On February 9, 2021, JAMS, the Weinstein International Foundation and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) launched the second installment of our Confronting Chaos, Embracing Conflict Global Webinar Series, with a focus on Latin America. Similar to the first webinar in the series, which had participants from 54 countries, this regionally focused presentation had participants from 35 countries, including 11 in Latin America. Over 160 participants joined from nearly 30 partner organizations and institutions, which demonstrates the interest in collaborative alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within the region.
Keynote Address — “Consider the End Game: It Is Not Always Worth the Fight”
This was delivered by Elisabeth Eljuri, an international practitioner who has served as head of Latin America for a global law firm and general counsel for Sierra Oil & Gas, who spoke about the business imperative of collaborative dispute resolution. While this is something that JAMS and many in the ADR community have been promoting for years, even before the emergence of COVID-19-related disputes, Eljuri’s business experience within the region supported the need for rethinking how we approach effective dispute resolution. In particular, Eljuri asserted that businesses will need to be “flexible, resilient and adapt to change.” Adapting to change was the theme of the keynote. In my own experience working with teams in conflict and crisis, too often organizations fail to change how they approach relationships with key stakeholders. I agree with Eljuri that in order to provide solutions to businesses, we must first understand their needs, concerns and challenges. This is more relevant now, as businesses are emerging from mandated closings into a new, unrecognizable world where systems and processes have adapted, and new norms have to be created. Also, the mechanisms of dealing with commercial conflict and identifying solutions may need to be adapted in order to ensure survival for all.
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