The Core Challenge

The Core Challenge:  Online Event, Tuesday 18 May 2021


On 22 January 2021, we at Core celebrated the 20th anniversary of our launch. To mark the occasion and to encourage the next generation, we invited young professionals who are really interested in mediation to take part in The Core Challenge.

We invited participants to submit a short (up to 1000 words) presentation on this topic:

“What one change would make a real difference and increase the use of mediation in civil and commercial cases in Scotland?”

The standard of the entries was uniformly high which made making a decision more challenging. However, for an entry which was a bit different, persuasively written, contained a compelling personal story and in particular focused on an important area, namely fear of failure among those advising clients, The Core @ 20 Prize has been awarded to Sarah-Jane Macdonald of Gillespie Macandrew LLP.

The five runners up will each receive a copy of Dr Anna Howard’s recently published and important book on EU Cross-Border Commercial Mediation. They are Mitchell Abbott (CMS), Megan Anderson (Anderson Strathern), Lorna MacFarlane (Dentons), Amy Roberts (CMS) and Hikari Saito (PhD student at the University of Aberdeen).

View the entries here.

Core hosted an event in association with Young Mediators on Tuesday 18 May to showcase each of the entries and to provide a forum for the entries to be discussed with the audience (hopefully enabling them to be synthesised into a single overall presentation to policy-makers).

John Sturrock commented: “It’s inspiring to see the next generation of professionals really engaging with mediation in such thoughtful and sophisticated ways. It’s been a privilege to read the ideas in each of these excellent entries. I hope policy-makers will take notice of the proposals. And I am delighted that Young Mediators are co-hosting the event in May as the next generation has so much to contribute.”


In the Press

  • Read John’s reflections on Core Solutions reaching 20 years in business, here, published in Scotland on Sunday on 17 January 2021.

Past Events

  • Celebration and discussion of a new book by Core alumna, Dr Anna Howard, entitled, ‘EU Cross-Border Commercial Mediation:  Listening to Disputants – Changing the Frame; Framing the Changes‘ (published by Kluwer and reviewed by John Sturrock here).  On 11 March 2021 we were joined by Anna Howard who discussed her research and findings and what this might mean for users of mediation, together with Professor John Lande and Charlie Irvine, both of whom provided commentary on Anna’s book and the implications.
  • A Celebration of 20 Years:  21 January 2021 – On 22 January 2001, Core held its very first event: Communicate to Persuade, which took place in a seminar room in the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Core’s launch, John Sturrock was in the “hot seat” in an online conversation with leading mediator and associate of Core, Liz Rivers, with whom John has been friendly since training as a mediator in 1996.  In a well-attended event, they talked about the many chapters in the Core story – and about John’s and mediation’s journey over the past 20 years.
  • Conversation: The UK Constitution and its Future – What needs to happen now?  – In conversation with John Sturrock QC, two senior and thoughtful politicians, David Melding CBE MS and Andrew Wilson reflect on where we are and where we might be going. 19 November 2020
  • Conversation: Breakthrough or Breakdown? Visions for a Different Future – with guest conversationalists Scilla Elworthy, the distinguished peace campaigner, Jo Berry, international peacebuilder and founder of Building Bridges for Peace,and Liz Rivers, women’s leadership advocate, the UK’s first female commercial mediator and Rights of Nature activist. 8 July 2020
  • Climate Change and the Pandemic: A Call to Consciousness and Collaboration – A conversation between author and human ecologist, Alastair McIntosh, and international mediator and author, Ken Cloke, facilitated by John Sturrock QC, reflecting on consciousness and collaboration in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency. 6 May 2020.
  • A Mediator’s Musings Book Launch – On 30 April 2020, John Sturrock launched his new book “A Mediator’s Musings”. Here he is in conversation with colleague Charlie Woods.

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