IAM 2023 Zurich Conference Program

Willkommen in Zürich!

2023 IAM Spring Conference June 1-3 • Zürich, Switzerland

Resolving Conflicts with Hearts and Minds: The Value of Shared Experience

Connecting with people is what mediators do. Making those connections often involves finding some form of common ground, those threads of interconnection that form the building blocks of the trust so essential to our role. Sharing experiences is a powerful tool that can be used to relate with others. These conversations not only convey important information, but also allow us to identify with others on an emotional level, to see the world from their view, and to understand it better.

The powerful engagement of both hearts and minds, combined with the value of shared experience, is the fascinating topic of this joint conference of IAM and SCCM. Come join colleagues from around the world, hear some inspiring speakers, share your own experiences, and learn from each other, all the while enjoying the sights and delights of the beautiful city of Zürich.

Conference Program

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

1400 – 1700       IAM Board of Governors Meeting (Studio 1)                                                                                                      

General Sessions are in the Century Ballroom

Thursday, June 1

Guest/Spouse Tour: Zurich/Felsenegg/Lake Zurich Tour (0900 – 1415, transportation provided) Must be pre-registered.
Tour registrants will meet at the conference entrance at 0845 for bus pickup.

0700                      Registration desk open

0915-0945            Welcome and Introductions

James Peter, IAM Conference Chair
Steve Paul, IAM President, and Julia Jung, SCCM Board Member
Birgit Sambeth, President of the Swiss Bar Association and IAM Distinguished Fellow

0945-1045            Resolving Conflicts with Heart and Mind – Sukhsimranjit Singh

Professor Singh will share his cross-border expertise on building bridges across cultures in this increasingly divided world through storytelling, sharing, and questioning. With his practice and research work in more than a dozen countries, Singh promises to make you think about our traditional norms and defines the term “cultures” broadly to include organizational culture. Join the presentation to think deeply, to breathe freely and to question generously.

1045-1100            Break

1100-1200            Shared Experiences: The Art and Science of Storytelling – Guest Speaker Karen Eber

Connecting with people is a critical skill for mediators. Sharing experiences in the form of storytelling allows us to form connections, expand thinking, and build trust. Discover the science behind skillful storytelling and how to engage the “five factory settings of the brain” in this highly informative and interactive presentation by Karen Eber, a global leadership consultant.

1200-1210            Information and Organization of Sights & Insights – James Peter and Julia Jung

1210-1310            Lunch (registered attendees only – in the Foyer)

1310-1350            Breakout Discussion Groups

      • Staying Centered in the Barrage of Conflict – Kim Deck Studio 1
      • Are Mediators Advocates for Settlement or a Good Process? – Steve Pearl Studio 3
      • Between Empathy and the Law – Managing Our Internal Conflict – Jan Schau Studio 6
      • What to Do When Values Conflict With Neutrality – Hal Abramson Century

1350-1400            Break

1400-1715            Sights & Insights (registered attendees only)

Sights & Insights is a conference segment designed to enable the participants to get to know Zurich a little better and to deepen our collegial exchange. We have selected three places in Zurich where participants will receive historical and cultural information and engage in mediation-related discussions. The substantive discussions can continue during the walk from one site to the next. Participants will be divided into three groups and accompanied on foot from one site to another. Further descriptions below.

1800-1900           Cocktail Reception (in the Foyer)

1900                      Sign and Dine


Friday, June 2

0700-0800           Optional: Meditation with IAM Members

0800                     Registration desk open

0900-1000           Conflict Resolution:  From Alchemy to Chemistry – Guest Speaker Roberto Azevêdo

The ability to establish rapport with the parties, understand their different perspectives, and act intuitively is a critical skill for any mediator. However, intuition is largely grounded in a set of unwritten principles related to human psychology and behavior that mediators discern in exercising their duties. Roberto Azevêdo will share how his intuition guided him throughout his career as a negotiator and mediator, and how he refined  his skills by adopting a more structured view of conflict resolution, based on principles he developed throughout his professional life.

1000-1100           Breakout Discussion Groups

      • How Much Preparation is Necessary for a Mediator, Really? – Nina Khouri Studio 1
      • ‘Used Car’ Negotiations vs. Modern Mediation – Rob Daisley Studio 3
      • Closing: Is a Mediator’s Proposal All You’ve Got? – Shel Stark Studio 6
      • The Court: Friend or Foe to the Mediator? – Paul Van Osselaer/Jonathan Lloyd-Jones Century

1100-1115           Break

1115-1215           Rapport-Based Methods of Interviewing: How to Get Information Without Asking Questions – Guest Speaker Emily Alison

Establishing rapport is an essential skill for any mediator, but what are its analytical underpinnings? Professor Alison will introduce and discuss the “ORBIT” model of communication (Observing Rapport-Based Interpersonal Techniques, Alison and Alison, 2012). This model was developed from an unprecedented analysis of interviews where individuals were resistant to cooperation or trained in strategies to withhold information. ORBIT serves to define rapport and explain how and why it works, and now forms the foundation for interview training in key law enforcement agencies in the UK and U.S., together with a wide range of other applications.

