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National Mediation Conference Call for Presentation

Call for Presentations – Guidelines for submitting proposals.

The NMC2021 Conference Design Committee (CDC) invites you to submit a proposal for presentation at the National Mediation Conference, to be based in Alice Springs during 1 – 4 September 2020.

Download the PDF Document.

Call for Presentations – Guidelines for submitting proposals.

The NMC2021 Conference Design Committee (CDC) invites you to submit a proposal for presentation at the National Mediation Conference, to be based in Alice Springs during 1 – 4 September 2020.

NMC2021 will be an innovative hybrid event mixing online and face-to-face activities. All conference presentations will be made using online technology, with some being available as face-to-face activities. The face-to-face activities (in Alice Springs and other locations) will have a strong focus on a range of social and networking events. Further information about the mix of formats will be provided on the conference website https://aapevents.eventsair.com/nmc2021/.

NMC2021 provides an opportunity for all those with an interest in mediation and DR to share knowledge, skills and ideas with a focus on learning about the role of conflict management in achieving true reconciliation. The conference theme, “One Story”, describes the situation when a conflict has been resolved – the conflict no longer exists – and everyone walks away with a single, common story. The theme also reflects a broader perception of the commonalities among all people.

The conference program is designed to showcase and celebrate First Nations’ and Indigenous approaches to conflict, to conflict and dispute management (including resolution) and to the role of conflict management in self-managed community decision-making. Conference attendees (whether online or face-to-face) will have access to a variety of presentations, discussions, workshops, and other extended and immersive activities. The conference includes events that appeal to newcomers to the DR sector, as well as to those with extensive DR knowledge and experience.

The conference program will include keynote and plenary presentations as well as concurrent conference streams, incorporating a range of alternative presentation formats that have been designed to suit the online environment. The formats are described below. Although there will be limited face-to-face activities, the focus will be on using the virtual environment for enrichment: for engaging, learning, contributing, networking and creating among and between all conference delegates.

The event will focus on Indigenous approaches with plenary sessions being allocated for First Nations and Indigenous presentations and symposia. In alphabetical order, the conference streams are:

• Approaches to conflict in First Nations and Indigenous contexts, including community-based conflict management;
• Business and construction; workplace and employment;
• Community-focused mediation, and other community-focused processes;
• Conciliation, including statutory and industry programs;
• Court-connected DR services, including DR services associated with courts and tribunals;
• Dispute System Design, online DR, and technological innovations;
• Elder mediation, and other specialist areas of practice;
• Family mediation and dispute resolution, including FDR;
• Peace-building, transitional justice, reconciliation, and civil society;
• Research, training, and education: building a rigorous evidence base for DR;
• Restorative and innovative approaches to conflict.
The final page of this document includes more detailed information about each stream, including relevant key words.

Key Dates

• [28 February 2021.]: final date for submission of papers/proposals
• [31 March 2021]: notification of decisions on papers/proposals

Important Information: Please read all the information in this package before preparing your proposal.

1) Before commencing the submission process:
o Read all the instructions carefully; the submission process is fully electronic and you must follow the prompts – all fields must be completed; and
o Develop your proposal description – remembering that your presentation will be viewed by a predominantly online audience.

2) While submitting your proposal:
o Review your proposal carefully before submitting; and
o Ensure the proposal complies strictly with the stated guidelines so it can be considered and reviewed.
3) All proposals must be submitted electronically by 28 February 2021

NMC2021 Call for Presentations 2

Presentation Proposal – review criteria

The CDC is fully conscious of the contributions made by intercultural and multicultural considerations to the enrichment of all DR sectors and will give preference to proposals that include them. The CDC will also give priority to the following criteria:

  1. The stated conference theme;
  2. The introduction of new and innovative concepts not previously canvassed or fully explored in mediation and DR;
  3. The inclusion of innovative and engaging presentation techniques;
  4. Where applicable, the rigour of any research to be included in the presentation, or on which it relies;
  5. The inclusion of credible demonstration of the importance of the subject matter to mediation and/or to DR, and to the preferred conference stream;
  6. The inclusion of intercultural, cross-cultural and/or multicultural considerations;
  7. The potential appeal of the proposal to a broad spectrum of delegates; the proposal should include appropriate comments if it would appeal more to one cross-section of the sector (e.g. newly trained practitioners, or experienced practitioners);
  8. The demonstrated capacity of the proposal to allocate appropriate time for coverage of the topic, and, if for multiple presenters, strategies for including all presenters; and
  9. A clear title of the proposal conveying to delegates what they can expect from the session.

