MII Annual Conference 2023 in Cork: Mediation - Practical Ways to Build Bridges and Resolve Conflict




October 6th and 7th sees the return of the MII Annual Conference for mediators on the island of Ireland - bigger than last year, full of practical lessons and learning points, relevant to all mediators, regardless of your specialist sector, and this time at the Metropole Hotel in Cork City.
Our programme begins at 11.00 on Friday morning and continues until 17.30 before we have the presentation of the MII "Generosity of Spirit" and "Lifetime Achievement Award".  This is followed by our conference dinner at 20.30. Our Saturday morning programme begins at 10.00 and continues until 13.30.
All of our speakers have been asked to share insights that will be of value to mediators, so that delegates will gain knowledge from every session. 

Day 1: Friday 6th October


10.00 -11.00

Registration and Networking                                                                           


Introduction and Housekeeping: MII CEO, Stiofán Nutty sets out how to ensure you get the best return on your investment of time at the conference.


President’s Address: Our President Ber Barry-Murray reviews our past year and introduces several developments, such as our new website & newsletter.


First Keynote Speaker – Mediation – A Judicial Consideration with The Hon. Ms. Justice Siobhán Lankford:

How has the judiciary and the judicial system changed, and why is she so keen on mediation as an alternative to litigation? What standards does she expect from mediators? Where does she see mediation as being particularly important, and where is it not appropriate? Why is the Mediation Act 2017 so crucial to our judicial system and how might statute-authorised mediation develop in the future? Our newest High Court judge sets out her personal points of note.


NOTE: Our speaker’s presentation will be followed by a semi-structured interview by Stiofán Nutty and Q&A from the audience.


Lunch and Networking


Round Table Talks:

Choose between various short sessions led by experts on topics as diverse as the art of asking the right questions; becoming an Advanced Member; child inclusive mediation; ethics in mediation; recruitment opportunities (FMS & PIAB and more); the mediators' green pledge; forging your career in mediation; how to start your own mediation business; and social media marketing. FULL LIST OF OPTIONS  


Break and Networking


Second Keynote Speaker – Professor Noam Ebner: Mediation, Artificial Intelligence, and Change.

The Covid-19 era has deeply impacted conflict, negotiation, formal dispute resolution mechanisms, and mediation practice, the world over. With the transition to online activity, focus on the nuts and bolts of online process conduct, and on technology's effects on processes, is understandable and important. Having scarcely regained its balance, the mediation field now braces for the impact of ChatGPT and other AI tools on mediation process and practice.

And yet, technology itself might turn out to be the least interesting part of the changes that negotiators, parties to conflict, and mediators will encounter in the years to come. Technology’s utility notwithstanding, focusing primarily on its use for online processes only distracts us from a far more significant upheaval taking place over the past few decades: people are changing, as a result of our immersion in technology. Changing as humans, we are also changing as parties, negotiators, and mediators.

Noam Ebner is a professor at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, Nebraska USA. As a mediator, trainer, and consultant, he has worked at the crossroads of technology and dispute resolution for over twenty years. In this session, he will uncover the relationship between technological advancement and human change, discuss the impacts of such change on the practice of negotiation and mediation, and make suggestions for successfully coping with what lies ahead.




Preview demonstration of the new MII website


Close and Networking  



Evening Activities



Drinks Reception and Networking


Awards: Generosity of Spirit Award and the Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award

20.00 - late

Dinner and Music with Brian Morely


Day 2: Saturday 7th October



Welcome Back


The Shared Island Initiative: 25 Lessons from the Peace Process That Might Help Inform Your Mediation Practice.

Tanaiste Michael MartinJoin an Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Naoimh McNameeCEO and Mediator with Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliationas they 

Naoimh McNamee CEO of Glencree Centre and mediator

discuss 25 insights that have helped (or hindered) peace on our island and

 that might be of value to mediators in Ireland and elsewhere when assisting in seemingly intractable disputes.


Note: This semi-structured interview will be chaired by Tony Davis, MII Community Mediation Sector Liaison, and will be followed by audience Q&A.


Break and Networking


Mediation Matters Across the World – with Kevin Brassell Operations Manager, Irish Red Cross: The Irish Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network and their new Operations Manager, Kevin Brassell, spent several years with the UN, mainly working in Africa. In this session, Kevin discusses how mediation has worked to reduce conflict and build bridges in some of the most dangerous and sensitive places in the world, as well as others closer to home.

Note: Audience Q&A, led by Scott Alexander will follow at 12.00 noon


Comfort Break


Role Play Live with Gerry O'Sullivan

Advanced mediator and expert trainer, Gerry O'Sullivan,with the assistance of role players Gordon Burke and Caroline Spillane, guides the audience through her approach to mediating a workplace dispute, breaking the 'fourth wall' to allow for audience participation. Can you spot where Gerry goes right and wrong? You might win prizes if you can!


President’s Closing Address


End of Conference

Speaker Biographies
We have much more in store, including networking with peers, relevant stalls, prizes galore and our inaugural awards - the Generosity of Spirit Award and the Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award.
Do not miss this CPD learning opportunity to meet and discuss all things mediation-related with your peers. Join us in Cork City this October - discounted hotel and conference early bird rates apply - secure your place now. 

Conference rates: 

Member rate -  €195

Non member rate - €220

Trainee Affiliates/Community Mediation Service Providers €150

Saturday is free for those booking to attend on Friday

Saturday only rate is €80.

Dinner, including drinks reception, 3 course meal and live music €65


Metropole Hotel: https://www.themetropolehotel.ie/ 

Other hotels close by on MacCurtain Street are: 
Rezz Hotel https://www.rezz.ie/  
Hotel Isaacs Cork  https://www.hotelisaacscork.com/ 
Bru Hostel: https://bruhostel.com/ 
NB: These details are supplied for information only and do not mean the MII recommends any accommodation except the Metropole Hotel.



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