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 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 Non-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

BREAK (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm)

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.