    Review Process

    Initially, all proposals will be compiled by the conference organiser, and a sub-committee of the CDC will review them. The sub-committee will recommend the proposals to be considered by the CDC for acceptance and inclusion in the Conference Program.
    Notification of decisions will be distributed by 31 March 2021.

    Please note: Following assessment of submitted proposals, the CDC may decide that it is more practicable to combine some streams. This will not detract from the importance of each original stream. The CDC may decide to include any proposal in a stream that is different from the original preference – and will discuss this with the proposer.

    Format of Submissions

    All proposals must be submitted electronically, using a pro-forma that is accessible via the link at the end of these Guidelines.

    The pro forma includes provision for the following information:

    • The title of the proposal (up to 12 words); the title may be edited by CDC for inclusion in the Conference program;
    • A description of the proposal (ie an abstract of up to 100 words); this will be used on the conference website, and in the NMC2021 app;
    • The format of the presentation (see below);
    • An outline of the presentation, including the number of presenters and an explanation of how time will be allocated between them; this outline will be used only for reviewing the proposal – it will not be published. The outline is crucial to the assessment of the proposal, and to its allocation to an appropriate part of the Conference program.
    • Contact details for notification of the CDC’s decision on whether (or not) the proposal is accepted for inclusion in the Conference program.
    The pro forma includes identification of any required electronic support for online delivery of the presentation.
    All presenters accepted into the program for NMC2021 will have the opportunity to upload supporting written materials for their presentation, including background papers and relevant data, all of which will be made available to attendees.

    NMC2021 Call for Presentations 3

    Additional Information

    NMC2021 will include a range of new presentation formats suitable for use in an online setting.
    Lhaarrkintja (lightning) talks
    A sharp, focused and quick – possibly even controversial – talk on a specific topic, followed by limited discussion
    Talk = 5 – 10 minutes
    Discussion = 10 minutes
    REV ups (ie Resolution, Entertainment and Vision)
    Focus on a key topic; slides and other presentation materials limited to 2 items; preference given to most innovative and engaging presentation techniques; followed by limited discussion
    Presentation = 15 – 20 minutes
    Discussion = 15 minutes
    Hurjects (ie projects that overcome hurdles)
    Self-contained projects designed to be undertaken in conjunction with the conference; a project should be designed to overcome a specific hurdle or constraint, to actively engage conference delegates, and to be completed by the end of the conference (examples of hurdles or constraints can be factors known to limit the practice of mediation/DR; factors that foster the practice/theory divide; theoretical factors that constrain practice, such as understanding about impartiality; and so on)
    Commence on Day One and be completed before the close of Day 4
    A facilitated and structured discussion with attendees on a specific topic; preferably includes large group and break-out group activities
    Can last between 1 and 2 hours
    Presenters give guided instruction and training on a specific topic or skill set
    Ideally lasts 2 hours
    Traditional, single presentations
    Presentation of a single conference paper
    Presentation = 20 minutes
    Q&A = 10 minutes
    Please note:
    • Traditional single paper presentations are less suitable for an online format and, although they are not excluded, numbers will be limited, and preference given to proposals designed to suit other formats listed in the table;
    • Because of the anticipated numbers of presentations, and to encourage broad participation, an individual may be a presenter in no more than two sessions during the entire conference; and
    • Although NMC2021 will include online networking and social events, there will be limited access to presenters. Therefore, all presenters will be asked to be available online after their session and to participate in further online ad hoc Q&A sessions with conference delegates (eg through social media contacts, email exchanges, the conference app, and “chat rooms”).
    Number of Presenters in Each Session
    Although there is no specific target or limit for the number of presenters to be included in any specific proposal, the number should be appropriate to the online format, the nature of the proposal and its subject matter, as well as to its proposed duration. As a guide, it is suggested that, generally, no more than two presenters be listed, and, for Workrooms, there be no more than three presenters. The Conference Committee may accept proposals that deviate from these suggestions; however, the number of presenters should be clearly justified, and the session be demonstrably organised to enable the individual presentations to create an interwoven session.

