NW Collaborative
Futures Conference

Deconstructing Artificial Borders

OCT 20-22, 2021 – ONLINE 


Opening Night Presentation:
Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

Register Here for Free!

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (PDT) via webinar

Thursday and Friday
Oct 21 and 22, 2021

Day 1: 9am – 8pm (PDT) via webinar
Day 2: 9am – 4pm (PDT) via webinar

October 19, 2021

Careers in Conflict Resolution Panel (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm)

Hosted by Miguel Willis, Innovator in Residence at PennLaw’s Future of the Profession Initiative will moderate a panel of conflict resolution professionals building careers in ways that take technology into account.

October 20, 2021

Opening Night Presentation and Online Reception (6:00 pm to 8:00 pm)

6:00-6:55 pm – Online Reception & Virtual Mingle

Join us on Zoom to hear a few words from Mediate BC’s Board Chair Julie Daum and watch the presentation of the Susanna Jani Award in Supporting Excellence in Mediation. Feel free to have a favo(u)rite beverage (and snacks!) on hand to salute the award recipient! You will then be able to move around between breakout rooms where you’ll connect with old friends and new to mingle with colleagues up and down the West Coast of Canada and the US!

7:00-8:00 pm – Northwest Collaborative Futures Conference Opening Night Presentation

We’ll ask everyone to switch to a different Zoom link to hear from the Conference keynote speaker Tahmoh Penikett. We are excited and hono(u)red to have Tahmoh  join us to share reflections on his own experiences with the impacts of artificial borders and to stimulate reflection and conversation.

Tahmoh PenikettTahmoh Penikett is an actor especially recognized for his roles in many genre TV series. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Tahmoh is of the Tanana people. They are his blood relations and family. He has a strong connection and is extremely devoted to his family with whom he spends time whenever possible. He has a strong connection to Tanana traditions and love of storytelling.READ MORE

October 21, 2021

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 am to 9:10 am)

Sharon Sutherland — Mediate BC, Vancouver
Darsey Meredith — CoRe Conflict Resolution Society, Vancouver

Plenary Speaker:  “Deconstructing Artificial Borders”  (9:10 am to 9:50 am)
Tony Penikett  – Former Yukon Premier and polar research advisor

Tony Penikett will speak about the challenges in building understanding around treaties and also the ongoing work of bringing together polar communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, for collaborative action on climate change.

Concurrent Sessions (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Block A (details TBC)

Mediation in Kenya
(6-minute presentations from Fellows of 2021 Wasilianahub Fellowship. Hosted by Emily Martin.)

Opening a Mediation Office in Tharaka Nithi County – Kenya

Establishment of a mediation office in Tharaka Nithi County – Kenya to enable people to assess dispute conflicts in Tharaka Nithi County Kenya with ease.

Christine Ndilo Kakyema — Certified Mediator and Trainer of Trainees, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya

Impact of Grief in Conflict Resolution

Grief easily affects people mentally, emotionally, and physically. Grief may also cause depressions and emptiness. Therefore, it may affect the way in which people make decisions and it is advisable not to make major decisions while in this state of mind. When one goes into a mediation session while in this condition, they need help to make the right decision. The mediator has a big role to play in ensuring that the person grieving does not make a decision that would be regretted later.

Patricia Oketch — Counselling Psychologist and Certified Professional Mediator, Nairobi, Kenya

Gates for Fences—How I Learned to Love the Differences at the Table

During this presentation, your Favourite Uncle Jer will discuss and explore the benefits of acknowledging and highlighting differences between parties in a mediation session and its value to decision making process and agreements made. Also, along the way we’ll explore the similarities between high conflict mediation and cooking competition shows.

Jereme Brooks — Program Manager, Child Protection Mediation Program & RONIN Dispute Resolution Services, Langley

Decentralized Resolution for Africa: To Reset the Unforgotten DR in the Mediation Service Centres DR Alphabet (A Sneak Peak at the European Commission European ODR Platform)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and ODR have been explored. The session will explore Decentralized Dispute Resolution (DDR) as a framework enabling trust and self-service to the citizens across Africa by development of mediation service centres. Taking a sneak peak at the European ODR platform; the European ODR platform is an online platform used by 31 countries that is available in 25 languages. In the first two years the ODR platform had 4 million visitors, and handled 50,000 complaints. With a monthly average of 3,719 complaints (2018). A dispute may be resolved directly between the trader and the consumer by exchange of messages and photos of the product. Or through an approved dispute resolution body that is listed on the ODR platform within 30 days. 

