the incredible range of situations they have been involved in, gives an interesting space for reflections both about what it really means to apply the transformative approach to the wider conflict world, beyond classic mediation; and about the challenges and potentials of transformative dialogue work going forward.  Maëlle Noé will be sharing her ongoing research in a manner that will invite the audience to share and participate in the development of these reflections.

Barbara Kruhar Lorger (Slovenia)

Barbara started her professional career as biology teacher. Later she focused into pharmaceutical industry.  She has been aware of conflicts and their possible destructive influence since she started to work with people. Consequently she has looked for their relief. During learning process for mediator she changed her view on conflicts and competences of solving them. She said, that the process is not easy and fast. But step by step, with each positive experience she improved her conflict competences. After two years she has many positive experiences and fails as well.

Krka, d.d., Novo mesto, Slovenia

Using transformative communication skills in everyday situations

Pushing people out of comfort zone means creating conflicts between employees or members of the teams, manager and employee or team or between different departments or teams.

But how to create conflict and change it from destructive to constructive conflict interaction? How to develop the highest possible level of conflict competence, be tolerant and sensitive to the conflict? To create most productive environment in a workplace, it is important to be able to develop awareness about the existence of conflicts, to recognize hindered interactions and foresee conflicts which may occur. To work with conflict constructively it is necessary to analyze development and different aspects of it, consider different meanings, points of view, convictions, positions and value systems, understanding or interpretation. It is also important to develop a tolerance against conflict, to understand smaller conflicts as information or means of communication. It helps us to postpone dealing with an issue, to engage in other activities without negative impact of conflict, to ignore negative aspects of interaction and to use meta level of communication.

Marko Iršič (Slovenia)

Marko Iršič is an author, coach, mediator, trainer of mediators and the founder of the Rakmo Institute.
He obtained the licence of Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and has a Master'sdegree of Educational Studies in Leuven, Belgium. He is the author of books Umetnost obvladovanja konfliktov (The Art of Conflict Management), Mediacija (Mediation), Conflict Competence: Understanding, Assessing and Improving the Ability to Deal with Conflicts and Communication Wellness: New Standards for Quality Communication in Organizations.
In 2003 he founded The RAKMO Institute, Center for Mediation and Conflict Management and it became a leading organization in transformative mediation in Slovenia. He is also a member of theboard of MEDIOS – the Association of Mediation Organizations of Slovenia and president of theEuropean Association for Transformative Mediation, as well as a member of the advisory committeeof the World Forum of Mediation Centers.

The Rakmo Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Communication Wellness - New Standards for Quality Communication in Organizations

How good is our communication in specific environment e.g. at the workplace in general and in specific situation? How do we detect, prevent and manage conflicts? Do we perceive disruptions in communication and manage them effectively? Do we know exactly how to respond when conflict or disruption in quality of Communication occurs?

Communication Wellness is a term referring to quality of communication within specific context (e.g. workplace or specific relationship ) in general and in specific situation. In the presentation the concept of Communication Wellness and its implications will be explored, the tools for assessing quality level of communication will be presented and guidelines for implementation of Communication Wellness policy in organizations will be discussed.

Communication Wellness for Couples and Families

The concept of Communication Wellness is useful also for Couples and families. It focuses attention on the quality of communication (i.e. state of strength and responsiveness of each) and therefore repairing the communication, rather than blaming and ‘repairing’ each other. Using the perspective of Communication Wellness can be useful for preventing and managing conflicts in relationships and families. And learning to perceive and asses (and knowing how to improve) the quality of communication can be very useful for children. In the workshop the concept of Communication Wellness and its importance within context of couple relationships and families will be discussed. Furthermore, questionnaires for assessment of communication wellness will be presented and some techniques for improving the quality of communication explored.

