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ADR Cyberweek FAQ

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Why have ADR Cyberweek?

Our goal, from November 9-13, is to enhance understanding of conflict and conflict resolution on the Net.

Point 1: The Net is not a harmonious place. This should surprise no one. The Net is a place of rapid change and great activity. It is a creative place, a possibly lucrative place, but also a fragile place. It is place where millions of people interact everyday and where the number of informational transactions occurring daily is hard to quantify. Most conflict is simply a byproduct of the incredible growth and vitality of cyberspace.

Point 2: To say that cyberspace is not a harmonious place is not to say it is a bad place. It is to say that cyberspace is a place where institutions and processes for resolving conflict need to emerge.

Point 3: The Net is a creative and resourceful place. There are many ways to confront conflict and we need to experiment, to adapt traditional models and to invent new ones. The past year has seen the appearance of several online dispute resolution organizations and of software designed by them (see Demos and Simulations in Cyberweek at a Glance).

What is ADR?

ADR is alternative dispute resolution. "Alternative" most commonly signifies a process other than litigation, typically mediation or arbitration. In the United States, during the past twenty years, increasing attention has been given to non-adversarial methods of settling disputes. The growth of organizations, such as those that are sponsoring/participating in ADR Cyberweek, is evidence of a widespread movement to resolve conflict in less formal and less legalistic ways.

Who is ADR Cyberweek for?

For anyone interested in the issue of conflict and conflict resolution, citizens, persons and groups who already are active in dispute resolution (ISPs, webmasters, listserv moderators, etc), and others. In the online environment, we all seem to be problem solvers and while ADR Cyberweek was originally conceived of being a service to the dispute resolution community, we welcome the participation of the wider Net community.

What will I be able to do during ADR Cyberweek?

Many of the same things you would do if you were to attend a non-online conference dealing with dispute resolution. We will have a virtual Exhibit Hall, a virtual Conference Center/Discussion Area, a virtual classroom, a virtual library, and even a virtual water cooler (for informal conversations). Consider the Cyberweek home page as being the front door of the place where the conference is being held.

Patience and Tolerance

We are relying on the cooperation of a network of people, machines, universities, businesses, electric companies, and others. We hope, of course, that everything works smoothly during the week. We have contingency plans if some things or connections have problems. But the likelihood of a problem arising at some point is high and we ask your patience in advance. If something is not working, please come back later. We are doing our best and the last thing we want is for an event like ADR Cyberweek to generate conflict of its own.


Last modified: November 9, 1998