Warning: Back to the Future is my favourite film of all time. This blog contains numerous nerdy references to Back to the Future.


I recently spent a number of weeks as a support trainer for ADR-ODR International, under the expert guidance of Pamela Whitehead.


As is the case whenever you spend a lengthy period of time with the same person or people, you hear the same phrases being used and the same stories being told. I would hate to think how many times Pam and others heard my “At the Cemetery Gates” mediation story!


One thing Pam said a few times was “…mediation looks at the past but doesn’t stay there. It’s about the future not the past…”, or something like that.


She was right of course. And it hit me as a great way to explain one of the benefits of mediation by having the excuse of referring to my favourite film of all time – Back to the Future.


In Back to the Future Marty McFly (played by the equally amazing Michael J. Fox), goes in to a plutonium powered DeLorean time machine and gets stranded in 1950s America. To cut a long and brilliant story short, he has to get his mum and dad to kiss or he and his siblings may never be born, and he needs to get back to the present day to save his friend and mentor, Doc Brown.


I won’t say any more than that – watch it, you won’t be disappointed.


Anyway, back to mediation. Mediation will take you in to the past and may remind you about what it felt like when you had that first kiss. It is only by looking at the parties’ interests and needs – which were formed in the past – that you can come Back to the Future with any hope of a settlement.


The alternative these days is to go to law. If you go to law, you will spend your time firmly in the past and risk emerging with no future at all. You will look at what happened and fixate on it, rather than what the best solutions are to fix the problem and, in the case of many business disputes, work out a way that you can continue to work together.


That’s a real beauty of mediation for me, the times when parties come to the table a space time continuum apart, only for the mediator to help them find the flux capacitor has become dislodged and by setting it back in place, they do have a future together after all.


If you want to learn more about how a mediator can help you go Back to the Future without needing plutonium or pair of Kalvin Kleins, or you are involved in a conflict, disagreement, difference or dispute and want a mediator to facilitate the recovery of your flux capacitor, just get in touch and I will be in my DeLorean in no time at all!


Gregory Hunt

E: gregg@huntadr.com

T: =44 (0) 7454 977767 or +353 (85) 143 2307

Founder of Gregory Hunt Mediation providing Ombudsman Services and Commercial Mediation.