Basia Solarz (Canada)

Basia Solarz brings over twenty-five years’ experience facilitating conversations in educational, workplace, and community settings on behalf of non-profit organizations such as Delaware County Crime Victims Services Center and the urban greening program, Philly Green. Currently, she serves as the inaugural Consultant, Communications and Conflict Competence, for the award-winning Workplace Conflict Resolution Program at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. In this role, Basia provides mediation, conflict coaching, and education and training across the province-wide organization.  She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). Basia is a member of the Partnership for Productive Organizational Conflict. She has been a keynote speaker for a variety of Canadian medical association conferences and she is a Certified Transformative Mediator™ and Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT).

Basia completed a master’s degree in adult education from Saint Francis Xavier University with a research focus on conflict coaching and received the Audrey Fenwick Memorial Award for Excellence in the Study of Adult Education. Most recently, she has also co-authored a chapter, “Re-Narrating a moral self: Transformative and restorative learning for rebuilding social solidarity” in Transformative Learning Meets Bildung: An International Exchange (2017).

Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Canada; Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Dayton, OH

Transforming Conflict in the Healthcare Workplace

The transformative approach to conflict serves as the basis of an award-winning conflict resolution program for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, a 29,000 person healthcare organization in Atlantic Canada. In this session, you will learn about the “best” and “strategic” practices that contribute to the program’s success and explore how the transformative framework has informed the program’s design, principles, and practices.

Louise Phepps Senft (Maryland, USA)


Louise Phipps Senft is the author of Being Relational- The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction & Lasting Change: an Amazon #1 best-seller in self-help and communications, and the co-chair of the ABA Relational Practices Task Force. A nationally recognized attorney/mediator and negotiation and mediation trainer, she is a pioneer in the field of conflict transformation and has been celebrated for her cutting-edge approach in a highly transactional legal environment. Her humanizing approach to complex disputes and conflict resolution resonates for thousands of conflicts across diverse legal fields such as disability rights, trauma, complex medical injuries, insurance claims, civil litigation, and divorce and family law. 25 years ago, Louise founded and is now the Chief Visionary Officer of Louise Phipps Senft & Associates/Baltimore Mediation, practising relational approaches to mediation and facilitated face-to-face dialogues and negotiations for complicated matters with a belief in “better process...better outcome”.

Baltimore Mediation, Baltimore, MD; ORANS, Baltiomore, MD

Are you Transactional or Relational?

With huge potential benefits to well-being, choosing to Be Relational™ in our highly transactional world can also sometimes be risky business. Louise Phipps Senft, a pioneer in the field of conflict transformation, examines differences in approaches and outcomes of the transactional and Relational mindsets, and provides impactful takeaway tips for Being Relational™ in our day-to-day lives, relationships, and workplaces. Based on her book, Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction & Lasting Change (available for purchase in English or pre-order in Slovene.)

Charlean Pierre Moreau (Belgium)

Charlean Pierre Moreau is a Franco-American residing in Belgian since 2000. She has over 20 years of professional training experience which includes: European institutions, Paris Sorbonne, various private companies, and individuals, is a mediator (MA 2011 France), and a certified ESL teacher (1999 Kuwait).

Founder of CHARLEAN Mediation & more (2011 Belgium), her passion for mediation and thirst to deepen her intercultural understanding and competences led her to expand her knowledge and services with the undertaking of an MA in intercultural conflict management (12/2018 Germany).

Her ultimate objective is to cultivate a mindset oriented towards the growth of a culture of peace.

Charlean is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and the mother of two adult children.

Charlean Mediation, Belgium

The Transformation of Variance Through the Modern Lenses of Happiness and Ancient Wisdom

Hum, what a complex thesis for a presentation.  My brief explanation will give insight into its objective.

