Italian Mediation Competition: Let’s Hear from the Team!

Top left to bottom right: Dr. Lorenzo Zoppellari (coach), Luigi Milella (Team Member), Duilio Cirilli (Team Member), Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà (CMT Project Founder & Coordinator), Bianca Adami (Team Member), and Lorenzo Ardenghi (Team Member).

Preparing for the 2020 Italian Mediation Competition gave me the chance to delve into the ADR world and put theory into practice. The past few months were intense: thanks to the expert guidance of ADR professionals and academics, and to good teamwork, we developed new skills and competencies. In particular, we focused on case analysis, development of creative solutions, active listening, and effective communication. Learning to master these skills proved fundamental during the Competition and will likewise be key to succeeding as a legal practitioner. Overall, it was a very positive experience and I feel proud of the Award we earned.

~ Bianca Adami, Team Member

The Italian Mediation Competition allowed me to improve my knowledge of ADR and to experience ADR proceedings first-hand. Thanks to the help of ADR professionals and academics, and the effort put into preparation, I acquired a thorough understanding of the dynamics of mediation and of the skills required to master the process. We focused – among other things – on how to deliver an effective opening statement, on how to explore the other side’s interests and needs, and on how to develop options for mutual gain. Regardless of the placement at the Competition, this experience made me acquire skills and competencies that will prove fundamental throughout my academic path and future professional career. I am thankful for the invaluable and unforgettable opportunity that the University of Trento – Faculty of Law offered me.

~ Lorenzo Ardenghi, Team Member

I have always wondered about the practical applications of the knowledge acquired throughout my academic path. I wondered whether I would be able to put theory into practice in my everyday life. Participating in the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow exposed me to an innovative learning method and allowed me to put my knowledge to the test right away. Thanks to the thorough preparation during the academic year, I was able to confidently navigate the world of ADR and reach important milestones in my educational and personal development.

~ Duilio Carlo Cirilli, Team Member

Our performance at the Italian Mediation Competition 2020 was only the final stage of a wonderful year-long experience. The skills acquired in the field of ADR and interpersonal communication are the result of personal effort combined with the teachings of scholars and professionals. Every single moment of this experience will always be a part of me. I am particularly grateful to Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, who at all times believed in our potential as a team, and to my teammates, with whom I shared this journey.

~ Luigi Milella, Team Member

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity of putting into practice the knowledge acquired throughout my academic path. Training within the framework of the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow project and participating in the Italian Mediation Competition, allowed me to do so. I had the chance to gain key professional skills, challenge myself, learn to face the unexpected, and – last but not least – put my professors’ and trainers’ tips into practice. The importance of active listening, the ability to identify the other side’s interests and develop the most effective mediation strategy are only a few examples of the skills I acquired and improved throughout the training. It was an enriching experience that I strongly recommend to all students who are passionate or curious to learn more about this sector of the Law. ADR is a key area of dispute resolutions that legal practitioners-to-be cannot ignore.

~ Alberto Pagliari, Team Member

This is my second year as a coach within the framework of the Conflict Managers of Tomorrow project and – as we all know – “the second album is always the most difficult to make”. That saying held particularly true this year. As we were ready to participate in the Italian Mediation Competition, the pandemic hit and all activities had to be suspended. This unexpected occurrence forced us to interrupt the training and quickly adapt our skills to the online environment where the Competition itself would take place. In this regard, the team showed remarkable adaptability skills. Students reacted to the unforeseeable with great enthusiasm and dedication. The training continued online and the circumstances brought us closer together, despite the impossibility to meet in person. Even the days of the Competition, which – alas – took place online, were filled with excitement and emotions. I am extremely happy with and proud of the results the team achieved. At the end of the day, the difficult times and all the hurdles we had to face made this achievement worth even more.

~ Lorenzo Zoppellari, Team Coach

Once again the training and coaching of the student team of the University of Trento -Faculty of Law was a challenge. It was a great opportunity to put into practice what we teach in our ADR Clinic, Lab on Training and Coaching in Negotiation and Mediation Skills, and Lab on Effective Communication and Soft skills. The book we have recently published as part of the “Conflict Managers of Tomorrow” Project (‘Le Parti in Mediazione: Strumenti e Tecniche‘) proved extremely useful in training our students. The team was fantastic. I truly appreciated their commitment and enthusiasm: they improved their mediation skills (even online!) day after day. It am proud of the award for best opening statement they earned: congratulations!

~ Prof. Silvana Dalla Bontà, Project Founder & Coordinator

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