The State of Conflict Conference 2021

The Public Mediation Programme (PMP) of the University of Amsterdam, Public Mediation (PM), and WesselinkVanZijst are pleased to invite you to take part in the fourth annual State of Conflict Conference. This year the Conference will take place online on the afternoons of the 28th of May and the 4th of June. The theme is embracing creative disruption. During the Conference two sessions will take place simultaneously. Both afternoons start with a welcome and introduction and end with a plenary session, in which we report back on the sessions. The event will be in English this year to accommodate international participants.

In order to organise the conference and sessions efficiently, we kindly ask you to let us know which sessions you would like to attend. Please find a description of the sessions below. Each session has a limited number of places. Registration is possible at the bottom of this page.

The sessions

Part I: Friday 28th of May 2021, 14.00 – 17.00 

1. Learning from Restorative Practice

Conventional ways of organising citizen participation have been stretched not only by the Covid pandemic, but also by the demands posed by policy issues like the energy transition. As the strains on the system from these disruptions, frustrations, and disappointments accumulate, we are confronted with a lack of trust and legitimacy that cooperation and public action requires.

In two sessions we explore what insights and inspiration the working form of restorative justice offers and how these might push us to find new meaning and new possibilities in the interaction between citizens, stakeholders, and government. In the first session on 28 May, we will make sense together of what restoration means in practice and what it would mean as a practical goal. 

2. Zoöperation 

In light of developments as climate change and the encroachment of our cities on green areas and nature, conflicts between humans and non-human forms of life are increasingly brought to the foreground. Decisions by governments and organisations directly affect the well-being and interests of non-human life. The Zoöp, short for Zoöperation, is a new organisational model for branches of government and organisations (profit and non-profit). It disrupts our normal repertoire by including a (human) representation of the interests of non-human life in its board. A Zoöp integrates these interests in decision-making and empowers to contribute to ecological regeneration. In this session with Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Het Nieuwe Instituut) we will explore how this affects narratives, agendas and processes around spatial planning. How can we work towards redefining unproductive frameworks and dichotomies, such as agriculture versus nature?

Part II: Friday 4th of June 2021, 14.00 to 17.00 

3. Designing for Restorative Practice 

Please note: this session builds on the session ‘Learning from Restorative Practice’ on the 28th of May. 

Conventional ways of organising citizen participation have been stretched not only by the Covid pandemic, but also by the demands posed by policy issues like the energy transition. As the strains on the system from these disruptions, frustrations, and disappointments accumulate, we are confronted with a lack of trust and legitimacy that cooperation and public action requires. 

In two sessions we explore what insights and inspiration the working form of restorative justice offers and how these might push us to find new meaning and new possibilities in the interaction between citizens, stakeholders, and government. In the second session on 4 June, we will explore what it might mean to design for restoration at a practical level. What is it that we would seek to restore and how might we go about doing this?

4. Control-Alt-Delete: Resetting the Agenda for Change

The disruption of routines at work and in daily life over the past fourteen months has prompted many of us to reflect on these routines, on what we miss, what we value, and what changes we may wish to carry forward from this experience. In this session we will explore how reflection on these questions can inform the agenda for change that we embrace as we move forward. What can we learn about the insights that have been promoted by reflection on this experience? What priorities will we, should we, carry forward? What are the views of individuals who are working for change in the Netherlands and globally? Is it possible to draw on our experiences together to frame some key elements of an agenda for change that we can carry forward?


Registration

State of conflict