Wangari Kabiru — Covenor, Wasilianahub Africa, Nairobi Kenya

Employment and Workplace

Workplace Conflict: The Walls that People Build

Mediation is all about tearing down walls and building up communication. People build fortresses around themselves at work, stop all conducive conversations and begin to build an empire of conflict. The biggest complaint is that people are not being heard or understood. Most workplace conflicts do not belong in the courts. They need to be deconstructed, understood and rebuilt on healthier relationships. James Cook and Alice Shikina will discuss the nature of conflict in the workplace and the ways to deal with larger organizational turmoil and how to deconstruct those walls in order to begin to build bridges.

James Cook — John L. Burris Law, Oakland, CA
Alice Shikina — Mediator/Negotiation Coach, Shikina Mediation & Arbitration, Oakland, CA

Borders, Barriers and Blinders—Stop Boxing It Up!

Discussion with three highly experienced mediators on the use and danger of labels such as bully, harasser, victim, perpetrator, racist, accused, trouble maker in a conflict resolution process. We’ll ask what we can learn when we move past labels and discuss how showing up as your whole self and allowing participants their full humanity improves the resolution process for you as a mediator and for the participants.

Shelina Neallani — Lawyer, Mediator, Conflict Consultant, West Vancouver
Kyra L. Hudson
 — Lawyer, Mediator, Workplace Investigator, North Vancouver
Yuki Matsuno — Lawyer, Mediator, Workplace Investigator, North Vancouver

LUNCH (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Concurrent Sessions (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm)

Block A (details TBC)
The Honourable Marion Buller — Anmore, BC

Shelly Boyd
A member of the Sinixt/Arrow Lake band of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation will discuss the Sinixt people’s legal fight for recognition in Canada

Block B
Interview with Dr. Kevin Escandón on COVID-19 False Dichotomies

Deconstructing Moral Borders

As political lines are being drawn in new areas such as our health, families, workplaces and societies are becoming more divided. People are becoming more divided through echo-chambers, ‘cancel’ling, and protests. These moral borders result in less communication, less solution-building, and thereby less progress. This talk aims to give the audience tips on how to find common moral ground to ensure conversation stays open and respectful, even when emotions are high.

Lauren Florko, Ph.D. — Principal Consultant, Triple Threat Consulting, Vancouver

Choosing Peace Over Justice: A Family Schism in the MAGA Moment

This presentation recounts one very personal conflict with two siblings who challenged my right to vote in the 2020 US election. I am a dual US and Canadian citizen, having called Canada home for the last two decades. In 2020, I forfeited my right to vote as the most viable path to peace. While the forfeiture of my vote resolved the legal conflict, the personal conflict persists. The emotional borders have been drawn for safety. The walls are up with no will to dismantle them. As a mediator and a member of a once-upon-a-time family, I am working through the grief and the options for peace on this side of the wall.

Lori Charvat — Principal & CEO, Sandbox Consulting, Vancouver

Healing Community Divisions: Using Mediator Tools to Transform Mindsets

The idea that people must be divided on one side or the other creates harmful artificial boundaries in our communities. Boundaries between people are imaginary and socially constructed, but with real consequences that can undermine community relationships and community well-being.

Our presentation will talk about Growth Mindset versus a Fixed Mindset, the impacts of both and how we can work toward a Growth Mindset that creates positive change.  Mediation skills naturally support growth mindset. We will show how some basic mediation skills can be used to become better communicators, better listeners and how we can bring those skills to the larger community.

Ona Lawrence — MS Program Manager, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center, Hood River, OR
Lori Loranger — Services Coordinator, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center, Hood River, OR
Debra Pennington Davis, MF — Program Assistant, Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Centre, Hood River, OR

Panel Discussion on Faith-based Conflict Resolution

Block C
Don’t Be Another Brick in the Wall… Breaking Down Borders between Mentors and Mentees

Mentors must acknowledge that there is a border between them and their mentees. They have experience. And while they both have skills, mentees are further developing them and may lack the confidence to break down the wall. So, a mentor must be aware of the power imbalance and work through difficulties to elevate the learning experience for both the mentor and mentee.

Come watch a video with tools and tips and engage in a thoughtful discussion about mentoring and the value of deconstructing the artificial border between participants.

Julie Daum — Mediator, Fraser Lake & Northern BC
Georgina Delimari — Mediator, Victoria
Vivian A. Kerenyi — Lawyer & Mediator, Vancouver
Wendy Lakusta — Mediator, White Rock

Collaborative Competencies

Collaborative governance is an approach to public policy that helps parties reach across political, cultural, social, physical, and geographical boundaries, in order to overcome conflict, seek mutual understanding and common ground, and identify areas for mutual gains. But collaboration is not easy or natural for many people. Most benefit from assistance to help increase their capacity to initiate, participate in, and/or lead collaborative public policy efforts. This fun and interactive session will review the University Network for Collaborative Governance’s Collaborative Competencies Framework, which provides an overview of the concrete skills needed to initiate and participate in collaborative approaches to public issues.