1215-1315            Lunch (registered attendees only – in the Foyer)

1315 – 1415          Breakout Discussion Groups

      • Words of Wisdom: What are Your Go-To Phrases? – Hayden Wilson Studio 1
      • How Important is Trust and How Do We Develop It? – Jerry Weiss Studio 3
      • Should Politics be Part of the Conversation? – Orit Asnin Studio 6
      • Lessons from Mediations That Don’t Settle – Duncan Glaholt Century

1430-1745            Optional Tour: Visit to the Lindt Home of Chocolate
                               Must be pre-registered.  Meet at the conference entrance at 1425 for bus pickup.

The Lindt Home of Chocolate is the largest Lindt Chocolate Shop in the world (500 m2), and features the spectacular Lindt chocolate fountain and an interactive chocolate tour all about the Swiss cultural heritage of chocolate. Dive into the world of chocolate to experience (and hopefully taste!) something special!

1830                    Meet at the conference entrance for bus pickup to the Zunfthaus Zimmerleuten.

1900-2300          Reception/Banquet at Zunfthaus Zimmerleuten (dress is business casual)

2100                    New Trolls Singalong – Marriott Hotel Studio 4 (located on the 4th floor) Click here for the song list and lyrics.


Saturday June 3

0800                    Registration desk open

0915-1030          Do Mediators Really Practice Differently Around the World: An Exploration of Mediation Concepts, Styles, and Strategies

Introduction by Ulla Glässer (Germany) and panel discussion with Michel Kallipetis (Great Britain), Douglas Murphy (Australia), Jan Frankel Schau (USA), and Varuna Bhandari Gugnani (India).

We have much in common as mediators, but how might we differ? And why? A provocative exploration of how our practices differ depending on our countries, regions of practice, and individual experiences, all of which influence style and strategy.  

1030-1100           Breakout Discussion Groups Roundup 

1100-1115           Break 

1115-1130           IAM Installation of New Board and Annual General Meeting

1130 -1145          Open Mic with Paul Van Osselaer, New IAM President

1145 -1155          Introduction of 2024 Live Conference in Seattle, Washington with Paul Van Osselaer

1155 -1200          Concluding Remarks – Conference Chair James Peter

1350                     Meet at the conference entrance for optional group tour to Lucerne.
                              Must be pre-registered.

1400-1830           Optional Group Tour to Lucerne (Must be pre-registered.)

Breakout Discussion Groups: (Located in Studios 1, 3, 6, and the Century Ballroom – see above for scheduled times)

  1.  How Much Preparation is Needed for a Mediator, Really? with Nina Khouri
  2.  What to do When Values Conflict with Neutrality with Hal Abramson
  3.  Closing: Is a Mediator’s Proposal All You’ve Got? with Shel Stark
  4.  The Court: Friend or Foe to the Mediator with Paul Van Osselaer and Jonathan Lloyd-Jones
  5.  Should Politics Be Part of the Conversation?with Orit Asnin
  6.  “Used Car” Negotiations vs Modern Mediation with Rob Daisley
  7.  Between Empathy and the Law: Managing Our Internal Conflict with Jan Frankel Schau
  8.  Lessons from Mediations That Don’t Settle with Duncan Glaholt
  9.  Words of Wisdom: What are Your “Go-To” Phrases? with Hayden Wilson
  10.  Are Mediators Advocates for Settlement or a Good Process? with Steve Pearl
  11.  How Important is Trust and How Do We Develop It? with Jerry Weiss
  12.  Staying Centered in the Barrage of Conflict with Kim Deck

Sights & Insights: Your guides will be Kirstin Dodge, Jennifer Dürst, and Julia Jung.

The three sights and discussion topics are:

  1.  FRAUMÜNSTER: The Fraumünster church, founded in 853, was once the convent cathedral for the Zurich-based congregation of nuns, and is situated in the heart of medieval Zurich. One of the treasures of the church are  the windows drafted and painted in 1970 by then 83-year-old Marc Chagall. The simple but elegant church murals and the powerful interpretations of Chagall’s biblical scenes inspire quiet reflection.
    TOPIC: The windows, artfully framed by the murals and lit by the sun, inspire us to reflect on the power of framing and visualization during mediation, and how we can better appreciate the varied facets and interests of the  dispute at hand. Your hosts will be Alex von Ziegler and Jerry Weiss.

  2.  LINDENHOF: The Lindenhof is a public square in the historic center of Zurich, offering a beautiful view of Old Town Zurich on the Limmat river. Designated a “Swiss heritage site of national significance,” you’ll learn of the rich history surrounding the area and the events leading to the recognition of Switzerland’s perpetual armed neutrality by European powers.TOPIC: Switzerland has been neutral for more than 200 years. What can we learn from this that may be relevant for us as mediators when our personal values conflict with our ability to maintain neutrality as a mediator? Your hosts will be Urs Weber-Stecher and Hal Abramson.
  3.  GROSSMÜNSTER: Learn about the Protestant Revolution (Reformation) in Switzerland, which led to religious wars. The Grossmünster was the “home” church of Huldrych Zwingli, one of the Reformation’s key figures and founder of the Swiss Reformed Church.TOPIC: While differences of religious beliefs, biases, race, and deeply-held convictions may divide us, mediation provides an approach to explore our common bonds; sharing our experiences help us understand other perspectives, hopes, and interests. In mediation, we can develop alliances, move to trust, and  appreciate each other, all of which create ways to co-exist without re-sorting to warfare. Your hosts will be Daniel Girsberger and Joyce Mitchell.