vIACM 2020: One for the (Digital) Books
Greg Paul, vIACM 2020 Program Chair
Although we had originally planned to meet in Charleston, SC, at the historic Mills House, the COVID-19 pandemic upended our plans. What it could not stop, however, was the energy, relationships, and passion for teaching and research that define IACM. Through the collaboration and determination of a large group of people, including the board, reviewers, and submitters, IACM 2020 made the leap from meeting in person to meeting online, becoming vIACM and making space for the continued sharing of emerging ideas and practices in conflict management, justice, and peacemaking.
Over four days, 120 people from 19 countries participated in 64 sessions that explored a wide variety of topics, from publishing and peacebuilding to teaching and trust. Day One was made up of workshops on teaching, alternative dispute resolution, and digital conflict; connect and collaborate sessions on early career faculty and ethics; and the business meeting. Day Two saw the first full day of panels, with Brandon Charpied working his digital magic across five screens to oversee 24 sessions occurring over 12 hours along with the digital gathering space. Days Three and Four saw an additional 35 sessions, including a “Learn from the Editors” session focused on publishing in leading journals and the conference plenary session entitled, “Pursuing Racial Justice and Inclusivity through Engagement.” The plenary session, which reflected the association’s strengths in conflict resolution, justice, practice, and engagement, brought together moderator Dolly Chugh (New York University); panelists Peter Coleman (Columbia University), Martin Davidson (University of Virginia), and Sheryl Wilson (Bethel College); and attendees from around the world to discuss experiences related to racial justice and inclusion and ways that we can practice and pursue racial justice and inclusion in our workplaces, homes, and communities. Across the papers, panels, PDWs, and plenary, the conversations, ideas, and insights continued to be energizing and thought-provoking.
Last but not least, congratulations to the 2020 IACM Top Paper Award winners Kristina Wald, Michael Kardas, and Nicholas Epley (all University of Chicago), for their paper “Can Birds of Different Feathers Flock Surprisingly Well Together? Expected vs. Actual Consequences of Discussing Divisive Viewpoints.”
See you for IACM 2021!