We never fight people. Ever. What we do fight is systems that perpetuate injustice and wrong mindsets

We never fight people. Ever. What we do fight is systems that perpetuate injustice and wrong mindsets

-Sheena Jonker

Restoring the Template Half Day Seminars in ADR



I blog in peace. And indeed I blog in silence as I arrived at the office a little earlier than the others today.

I think my last blog went out on the 19th of last month. In that time much has happened. We have moved into new offices and now share with DreamCo, a company that I co-founded and that exists to connect entrepreneurs and other dreamers with their dreams. DreamCo and ADR Network SA work shoulder to shoulder on many of ADR Network SA’s access to justice project. As I have written in the past I am a firm believer that creativity is a powerful tool in working to accomplish justice.

Here is our latest DreamCo/ADR Network SA print campaign produced under the brilliant direction of DreamCo creative director, Drew McGibbon and assisted by newly appointed studio manager Travis Cottrell.




I was invited to attend the briefing of rape survivors and sitting amongst around 30 rape survivors was a surreal experience. Life changing. In a good way. On the day I was handed the mic at the lunch time “die in”, a form of protest where protestors act dead in order to remember those who had lost their lives to rape. It was pretty emotional for me to speak then. I had never known rape, but I had escaped 10 years earlier, a violent situation that I battled to get out of for three and a half years. And so being given the mic was not lightweight for me but it was an opportunity for me to honour the courage and beauty of the victors I encountered there as well as those that stood with them and walked with them in support.

I am overwhelmed at the courage, intention, commitment and the sheer excellence of the work Larissa Klazinga, Michelle Solomon, Aimee and other world changers are doing at Rhodes.

I was also so honoured to be able to spend time with Dean of Students, Viv De Klerk, Deputy Dean, Roger Adams and Sports Psychologist Greg Wilmot, all of whom have done our programs and support our work in achieving justice non-adversarially.

Late March I facilitated a successful dialogue at the Indaba of University Sport South Africa. The previous four years there had been walk outs due to high conflict and stalemate. I wish to honour all those there for their commitment, grace and honour in pushing through some really difficult stuff to get to resolution.

We also had an amazing time at our half day seminar in Johannesburg early April. We will release upcoming dates shortly for Jozi, Pretoria and Cape Town. The purpose is to entrench principles, meet others and secure work.

My travels also took me to Pretoria to finally meet Prof Faris who heads up the Institute for Dispute Resolution Africa. At this stage let me just say Wow! And I will write more in my next blog.

Later this week I will be addressing the NEC’s of various Trade Unions. I will report back on that but I am very excited.

Our next five day program is in Jozi 24-28 June. Space is limited as we are expecting a delegation from Nigerian National assembly. Please write to us urgently if you are keen on a spot.

As always, our correspondence program continues to run, so drop us a line for more info.

We have growing capacity in all provinces so to refer a dispute drop an email to adr@mediatorsa.co.za

For more on the-go-news, please like our page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/AdrNetworkSouthAfrica?ref=ts&fref=ts

We tend to post there most days. You can also follow me on twitter @sheena_ostjon

I actually have a lot more to write about but don’t want to make this too long, so a will blog again in the next few days.


Until then, peace.




The Blessedness of Everlasting Light

Beautitudinem lucem sempiternam

The blessedness of everlasting light

Salve Amici!

I blog in peace.

We had the first of our Half Day Seminars yesterday in Durban. Restoring the Template. Revolution is not so much about doing new things, but it is about restoring things to the way they should be. And that is our pursuit: that justice is accomplished reconciliatorily, restoratively and non-adversarially.

Our ultimate pursuit is peace.

We live in a crazy world right? And I won’t subject you to my views on how crazy it really is and how the agenda of mass media is to dumb us down.

My friend, Luke Holden quouted Mario Murillo yesterday as saying: “You cant stop a child of God who know’s what’s going on.”

We need to be truth seekers and not naive to the extent of evil in the world. And it’s extensive.  But I also profoundly believe in the increase of goodness and I fervently hold on to the blessedness of everlasting light. Beautitudinem lucem sempiternam

Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end


I have been chilling with the writings of Milton, Chesterton and Tolstoy over the past week. Chesterton begins his book What’s Wrong with the World by saying that “What’s wrong with the world is that we don’t ask what is right with the world”

I am committed to seeking out the good, inclining my intention on that and watching it increase. My own particular brand of doing that is by bringing back resonance with non-adversarial processes, like mediation to accomplish peace and justice.

