By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
- Nikos Kazantzakis
Ken Cloke is a world-recognized mediator, dialogue facilitator, conflict resolution systems designer, teacher, public speaker, author of numerous books and articles, and a pioneer and leader in the field of mediation and conflict resolution for the last 37 years.
In 1980 I became a mediator, and in 1983, created the Center for Dispute Resolution in Santa Monica, CA, where I have been a mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, coach, consultant and trainer, specializing in communication, collaborative negotiation, dialogue facilitation, and resolving complex multi-party disputes, including thousands of marital, divorce, family, community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment, discrimination, and public policy disputes; and designing preventative conflict resolution systems for public and private sector organizations.
In 2006, I co-founded Mediators Beyond Borders, based in Washington D.C. MBB is an organization that mobilizes mediators around the world to support individuals, organizations, communities, and governments in building conflict-resolution literacy and capacity in under-served communities.
The countries in which I have taught and mediated include Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark, England, Georgia, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USSR, and Zimbabwe.
What drives my work is a deep belief that together we can create a global community in which conflicts become sources of learning, evolution, transcendence, and celebration. This is why I propose a Conflict Revolution, a systemic shift away from power- and rights-based approaches to conflict, toward collaborative, interest-based, win-win solutions that allow us to recognize and reconcile our deepest desires and aspirations.
As I enter the second half of my 70s, I am focusing on the connections between small, internal and interpersonal issues and the larger social and political conflicts that divide us. I am devoting more time to designing conversations and initiatives that aim at mobilizing those who seek to deepen and strengthen the skills needed to sustain community, collaboration, and democracy. If you want to learn more about these initiatives, proposals and projects, and how you can participate, please click below.
Life Journey and Stories
Here are a few interviews, book excerpts, and blog posts that offer a brief glimpse into my personal journey as a leader and engaged participant in the student, civil rights and peace movements, as well as the mediation, global peace building and conflict resolution movements.