Call For Interest: Toronto Negotiation Unconference 2013

This is cross-posted from a site my friend Misha Gouberman’s created to explore an idea. We’ve been doing some very light scheming thinking about the following event. What follows is a piece he wrote that I’d love to get thoughts or reactions about from friends in the GTA…

A one-day event for people who work in negotiation, ADR, mediation, conflict resolution

Interested? Get in touch!

This post is a call for interest, to see if there are people out there who would like to take part in a one-day event in Toronto to assemble people who work in fields related to negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and conflict resolution.

If you’d like to know more, send me an email at NegotiationUnconferenceTO@gmail.comand I’ll keep you posted about the project as it moves along. The event will only take place if people get in touch, so if you want this to happen, send me an email!


Why I’m doing this: I want to be part of community of people who share these interests

As part of my work, I teach classes to the general public through the Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, in negotiation and difficult conversations. I love this subject. And my students are great. But I want more colleagues – I want to meet other people who share this interest, so I can learn about how other people are thinking about these subjects, how they’re applying them, and generally to feel more connected to a broad community of people working on this stuff.

My hope is that there are other people out there who want this, too.

A one-day unconference

To help create this sort of community, I’d like to run a one day unconference in Toronto for people interested in these fields. An unconference is a sort of highly-participatory conference, where participants get to define their own agenda. At an unconference, you spend most of the day talking about the subjects you most care about with people who share those particular interests. It’s an event specifically designed to allow people to learn from each other, to create meaningful connections, and to ensure that people who really need to meet can find each other.

These events are often organized in a grass-roots sort of way, by the people who want to take part in them. I’m hoping to organize a conference in this way. Working as a facilitator, I’ve organized a lot of unconferences like these for clients. People who come to these events generally really love them: the unconference structure is great at generating exciting conversation, serendipitous discovery, and connection. After years of running unconferences for clients, I’m excited to organize one motivated by my own interests.

Who’s behind this?

I’m Misha Glouberman. I’m the author of The Chairs are where the People Go, teacher ofHow to Talk to People About Things at the Barnicke Gallery at the U of T, and a few other things.

My friends Peter Hiddema and David Eaves are involved in the planning, too. David is a public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert. Peter is the CEO of Common Outlook Consulting and has taught negotiation skills in numerous countries on five continents.

How much would it cost, when would it happen, where would it take place?

These are all the things we’ll be figuring out as we go along. I’m eager to have the event soon, maybe as early as May of 2013. I’m hoping it wouldn’t take place any later than September 2013. If we can assemble sponsorships, the event might be free to attend. At most, there would be a nominal fee to cover the basic costs (venue rental, lunch, etc.) The event will take place in Toronto, but the venue is still to be decided.

Interested? Get in touch!!

My first step in this project is just to see if there are people out there who might be interested in this.

This event will only happen if people get in touch to express interest. So if this sounds good to you, drop me a line at I’ll email you any news as things move ahead.

1 thought on “Call For Interest: Toronto Negotiation Unconference 2013

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