Synchronicity, Paradox, and Personal Evolution
Evolution of a Field: Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution
23 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020 Last revised: 25 Jun 2021
Date Written: 2020
This autobiographical chapter, produced as part of a compendium of narratives by leaders in the field of conflict resolution, offers a highly personal retrospective on a unique career now in its fifth decade. The author reflects on his path from the field of architecture to a specialized law practice on the cutting edge of trends in arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution; his evolution as a professor of law, dispute resolution professional, and award-winning scholar; and his leadership of two important institutions in the conflict resolution field—the New York-based International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Los Angeles.
Grounded initially in his practice as a construction lawyer, Stipanowich describes his introduction to arbitration, his realization that the process was not staying true to its original goals, his hard work over the years to develop consensus for important, concrete reform, and his intense engagement with conflict resolution teaching and scholarship in order to leave the world a better place than he found it. His multi-faceted career—as lawyer, teacher, scholar and director of both an internationally-known non-profit and a university center-- also demonstrates the opportunities that exist in the field of conflict resolution to play the roles of entrepreneur, leader, institution-builder, and systems architect.
Keywords: ADR, arbitration, mediation, negotiation, mixed modes, med-arb, Abraham Lincoln, film, CPR, Pepperdine, conflict resolution, dispute resolution, neutral
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