NMC2021 Call for Presentations 4

Poster Sessions and Exhibitions
Poster sessions have not always enjoyed high support at these conferences. At NMC2021, we are promoting them as opportunities for new researchers to display their work and to discuss their projects. Poster sessions will be available online and, for this reason, some changes are being implemented to their format. Traditionally, poster presentations are an opportunity for shorter, simultaneous and more personal presentations during hour-long sessions that are open to all conference delegates. Poster presenters are asked to prepare a single or double/dual screen presentation suitable for online viewing and including key aspects of the project. Poster sessions will be electronically accessible throughout the conference and, on each day, a session will be dedicated to poster presentations, providing the traditional opportunity for informal discussions and Q&A with delegates; these will be similar to Lhaarrkintja talks. The intent is to maximise each poster presenter’s access to conference delegates.

Exhibitions are a traditional component of the National Mediation Conference and, for NMC2021, a range of options are being considered to facilitate online access to exhibitor materials, as well as availability of exhibitions to Alice Springs generally, via on-site displays. Further information will be available in a separate document detailing options for partnership and sponsorship.

Conference streams

Approaches to conflict in First Nations and Indigenous contexts, including community-based peace-building.

Key words: Governance; peace-building; consensual decision-making; evaluation; effective policy & services.

Business and construction, workplace and employment

Keywords: DR clauses in contracts; business, construction and workplace arbitration; industrial and employment DR; innovation in business and workplace DR; international commercial dispute resolution; evidence in commercial and business disputes.

Community-focused mediation, and other community-focused processes.

Keywords: Conflict coaching; alternative approaches; environmental DR; multi-party, consultative, and whole-of-community processes; innovative approaches; evidence-based approaches.

Conciliation, including public and private advisory processes, and statutory programs.

Keywords: Evidence-based approaches; conciliation, evaluative mediation, advisory dispute resolution, hybrid dispute resolution; statutory programs and processes; conciliation training, standards, and accreditation.

Court-connected DR services, including services associated with courts and tribunals.

Keywords: Mandatory DR; judicial DR; artificial intelligence; theoretical frameworks; evidence-based approaches; current developments.

Dispute System Design, online DR, and technological innovations.

Keywords: Theoretical frameworks; current developments; sociocultural influences; innovative approaches & applications; artificial intelligence; evidence-based approaches.

Elder mediation and other specialist areas of practice.

Keywords: Elder mediation; age-related issues; Elder abuse; Elder law; new specialist approaches; evidence-based approaches.

Family mediation and dispute resolution, including Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

Keywords: Child inclusive and child focussed processes; family and domestic violence; parenting plans, including shared parenting; parental responsibility; property and financial matters; mandatory FDR; confidentiality; lawyer assisted FDR; family group conferencing.

Peace-building, transitional justice, reconciliation, and civil society.

Keywords: Sociocultural influences, including intra-cultural, cross-cultural and multi-cultural approaches; discourse analysis; evidence-based approaches; innovative approaches.

Research, training, and education: building a rigorous evidence base for DR.

Keywords: Research design, empirical methodologies, program evaluations; standards & accreditation; innovative research; evidence-based approaches to training and education.

Restorative justice and other innovative approaches.

Keywords: Circles, conferencing; theoretical frameworks; current developments; innovative approaches; evidence-base.


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National Mediation Conference Call for Presentation

by Joanne Law time to read: 8 min