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Academic Forum – Public Engagement with Mediation

Academic Forum – Public Engagement with Mediation


How can we increase public engagement with mediation? The CMC Academic Forum discussed this question with Naomi Kay and Mairi McIntyre from the Warwick Institute of Engagement at their last meeting on 14 September. Discussion at the meeting underscored the importance of storytelling and simplicity when talking about mediation. The CMC is also running a student competition, encouraging participants to create digital content to raise mediation awareness. Winning entries will be presented at the CMC conference and featured on the website and social media.

An inspiring meeting took place at the CMC Academic Forum on the 14 September on the important topic of ‘Public Engagement with Mediation’.  Our thanks to Naomi Kay and Mairi McIntyre from the Warwick Institute of Engagement for their presentation.

Key take aways were :

•  The value of including the public in mediation research projects to promote awareness

•  The importance of sharing mediation via school outreach

•  Working with local theatres and in wider partnership

•  The variety of digital media available to create content to support engagement

•  How suitable venues to raise awareness can include local shopping centres and public libraries

•  Linking raising awareness with a university priority, e.g employability (particularly to secure internal funding within higher education)

•  The potential for funding provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and other bodies such as local community foundations

•  Perhaps above all the value of engaging with stories and avoiding jargon…we discussed the example of how the term mediation had been described by Dave Walker MBE from CALM Mediation, as simply ‘a conversation we should have had a long time ago’.

CMC Programme Manager Victoria Harris said “I hope that in our own localities and in our own areas of mediation we can all in some way, take action to promote engagement with mediation. In this way, step by step, we can make a difference in raising awareness of mediation as a powerful tool for conflict resolution.’

The CMC are supporting this theme with a Student Competition, ‘Mediation Matters – what you need to know’. This is an opportunity for higher and further education students to unleash their creativity to help bring mediation in to the spotlight. The competition is looking for digital content, of no more than 15 minutes duration to raise awareness of mediation and to attract imaginative entries that will be broadcast on the CMC website and social media. The winner will be announced at the CMC Conference on the 16 November. The closing date for entries is 6pm on Friday, 3 November and all submissions should be e-mailed to the CMC Programme Manager. Full competition Ts and Cs will be published shortly.

The next CMC Academic Forum will take place on Thursday, 18 January, 1pm – 2pm on the central topic of ‘Mediation in the Curriculum’.

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