Michael’s journey as a mediator began while he was a student at Jesus College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate, he was heavily involved in inter-faith relations within the student-body. Each major faith was represented by a student-society, which appointed representatives to organise and advertise events focused on deepening understanding of each other’s traditions – something that students will take with them upon leaving university. In addition, Michael activity participated in the ‘Scriptural Reasoning’ programme run by the Faculty of Divinity, which brought together Muslim, Jewish and Christian students to engage with each tradition’s scriptures, focussing on texts sharing a common focus or theme. This was an excellent training ground for developing the core mediation skill of discovering consensus among competing voices.
Michael is a firm believer in the value of ‘full-spectrum’ conflict-resolution: negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. In March 2022, he completed training in conflict-management and negotiation with ADR-ODR, at the Dubai International Financial Centre, and received accreditation in May. He will be returning to Dubai in November 2022 to judge the international negotiation-competition to be hosted by ADR-ODR. Given that mediation is nothing other than facilitated negotiation, a solid grounding in negotiation-theory is a must for excellence in mediation!
Having received his PhD in Russian intellectual history from Cambridge in February 2022, Michael is currently retraining for legal practice, and will be looking to be called to the English Bar in 2023.