UN chief welcomes mediation effort to peacefully resolve South Suda...

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday welcomed the appointment of a mediation team to work with Government of South Sudan and the opposition towards reaching a ceasefire to end the current conflict, which has taken a heavy toll on the world's youngest nation.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban commended the East African regional bloc known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for its efforts and the outcome reached at its summit on 27 December.

At yesterday's meeting of heads of State and government, held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, IGAD issued a communiqué in which it condemned the violent escalation of conflict in South Sudan.

The conflict began on 15 December when President Salva Kiir's Government said soldiers loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar, dismissed in July, launched an attempted coup. The fighting has led to well over a thousand deaths and the displacement of at least 122,000 people, some 63,000 of whom have taken refuge in United Nations bases in the country.

Read more [HERE]

Top Stories of 2013 About Organizational Ombuds

by Tom A. Kosakowski

Every year, I select the most important stories about the Organizational Ombuds profession. Here's this year's list. 

10. Office Openings Continue to Outpace Closures -- As in the past several years, the number of new Organizational Ombuds programs was far greater than the number that closed.  Notably, the growth was primarily in higher education.  The corporate sector continues to lag.

In 2013, the following entities opened Ombuds offices:...

9.  ENOHE Marks Decennial of Supporting University Ombuds in Europe -

8.  American Public Media's "Marketplace" Features Ombuds --

7.  ACCUO Chronicles Three Decades of Ombuds in Higher Education --

6. Bullying Remains a Significant Issue  --

Read more [HERE]

NCPC and Cyberbullying Prevention: What’s New and What to Do

by Patricia M Porter

Experiencing Your Conflict

by Cinnie Noble

7 Must-Know Negotiation Tips From Shark Tank

By Jerry Jao I don’t watch much TV and had never watched ABC’s Shark Tank until one Saturday afternoon last month. Let’s just say I dove into the deep end and ended up watching the entire season without so little as a bathroom break. Yes, I love the show because of the passionate entrepreneurs and their brilliant product ideas, but more importantly, I’m shocked at how ill prepared some of the entrepreneurs were during the negotiation process.

As someone who has grappled with similar issues when fundraising for Retention Science, I could relate to the entrepreneurs on Shark Tank and thought I’d share my thoughts after the Shark Tank marathon.

Do your homework

I’m not talking about Googling your investors or memorizing their bios. Go beyond the basics and conduct in-depth research to get to know them and their businesses inside and out. This not only helps you prepare, but it allows you to evaluate the value each investor brings to the table in the short and long-term.

Almost everyone who walks into the tank does this. Each entrepreneur knows the sharks’ interests, likes, and dislikes, etc. and most of them even create custom samples for each judge.

Read more [HERE]

Mediating at Lakeside Mediation Center

By Karen Hollett- I've been corresponding recently with Eric Galton a very successful mediator in Austin, Texas, who carries on his practice at the Lakeside Mediation Center. I first learned about this wonderful location through an article in the Texas Bar Review and was enthused to hear from Eric about his personal experiences mediating for many years in such a beautiful setting.

I have said in previous posts that it is a shame that the ADR scholarship hasn't given much serious consideration to the physical setting as an area for academic exploration so it is always refreshing to see that many mediators do understand that it is an important part of the mediation environment.

Here is what Eric told me about how the center was founded:

"We all began our careers as mediators inside the bowels of large law firms. Most of my mediations were conducted on the 24th floor of an office building in downtown Austin. My partners cynically referred to my mediations as seances. Why would a lawyer give up a real practice to mediate? This was common thought in the 80's and 90's.
But we did give it up. We were changing. Mediation was transforming us as much as it was the parties. It was time to leave the mother ship and start a business that did purely mediation and dispute resolution. We didn't need the conflicts, the overhead, or the cynicism. We were different. Where should we go?
The concept of environment and mediation had been beyond us...

Read more [HERE]

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