Michael Kern, MPA — Director, William D. Ruchelshaus Center/Associate Professor, Washington State University Extension/Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, Seattle

Preparing for a Difficult Conversation

We believe that there are some often-overlooked preparation steps. You could think of these as pre-preparation steps because they entail actions you can take prior to focusing on the actual engagement and communication with the other party: 

  • find your motivation
  • build your power
  • set it up well

By putting you in Zoom breakout room pairs or triads, and with specific instructions, we will provide you the opportunity to try out in real-time how to take these steps. We will also explain how we have been experimenting with our 8-step Difficult Conversation model to initiate culture change in organizations.

Julia Menard, M.Ed., CertConRes, PCC — Mediator, On Conflict Leadership Institute, Victoria
Gordon White, MBA — Mediator, On Conflict Leadership Institute, Victoria

BREAK (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm)

Evening Session (5:00 pm to 8:00 pm)

Creativity in Professional Development Panel

Dr. Clare Fowler — Executive Vice-President at Mediate.com and Faculty at University of Oregon Law School, Veneta, OR
Panelists TBA

Creativity in Conflict Resolution Work (details TBC)

October 22, 2021

Concurrent Sessions (9:00 am to 11:00 am)

Block A
Ecotones: A New Conception of Borderlands

As areas of confluence in the natural world, “ecotones” are especially rich in biodiversity. Viewing ecotones as a concept, we can begin to apply their value in human contexts—in particular, life transitions or crisis moments such as seemingly-impassable conflict. This interactive presentation will offer: 

  • a definition of ecotones and examples of their value in natural settings
  • a means for “translating” the language of ecology into useful concepts in our work
  • a vision for how ecotones, as boundary lands, apply to our mediation and peacemaking efforts

Learn how a new vision of borderlands can invigorate and expand our work.

Dr. Jennifer J. Wilhoit — Founder, TEALarbor Stories, Bainbridge Island, WA

Transforming Water Conflicts Across Boundaries

Todd Jarvis — Four Worlds Partners
Aaron Wolf — Four Worlds Partners

IUU Fishing: Crossing the Border between Land and Sea

Regina Paulose

Ending Fisheries Conflict: An Elusive Catch

Fisheries conflicts exist in different dimensions and scales and continue to evolve as resource users increase while fisheries dwindle. Conflict ranges from local fishermen repulsing migrant fishermen in their localities to country restrictions regarding foreign vessels; or artisanal and recreational fishers competing to meet their needs. This diversity of fisheries users and uses in the same space coupled with the issues of ownership and governance can set the stage for more intense and sustained fisheries conflicts. I will explore these scenarios and the role that mediation can play in management of fisheries conflict.

Sarah Ater, ACIArb

Block B
Panel on Impacts of Polyamorous Relationships and Consensual Non-monogamy on Separation

Kids and Cross-Border Parenting: The Importance of Meaningful Participation and Voice

Children and youth are often caught in the middle of parental separation, and that sometimes involves parenting arrangements that extend across borders. The well-being of kids is enhanced when they have meaningful participation and voice in decision-making that affects their lives in significant ways, including where they live and go to school. Using a child-centred approach, this session will discuss child participation and why it is important (referring to ACEs and the UNCRC) and create space for a dialogue about how it can be done safely and effectively.

Kari D. Boyle, LLB — Coordinator, BC Family Justice Innovation Lab, North Vancouver

Virtual Pro Bono Mediations: Breaking Down Financial and Geographical Barriers

COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional methods used by legal service providers to connect low income and marginalized clients with legal services. In this unprecedented moment of change, technology represents a significant opportunity to enhance service provision to clients by eliminating geographical, administrative, and financial barriers to access to justice. 

The Access Pro Bono has partnered with a local technology start-up, Qase, to enhance the mobilization of pro bono volunteers and the private bar to meet the needs of low income and marginalized clients across the province of BC using an online platform that facilitates real-time bookings between clients and legal service professionals.

Sarah R. Levine, J.D., M.Ed., C.C. — Mediator, Grounded Mediation, Vancouver
Erin Monahan — Project Manager, Access Pro Bono Society of BC, Vancouver

Block C
How a Good Idea Became a Bad Idea: Putting the Brakes on N
on-Disclosure Agreements

The ability to protect confidential trade/research information in a non-disclosure agreement seemed reasonable – until NDAs started to appear in almost every area of civil settlement including sexual assault and abuse, product liability, construction defects, workplace terminations, human rights complaints, even personal injury cases. Far from narrowly drawn trade secrets, NDAs are now routinely used (along with non-disparagement clauses) to suppress discussion following a settlement of any type of bad experience including discrimination and harassment and sometimes potential crimes, treating these as if they are “trade secrets”. In the face of coming legislation to restrict the enforceability of NDAs in the US, Canada, Ireland, England & Wales what should mediators and lawyers be thinking and doing to be both proactive and ethical?

