Talking About Mediation with the Young Global Ambassadors – Marcus Lim

Interview with Marcus Lim, Executive Director of Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI)

Ece Alper – Young Global Ambassador (Turkey)


YGAP Interview

Marcus Lim and Ece Alper

Success, progress, and enthusiasm these are three words which perfectly describe CDRC Vienna. The 2016 CDRC Vienna amazed us as it hosted 30 University teams, more than 90 experts and coaches all around the world.

           From 28 June to 2 July 2016, 30 teams competed against each other by discussing real world commercial-legal problems. The aim was to brainstorm in open minded-manner and to find the best solution for both parties. The competition focused on improving participants negotiation and mediation skills not only by sessions during the competition but also by mediation and negotiation workshops led by mediation pioneers and practitioners.

         Part of CDRC Vienna’s fast development and growth is the Young Global Ambassador Programme (the YGAP) which promotes greater understanding and closer relations between CDRC Vienna and experts and institutions around the world. The Young Global Ambassadors are committed to encourage mediation and negotiation as an alternative way of dispute resolution. With this aim, the Young Global Ambassadors have initiated a series of interviews with the experts from the Competition.

        In this edition, Marcus Lim, Executive Director of Singapore International Mediation Institute, accredited mediator from Singapore Mediation Centre and also Tutor at the National University of Singapore for Mediation and Negotiation courses, will be sharing his thoughts with us. Marcus Lim immensely contributed as a knowledgeable and supporting expert in both the 2015 and 2016 CDRC Vienna. His constructive feedbacks as judge were enlightening and helpful for the competitors. Let us see what he has to say!

YGAP:  Tell us a little about yourself.

ML:      Hmmm.. I was stung by a Man o’ War while swimming alone in the Maldives; I was married three times – to the same woman; I can                 finish 5 whole Durians (a spiky, stinky tropical fruit) by myself; and I was robbed trying to photograph the Eiffel Tower in the dead of                 night.

            One of the statements above is false – I’ll leave readers to figure out which!

YGAP : How did you get involved with the CDRC Vienna?

ML:      I was invited last year and am glad that I made the cut to return as an assessor in 2016.

YGAP:  What stimulated you to come to CDRC Vienna 2016?

ML:      Being an ex-competitor myself, I have a personal passion for such events and enjoy watching budding mediators and negotiators                     grow in their understanding and appreciation for the good work that is done in this field.

YGAP:  Do you think that CDRC Vienna is contributing in popularizing, creating credibility and acceptance of mediation as a tool for dispute                 resolutions? 

ML:      Definitely. The importance of spreading awareness and interest in mediation amongst students can never be overestimated.

YGAP:  Have you come across any notable developments about the competition in comparison to the 2015 edition?

ML:      I see many familiar faces returning to help out in various ways, either as coaches or organisers and this is very encouraging. I hope                   that this trend continues for the future iterations of CDRC Vienna. It is very important to nurture a sustainable pool of future talent                   who can support the event.

            On this note, I also noted that a lot of feedback from coaches and participating teams last year was incorporated into the organization             of CDRC Vienna 2016. I think this is an excellent move because it will help bring the expectations of all stakeholders better in line for                 an even more successful event.

YGAP: How do you feel about the level of the student-negotiators and -mediators in this edition?

ML:      I feel that overall the level of the competition has certainly increased from last year. This is, of course, great for the event and I hope               that it continues to improve.

YGAP:  Do you have any suggestions, tips or advice for our young negotiators and mediators in the making?

ML:      As a ‘soft’ subject, I am always discovering new angles of learning and teaching negotiation and mediation topics. I would like to                       encourage young students of negotiation and mediation to keep this in mind as they grow in their own personal journey – to                             continually challenge everything that they know by aggressively testing it against new angles and dimensions.

            For example, learning how to frame one’s communication well is a critical skill. However very often we only practice framing at an                     ‘internal’ dimension, meaning that we value words based on our own world-view. Framing to an ‘external’ dimension is also important              – sometimes what we deem to be ‘negative-value’ words can actually be neutral or even positive for our counterpart. It could be even              more complex once we consider other angles such as culture or language!

YGAP:  Would you like to make any additional comments to our readers?

ML:      I would like to encourage young negotiators and mediators to see their training not only as part of their professional but also their                   personal development. The self-awareness, confidence and general mindfulness that comes with the training has brought me much                 happiness in my own life and I would hope that others can benefit from the same.

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published September 15, 2016