Mediation in Spain is still in its infancy – Kevin Brown interview
Kevin Brown is President of Mediation International and Executive of The 2nd Annual World Mediation Summit-Madrid.
Kevin Brown is owner and President of Mediation International (www.mediationinternational.eu). He is executive organizer for The 2nd World Mediation Summit-Madrid 2015 (www.worldmediationsummit.com ) and is a senior roster expert with United Nations (UNDP) for mediation and ADR facilitation.
He provides conflict management services locally as well as on an international basis while being based in Madrid, Spain. His services include; ombudsing, mediation (both face to face and online), group needs analysis, conflict coaching, training courses, organizational systemic issue analysis, facilitation and more.
Kevin has over 25 rich and diverse years as a senior Alternative Dispute Resolution specialist, as a mediator/facilitator and as an academic theorist. His background includes; a Masters degree in International Conflict Analysis and Management with Royal Roads University, Canada and he is currently completing his Ph.D in Conflict management and Mediation at Euclid University; 25+ years experience as a mediator; designer of ADR training programs, over 4000 hours facilitating ADR training programs, extensive experience in project leadership and a wealth of knowledge pertaining to the provision of ADR and ODR services.
Your opinion about the evolution of mediation in Spain?
I lived in Canada most of my life and moved to Spain 3 years ago. To my surprise, mediation in Spain is still in its infancy and many people are unaware of its advantages. The Courts in Spain continue to be used for conflicts that could be better dealt with in mediation and in a much shorter time (and at reduced costs to the parties). The utilisation of mediation will significantly reduce the Court backlog.
In Spain, various lawyers and non lawyers utilise mediation for family matters, community and penal conflicts and recently (May 2012) a law was passed by Royal decree for civil and commercial mediation yet in my opinion, mediation in Spain has a long way to go before it is mainstream.
Any advise to Spanish people to trust mediation?
This is a great question. I believe that mediation in Spain will gain momentum once more people are aware of its advantages and the Spanish Justice system further promotes it as an alternative to the Courts.
In Canada, 25 years ago, many people including lawyers and the public distrusted mediation because it was new. People then had a litigious attitude and believed that a conflict was best resolved with a Judge deciding the outcome. This outlook has changed significantly, both in Canada and across the globe, through the promotion of mediation, lawyers being trained in mediation and public awareness.
It is for these reasons that I organise The World Mediation Summit-Madrid (my new home) every year here in Spain. My belief is that when people talk about changes, there becomes a shift in their thinking and acceptance of new concepts. My hope is that The World Mediation Summit will help mediation become mainstream in Spain.
About the WORLD MEDIATION SUMMIT 2015
Why did you decide to launch the World Mediation Summit?
A colleague suggested one day that we organise a congress for a select group of people. I began thinking about this and eventually decided I was not interested in an exclusive get-together and started looking into an allinclusive summit. Historically, associations and other similar groups have organised events for their membership. These events are wonderful opportunities to network within the field and share best practices amongst similarly focused mediators yet, for me, something was missing.
I wanted to host an event that was inclusive of mediators, lawyers, social workers, non-lawyers, psychologists, government and non government, as well as other professionals involved in the various fields of mediation including civil, workplace, family, penal, community and of course, international and diplomatic mediation. And this is what was produced at the 2014 Summit. The tradition continues and The 2nd Annual World Mediation Summit-Madrid 2015 promises to be even bigger and better with some of the most respected mediation professionals from across the globe attending and presenting.
Who are the speakers at the Summit?
We have local and international presenters who will speak on various topics related to this years theme. We recently issued a Call for Proposals and are reviewing potential speakers on a weekly basis. Already confirmed are the Ambassadors of Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine and Sweden as well as speakers from Lebanon, Spain, Canada, USA, Netherlands, Australia and we have only just begun. We are updating our speaker list weekly on our website www.worldmediationsummit.com
Is there a focal theme each year?
Yes, this years theme is Mediation: Emerging From The Shadows Into The Spotlight with sub themes;
- Mediation: A Gateway to Alternate Justice or Justice
- Rise of the Phoenix: A Fusion of ADR and ODR
- Mediation and Diplomacy
- and of course, we will also provide Training Workshops.
One of our key principals is ensuring that the presentations are interesting and beneficial to the attendees. As such, we review all presentation submissions to ensure that they will be interactive and participatory.
Please check out our webpage www.worldmediationsummit.com for more details.
Who is the targeted audience? Is it open for registration to anybody who is interested in mediation?
The World Mediation Summit-Madrid 2015 is all-inclusive and open to mediators, arbitrators, lawyers, managers, government, students and everyone else interested in learning about mediation, networking with internationally renowned mediation professionals, sharing best practices and attending mediation training seminars.
Where: Faculty of Law, Computense University in the beautiful city of Madrid. Even the name of the city has ADR at its core!
When: June 29-July 2, 2015
(We also have a weekly newsletter and blog that you can sign up for to read the most up to date information on the Summit) Please contact directly for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .