Challenges for Mediation and the Occupy Movement

New Orleans, Louisiana
Friday, September 14, 2012
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Alan Gross, New York, New York
Bathabile Mthombeni, New York, New York
Dorit Cypis, Los Angeles, California

The Occupy movement has developed into a powerful global channel for civic dissent.  Activists have embraced Occupy as a means for expressing frustration especially about increasing economic disparity.  However, some movement ideals, especially horizontal democracy, create challenges for effective organization and often lead to internal conflict. Mediators have attempted to intervene to facilitate meetings, resolve conflicts, and introduce processes with only limited success.  This session will explore how conflict resolvers are dealing with these challenges, how Occupy has adapted tools such as non-verbal signals and rotating facilitation that conform to its ideals, and how these techniques have applications in more standard settings.