Let us begin with the first part of the title: The transformation of variance.  The term conflict has always been a source of contradiction for me; for quite some time I had been looking for a term that would communicate at least a neutral connotation for a phenomenon that is an opportunity to grow inwardly and outwardly. Variance satisfies my need. Should we consider Webster’s definition of transformation: “to change in composition or structure”, it is possible to conclude that the parties’ state of mind evolve organically in accordance to the transformation of their conscious awareness. In so doing, understanding is acquired about how we relate with others; about our perspective of others; about how we communicate, receive, accept, and interpret information and feedback.  Transforming the variance into an opportunity for growth at multiple levels.

The second part of my assertion: through the lenses of happiness and ancient wisdom, represent the strategies we propose to support the first part of the statement.  The desire here is to manipulate happiness indicators and pour in ancient wisdom to concoct a peace-mindset -- this is our life-time journey.  In the context of this presentation, the immediate goal is to mix and interweave strengths and virtues with other elements to produce a positive impact on parties tangled in the web of variance.



Robin Brzobohaty (Czech)

Robin Brzobohaty is a mediator since 2006. He has been in the role of mediator in nearly 2,000 mediation cases. He is certified transformative mediator by the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation.

At present, he is the head of the mediation program at the Office for International Legal Protection of Children in Brno where he is responsible for the entire team of mediators, as well as conducting mediations or facilitating so-called case conferences. He is a Czech contact person for communicating with the European Parliament mediator to address international kidnappings. He was the founder of the Olomouc Mediation Center, where he is still a family mediator. He is also the examining commissioner of the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic for the Mediator's Examination according to Mediation Act. As a lecturer, he often works in the Czech Republic and abroad, where he has been conducting, for example, mediation training for the Danish Bar Association in Copenhagen or the Russian Mediation League in St. Petersburg. Since 2010, he has been the professional guarantor of the family mediation section at the European Institute for Peace, Mediation, and Arbitration. Since 2014, he has been a member of the board of the European Association for Transformative Mediation. Recently Robin is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Law, Masaryk University, Brno where he focuse on the concpets of empowerment and self-determination in mediation in the context of participation rights of the Children.

Office for International Legal Protection of Children, Brno, Czech

The Technology of the Summary Intervention in Mediation - Qualitative Analysis

The presentation by Robin Brzobohatý and Klára Brožovičová is aiming to acquaint the participants with the qualitative analysis of the mechanism of the summary intervention in mediation, where they based analysis on the encoding of keywords and key themes.

Using summary as a unique intervention in trasformative mediation they picture the essential skill of mediator as identifying key themes and naming them. The fundamental questions that their qualitative analysis deals with are:

1) What is the timing and context of the conversation used by the mediator when doing the summary intervention?

2) How has the mediator chosen the keywords and topics (what was the rule)?

With the software Atlas.ti they will performe qualitative analysis on the text, of overwritten of videotaped examples  of mediation, creating visual insight into the use of individual keywords and their identification in the text. The analysis should result in clarification and visualization of the path - the mechanism that is used for the summary intervention during mediation.

Results should clarify the possibilities and effects of using summaries in particular moments of mediation. Research could help to implement the summary in the mediation process effectively and rationally explain how it works (beyond its intuitive use).

Klara Brožovičova (Czech)

Klára Brožovičová is a mediator at The Mediation Center, Brno, Czech Republic .  She studied sociology and ethnology at  Masaryk University in Brno, currently she is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Law.  Her research interests are in sociology of social conflict and mediation; in particular, she studies cultural aspects in mediation and communication. She has experience in quantitative  and qualitative data analysis and report writing.  Klára has actively participated in many conferences, seminars and research projects.

Mediation Center Brno, Brno, Czech


The Technology of the Summary Intervention in Mediation - Qualitative Analysis

The presentation by Robin Brzobohatý and Klára Brožovičová is aiming to acquaint the participants with the qualitative analysis of the mechanism of the summary intervention in mediation, where they based analysis on the encoding of keywords and key themes.

Using summary as a unique intervention in trasformative mediation they picture the essential skill of mediator as identifying key themes and naming them. The fundamental questions that their qualitative analysis deals with are:

1) What is the timing and context of the conversation used by the mediator when doing the summary intervention?