Professor Julie Macfarlane – Director of Strategic Innovation

The Risks of Employment Litigation in a World of Work without Borders

Looking at the globally distributed post-COVID workforce, the room for employment disputes are rife and employers need to review their respective risks from the bird’s eye view of their distributed workplace. In the war for global talent and a global footprint, what laws have jurisdiction over your workplace and can you comply?

  • alternative dispute resolution clauses in employment contracts
  • avoiding multiple jurisdiction claims (domicile of employee and of HQ company)
  • protecting and enforcing the employer’s proprietary interest and NDA undertakings in an agile ever-changing company

Sherisa Rajah Baird — Vice President, Employment Law & Compliance, Elements Global Services, Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Plenary Session (11:10 am to 12:00 pm)

White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall

White Borders charts the country’s evolution from a small settler colony with open immigration but closed citizenship policies to its present day push for border walls, strict immigration laws, and a massive federal immigration police force. The talk will highlight connections between the Chinese Exclusion laws of the 1880s, the “Keep America American” nativism of the 1920s, and the “Build the Wall” chants of recent years.

Professor Reece Jones — University of Hawai’i

LUNCH (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm)

Plenary Session (1:00 pm to 1:50 pm)


Dr. Erin Goheen Glanville

Concurrent Sessions (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm)


De-construction Ahead: Examining How Technology Can Break Down Boundaries in the Workplace for BIPOC

A recent study revealed that about 97% of Black employees who are currently working remotely want a hybrid or full-time remote work model moving forward, compared to 79% of their white peers. Office-centric work has been deeply uncomfortable for many minority workers, who are subjected to microaggressions and discrimination, despite decades of efforts to combat this phenomenon. This presentation will hit 5 key points with observations and strategies for moving forward in this new environment. Pandemic concerns aside, work is probably not going back to the way it was, but more importantly, this presentation will examine whether it should.

Commissioner Brenda D. Pryor and Commissioner Stephanie Collier — Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Barriers and Benefits of Remote Dispute Resolution

As dispute resolution professionals, we may have dabbled in providing our services remotely. But for many, this past year and a half has been a new frontier. Learn how to overcome the obstacles that remote practice may present while also harnessing the positives for both the professional and the client. Tips and suggestions for effective use of remote tools will be offered to help you navigate issues such as working with adversity, managing the emotional climate and supporting clients remotely. As well, we’ll take a look at the future of virtual practice in a post-COVID world.

Lori Brienesse-Frank, Q.Med. — Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting, Victoria
Kellie L. Tennant, BSW, MSW — 2 Worlds Consulting, Counselling & Mediation, Maple Ridge

Block B
Reading Conflict (details TBC)

presented by CoRe Conflict Resolution Society

Reading Conflict Resolution in Science Fiction Television

Sharon Sutherland — Mediate BC, Vancouver

Block C
Digital Family Justice: Machine Listening, Improvisation and Access to Justice in British Columbia

This presentation will discuss preliminary empirical research emerging from a Canadian Foundation for Legal Research (CFLR)-funded project by the same name, which interrogates whether Digital Family Justice, as currently conceived, meets Access to Justice (A2J) requirements in BC, in which justice is not just about increased accessibility to legal advice and/or judicial decision-making, but also about ensuring individual cases are listened to with the depth and creativity that the singularity of the situation demands—and asks whether machine listening technology can better address these needs?

Kristen Lewis —  Victoria
Dr. Sara Ramshaw — Professor of Law and Director of Cultural, Social and Political Thought (CSPT), University of Victoria, Victoria

Tech Tools Show & Tell for Conflict Resolution Professionals

Amanda Semenoff
Roger Moss

Evening Conflict Resolution Watch Party (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm)

Join us to watch and discuss documentaries created by speakers at our conference.  Including “Borderstory” and “Older than the Crown” followed with a Q&A with the filmmakers. Dr. Erin Goheen Glanville 

Borderstory tells a familiar story about the border as the primary tool for citizens’ safety. It seems true because it has been repeated so often. But displaced people tell more interesting, complex stories. Borderstory invites you into a dialogue about borders led by people on the move. What do you believe to be true about borders? What might you learn from other experiences? What’s your border story?

Older than the Crown follows the trial of Sinixt tribal member Rick Desautel who in 2010 was charged with hunting as a non resident and without a proper permit in Canada. Rick harvested an elk on the ancestral land of the Sinixt people in Vallican British Columbia Canada. To the Sinixt, hunting on ancestral land is an aboriginal right gifted to them by Creator. A right that has legally been denied to the Sinixt people since 1956 when the Canadian government unjustly declared them extinct in Canada, despite the nearly 3,000 members existing on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. Now with the Desautel Hunting Case, the Sinixt people have a chance to not only bring light to their unjust extinction by the Canadian government, but also abolish the declaration completely.