Wednesday, December 22, 2010

World Changers

When psychologist Lauren Abramson talks about "conferencing" in her work as executive director of the Community Conferencing Center in Baltimore, she's not talking about the kind of meetings with registration desks and cocktail receptions. But, by creating a space where both the victims and perpetrators of crime can come together to try and reach a common understanding by talking with each other, her work intersects with what's at the heart of most meetings: communication, learning, and engagement with others.

Abramson has had remarkable success in creating an alternative to courts -- the Community Conferencing Center has a roughly 95 percent success rate for the cases that come through its doors. The Center uses the process to help resolve conflicts in neighborhoods and workplaces, as well in criminal cases.

The work has spread to other cities, and countries, and now to you, by way of this video from PopTech, an annual conference which does have a registration desk and drinks.

More about PopTech, and conferences that try to change the world, is coming up in the January issue of Convene.

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