ment, and reinforcement of substantial public policy and guidelines
for the profession, which can strengthen conflict engagement
processes. SPIDR’s 2001 document, Designing Integrated Conflict Management Systems: Guidelines for Practitioners and Decision Makers in Organizations, is a wonderful example of this type
of collaborative effort that contributed to the strengthening of
the field. The leadership of professional associations in our field
should continue their dialogue, work together and look for opportunities to support one another.
The success of our field also necessitates making space for
and fostering the development of the next generation of prac-
titioners. This foundation of our field was laid by the great minds
of scholars and practitioners that felt there had to be more
constructive methods for engaging in and resolving conflict. In
the past couple of decades we have built on that foundation
by creating a plethora of training opportunities and the devel-
opment of conflict resolution focused academic programs.
Encouraging the integration of these new practitioners and
scholars into our field will strengthen it by allowing it to adapt
to the complex dynamics of the modern world. We should
promote this integration by creating networks that provide the
proper mentoring to foster these new voices. As in any profes-
sional craft, guidance from masters through apprentice and
mentorship experiences is what carries the field forward for
the future generations. Once again, professional associations
provide the necessary networks for this process.
This short commentary offers one person’s perspective.
The authors who contributed to this issue provide many
more visions that will help shape our field as well. As you read
through these articles, I encourage you to reflect on your own
ideas about the future for our field and share them within your
networks. It is through this continued dialogue that we will have
a greater, and more positive, impact on the field to which we are
The success of our field also necessitates
making space for and fostering the development
of the next generation of practitioners.
ACR in Groups