I believe that the future of mediation lies in a massive availability of mediation techniques to all segments of society. Once our kids start learning mediation techniques regularly at the pre-school and elementary school levels preventive dispute resolution will become so ubiquitous that it will be used everywhere, all of the time. As a society we will just communicate on a new level, individuals empowered to prevent their own misunderstandings and avoid conflicts on their own, once the disputes are discovered early. This does not mean we will diminish the role of the mediators in the similar way our societies might redefine the role of the lawyers in the meantime, it just means that more and more conflicts are going to be resolved by their owners as a matter of course and less and less conflicts might be created in the first place. If we add into this combination a likely emergence of some kind of brain-machine interface (BMI) during the next decade, we will also need to learn to deal with new kind of misunderstandings. The fact that once we will have the BMI as a technology deployed, practically this will lead to some kind of non-verbal communication not only between the machines and individuals but also between the individuals, machines and other individuals. This will bring a completely new meaning to the term “online mediation”. Interesting times ahead!

I have posted this remark on the page where Article by Michael Leathes of International Mediation Institute in The Hague, The Netherlands.

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