I spent the past year helping organise the Florence GPC, which took place on 9 June 2017. The experience has been inspiring and even thrilling. Above all, it has changed how I think about dispute resolution.
In order to engage different stakeholders, I often found myself explain what the GPC is, what it aims to accomplish, and how it is going about its mission. Local institutions, speakers, chairs, potential sponsors, mediators and all the people which I have spoken to have been fascinated by the initiative, but often requiring at least 20 minutes of explanation.
It quickly dawned on me that the trouble in comprehending the GPC was created by the ‘C in the GPC, the noun ‘conference’, in a world that has no shortage of conferences. Indeed, the people we were seeking to engage seemed to be receiving almost daily conference invitations.
As those who have participated in a GPC event realise, of course, it is anything but a typical ‘conference’.
While explaining the GPC one day to the General Counsel of a leading corporation, together browsing the GPC website and core questions, I found myself suddenly describing the event more naturally as a “global workshop”. Only at this point did the general counsel exclaim, “Oh, a global workshop! Now I get it. That’s a great idea, definitely worth attending!”
Since then I have used the term whenever contacting companies, lawyers, judges, academics, politicians and every category of stakeholder to let them know why it is important to attend and contribute. For people who have little time to waste, this shortcut helped cut through the background noise of so many conferences taking place.
For those asking for more information, and without taking up more of their time, the best description of the GPC of the GPC that I have found is an article by Alexander Oddy, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in London. He describes the GPC as a unique opportunity of sharing experiences and ideas with people that you don’t have the chance to meet all together elsewhere, both locally and at a global level.
Now that we have had the Florence GPC, I can confirm that this is absolutely the case.
Written by Chiara Tondini.
Chiara Tondini works for the Florence International Mediation Chamber (FIMC), the international mediation service of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, and played a key role in its foundation. She has served as deputy manager of the Florence Chamber of Commerce domestic mediation service from 2013 to February 2017. She is a non-practicing lawyer, certified mediator and has a substantial experience as mediation case manager. She has participated to the “Florence monitoring center of civil justice” works and she takes part on behalf of the FIMC to the sessions of UNCITRAL Working Group II on the preparation of an instrument capable to provide enforceability to settlement agreements resulting from international mediation proceedings.