Yesterday’s half day seminar was amazing. It really was. The purpose behind these seminars is to up the conversation around what we are doing and inspire government, civil society, the private sector and individuals to favour non-adversarial ways of dealing with all conflict, be it in their families, schools, businesses or workplaces. We had the most amazing group who contributed such profound insights to our efforts in bridge-building.

The way I see it, these seminars will inspire us at three different levels. One, to change the way we deal with conflict in our daily lives. Two, to become a part of helping others settle disputes non-adversarially by becoming mediators or just using mediation skills to assist others. Three, to become part of the freakin revolution! If you join us at this level, you get a beret! No really.

One of the most powerful starting points in conflict resolution and peacemaking, aside from restoring honour, as I have written much of before, is to demonstrate to parties in conflict the existence of other options. In conflict, we generally assume a position and so “resolving” the conflict is about asserting our own position and being attached to the win.

True peacemaking, true justice restores both parties, yes even the wrongdoer, or the poor choice maker, to where they should be. This is generally accomplished through creative solutioning.

Bill Johnson says that every four year old is an artist. And then they go to school. We need to foster the creative genius that is intrinsic in our kids. That exists in us all. It is not too late! It is creative minds that open businesses, employ people, solve life’s problems. We need to value creative genius. We are created in the image of the Creator Himself. We must honour that.

Upcoming seminars half day in Johannesburg on the 20th and Cape Town on the 25th. Please email adr@mediatorsa.co.za to join us.

Also, please keep up to date with us on our facebook page and our You Tube channel. Keep watching for our series of videos on Access to Justice and the role of Mediation.

Please send me your comments. I really love hearing from you. This week we move into offices with DreamCo which is producing our videos, our upcoming talkshow and The Influence Project. Drew McGibbon, Creative Director of DreamCo is creative genius at it’s finest.

Until next time, victory is certain. No surrender! No retreat!

If you wish to train as a mediator or arbitrator, or you wish to refer a dispute, please email adr@mediatorsa.co.za



Twitter @sheena_ostjon, @drewmcgibbon, @in_fluence

Weapons of War: Peace, Joy, Love, Hope, a Sound Mind…and Creative Genius


Do creativity and justice go together? We believe that our Creator is the very author of justice. Bill Johnson writes of the War of Art and says “those committed to skilful wisdom (artistic expression) will dismantle strongholds of abusive power”.



I blog in peace.


Just a little family news this week. Our new facebook page is up and it would be amazing if you would go around there and like it. Even better, share it! The link is https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/AdrNetworkSouthAfrica?fref=ts


Also it would be equally amazing if you would follow me on twitter @sheena_ostjon. Our digital marketing guy, Sean, is currently doing his thing, getting everything linked and has acquired some cool plug-ins which are set to help us expand our social networking presence. He travels all over the world going to digital marketing conferences, so we really like him. Go Sean!

Sean has also just established the ADR Network SA You Tube channel. Now this is really exciting. Enter, the War of Art. We declare war on injustice and adversarial processes that perpetuate injustice. Here is how:

This week we shot our first video around the theme of Access to Justice under the creative direction of the brilliant Andrew McGibbon of DreamCo. In this video we feature the founder of OUTA which is pursuing the e-tolling matter. Our view is this: justice proceeds from the fullness of the narrative, the story. It would be a travesty of justice if the narrative, the story, the voice of society were to be muted or shut down due to lack of funds. Justice must never proceed along the lines of the resourced. The video also features yours truly and a cross section of society. We will release it next Wednesday at 9am. Your job is to share it on all your social pages. Please!  This is the biggest privately funded court case in the history of South Africa and will initiate some vital conversations around public consultation and dialogue processes, so please be sure to tune in. We will send you another reminder as well as a link to the video when we release it.

We are releasing similar videos relating to a number of other high profile matters.

In this series we  raise the profile of the value we place on the narrative, the story and the fact that mediation is ultimately the best and safest place to for the narrative to proceed most authentically, free of the tactical games playing and artificial rules of evidence in the adversarial system.

Look out for our half-day seminars running all over SA. We have our first one on 13 March in Durban. If you are unable to complete a full program in mediation, attending a half-day seminar will cause the beginnings of a paradigm shift and you can start applying reconciliatory, restorative processes inspired by mediation, in your day to day lives both professionally and personally.

There will soon come a tipping point and alternative dispute resolution will way more heavily in justice than the adversarial system does. It is going to happen and you can be a part of this sooner rather than later.

For information on our half-day, seminars, programs or mediation and arbitration processes please email us on adr@mediatorsa.co.za

We continue to war, but we war in peace. With joy, love, hope and a sound mind. And creative genius.

Victory is certain. No retreat, no surrender!

As always, peace.



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