2020 Fall Conference

2020 VISION: INNOVATIONS IN MEDIATION

Registration is now open!

The 2020 WMA Fall Conference will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Zoom, our first fully virtual conference!

This year’s conference focuses on important topics that matter to professional mediators right now and into our future.  Our morning session will bring together a solid line up of speakers on this year’s hot topics as well as give everyone time to interact with the speakers through a panel discussion that will wrap up the morning session.

Long time legislative liaison, Rick Bartholomew, will talk on the issue of making early mediation for family court cases mandatory throughout the State.  Amir John Showrai and Michael Louden, both fulltime family law attorney mediators, will jointly present their experiences with virtual mediations.  Although virtual mediations have been used for many years, these panelists will talk about how the pandemic has made practically all mediations virtual and how we can hone certain mediation skills that will lead to successful virtual mediations.  Sasha Philip, a mediator with a fulltime sole practice, will share how she uses social media and other great marketing tools to successfully promote her mediation business.

This year’s lunch is BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch). You can make “reservations” at one of several Zoom lunch rooms and catch up on the latest with others who join you.

Our afternoon session will continue with our popular “unconference” that allows participants to play a role in deciding what issues to discuss.  We will convene three 45-minute sessions of three or four break-out groups each in the afternoon. In addition to our normal unconference topic selections, this year our morning panelists will also lead breakout sessions to go more in-depth into their discussion topics.

Because we are fully virtual this year, please send your suggested topics for the “unconference” online.  Suggestions may be submitted via email at admin@washingtonmediation.org or as part of the conference registration process. We are considering all suggestions that are submitted by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

At the end of the day, WMA will host a BYOB virtual cocktail hour from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  This event gives everyone a chance to chat and reconnect with fellow mediators from the comfort of your own location!

Register Now

CONVENE

Convene a session! Conference participants convene sessions in the afternoon to share expertise or insight, or to create conversations with peers about important questions and issues. The format emphasizes conversation and dialog to improve the practice of mediation, conflict resolution, and management.

While the Conference theme looks to expand mediation skills into other realms many sessions will focus on best practices and how-to-do-it approaches.

FORMAT

The WMA Fall Conference creates the forum for on-going conversation and dialog about conflict resolution trends, practices, and futures and provides the opportunity for practitioners to develop and maintain professional relationships.

Our Conference format blends sessions that are pre-planned in the morning (we are applying for 3 WSBA CLE credits for this session) with more free flowing afternoon sessions.  Each breakout session will include at least one breakout for which we will be seeking additional .45 WSBA CLE credits).  Session conveners are encouraged to engage all participants in the discussion.

WMA Certification requirements including those for diversity and ethics can be met by attending sessions.

Soliciting 2020 Conference Sponsors

We are currently soliciting sponsors for our 2020 Fall Conference.  For more information on sponsorships, contact admin@washingtonmediation.org or you can use the DONATE button on the website and designate your donation for the 2020 Fall Conference.

Unconference FAQ

General

What is a hybrid unconference?
Are there any rules for an unconference?
What sessions are planned for the unconference?
How will I know there will be topics that I’m interested in being offered?
Has this idea been tried before?
Can I earn Washington State Bar Association CLE credits for attendance?
Can I earn WMA certification credits for attendance?

Registration

How do I register?
What types of payments are accepted?
When is the last day I can register for the Conference
What’s included in the registration price?
My organization or company is a sponsor of the conference. How do I take the sponsorship discount?
Can I take both the WMA and sponsorship discount?
I registered but can’t make it. Can I get a refund?

What is a hybrid unconference?

WMA’s hybrid Fall Conference provides participants with a traditional morning session of speakers providing the newest information on current topics of the day.  The afternoon “unconference” offers three sessions of 45-minute breakout sessions where participants can choose to attend a session with a pre-determined breakout topic or choose a breakout on a topic submitted by attendees.

This year, because we are hosting a virtual conference, participants can suggest a breakout discussion topic at the time they register for the conference or send a suggested discussion topic to admin@washingtonmediation.org up until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

Because attendees create the experience, breakout groups can:

  • Pose a question and brainstorm solutions
  • Have a panel Q and A
  • Facilitate a debate on a hot topic
  • Share experiences around a common issue
  • Problem solve around an industry or organizational challenge
  • Whatever else you can think of!

Are there any rules for an unconference?

There aren’t any rules you have to follow. However, there are a few principles that will help everyone get the most out of the experience.

  • Whoever comes are the right people.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.
  • If you’re not contributing or learning it’s your responsibility to respectfully use your chat window to communicate with the meeting room host to find another breakout session that’s more suited to your needs.

What sessions are planned for the unconference?

Only a few sessions are preplanned because the afternoon’s agenda will be created the day of the event by the attendees. You’ll be able to attend sessions based on what you’re most interested in and passionate about.

How will I know there will be topics that I’m interested in being offered?

Imagine gathering with a group of amazing mediators and having the opportunity to ask questions, get opinions, brainstorm solutions, and share ideas with them. The hybrid conference provides that opportunity. As each conference breakout session begins, chances are you’ll see many topics that you’d like to participate in. This is a new approach for the mediation community but who better to embrace a new way of communicating and learning?

We encourage you to share your ideas for the afternoon unconference via email at admin@washingtonmediation.org or as part of your online registration. All submissions will be considered before 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 14th, 2020.

Has this idea been tried before?

Yes! There have been successful unconferences and hybrids in non-profits and businesses around the world. Anywhere people are open to collaborative learning, there are unconferences happening.

Can I earn Washington State Bar Association CLE credits for attendance?

Yes. WMA will be applying to the Washington State Bar Association for at least three hours of Continuing Legal Education credits for the pre-planned portions of the conference in the categories of “Professional Development” and “Improving the Legal System” categories.

Can I earn WMA certification credits for attendance?

Yes. This is a great opportunity to earn some of the educational credits you need to renew your WMA certification. You can download a form from the WMA website.  Simply complete the form detailing the sessions you attend and submit it to admin@washingtonmediation.org for approval.

How do I register?

You can register here.

What types of payments are accepted?

We accept all major credit cards at registration.

When is the last day I can register for the Conference?

You are welcome to register online for the conference at the Washington Mediation Association website up until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the day before the conference.  We recommend that you pre-register early to save your place.

What is included in the registration price?

Your registration includes all sessions, pending CLE credits and WMA certification or certification renewal credits.

Your sponsoring organization or company will provide you with a discount code. Simply enter that at the time of registration and you’ll receive $20 off the regular price.

Can I take both the WMA and sponsorship discount?

Sorry no, you’re only allowed to take one discount.

I registered but can’t make it. Can I get a refund?

Full refund available through 5:00 p.m., Thursday, October 8.

Half refund available through 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 12.

No refunds after 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 12. Please email your notification to admin@washingtonmediation.org.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

October 14th, 2020 before 5:00pm