2) How has the mediator chosen the keywords and topics (what was the rule)?

With the software Atlas.ti they will performe qualitative analysis on the text, of overwritten of videotaped examples  of mediation, creating visual insight into the use of individual keywords and their identification in the text. The analysis should result in clarification and visualization of the path - the mechanism that is used for the summary intervention during mediation.

Results should clarify the possibilities and effects of using summaries in particular moments of mediation. Research could help to implement the summary in the mediation process effectively and rationally explain how it works (beyond its intuitive use).

Christian Hartwig (Germany)

Christian Hartwig is a Mediator and a Mediator Trainer, based in Berlin, Germany. He is certified as a Transformative Mediator™ by the American Institute of the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT) and certified mediator according to the standards of 'Bundesverband Mediation', the Federal Organization for Mediation in Germany.

He serves as a mediator in community, family and commercial disputes and is a mediator trainer of adults and children in Germany and internationally. He focuses on the neutral and empathic role of the mediator with mindfulness approaches and lectures on mediation at Humboldt University Berlin, the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, and Central European University Budapest. His firm, Streitvermittler, offers a variety of training programs as well as dispute resolution services as well as supervision and organizational development. He regulary conduts workshops on mediation and adequate dispute resolution and in order to further promote the use of mediation in Germany, he is an honorary volunteer in the Federal Association of Mediation in the direction of the Section of Education and the BM Regional Group Elbe-Saale.

Streitvermittler -  Institut für Transformative Mediation :: Konflikt- und Krisenintervention, Berlin, Germany

Teaching Without a Preset Agenda

In the workshop we want to share our experience working with participants in training sessions who teach mediation or other subjects that require an experiential learning environment. A non-directive attitude and transformative intervention techniques are key in a mediation to support parties’ own efforts for empowerment and recognition. Applying the same purpose and principles in trainings can create an effective learning atmosphere. Let’s talk about it.

Enhance the Observing Part of your Mind

One main task working with parties in the transformative framework is the mediator’s obligation to observe his or her own directive impulses in order to avoid making decisions for the parties on process or substance.  Together, we will explore strategies and methods to strengthen your ability to remain self-aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations so that you can choose and not simply (blindly) react to events.


Martina Cirbusova (Czech)

Martina Cirbusova is a mediator and head of the newly opened mediation center in Brno which is specialized for divorce cases. In her Ph.D. thesis she focused on Child at risk and all dimensions in which we can say, that he or she is at risk. When she was working for the Office for International Legal Protection of Children, she was focused on child participation and all aspects of including children in decision making which are connected to their live and also work as a mediator for three years there.

Mediation Center Brno, Brno, Czech

Limits of empowerment at the risk of domestic violence

As the theory says, parties are the decision makers, and the mediator should help them to make decisions which are important for them. But how does the practice change, if the one party is apparently under the pressure of the risk of domestic violence?

Martina Cirbusová is exploring important moments and questions regarding the work of mediator in cases of domestic violence. How to work with situation where just the focus on empowerment of one party is not enough and interventions like reflections or check-in, don’t work, but the party still wants to continue in mediation? Even if during the mediation there are a lot of threats, worries, fear, etc.

Stressing out the interventions which mediators can do and also naming the fact that weak party should not in specific situations stay alone in the process of making decisions, she is exploring ethical duty of mediator’s profession and possibilities that transformative mediation can bring to this situations, combining the theory of transformative mediation with basics of psychology and the behavior patterns of domestic violence victims.







RAKMO Institute is founding member of RAKMO Institute is founding member of RAKMO Institute is founding member of 
RAKMO Institute is member of

European Mediation
Network Initiative

Association of Mediation Organisations of  Slovenija - Medios
European Association for Transformative Mediation UIA - Word Forum of Mediation Centers

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