Thomas G. Giglione has over 20 years of working experience as a mediation trainer, commercial mediator and institutional arbitrator. He is an accomplished dispute resolution professional who has mediated in a wide range of commercial cases including class action matters, primarily employment, construction, regulatory, consumer, general contract and business disputes as court appointed Roster mediator for the Supreme Court of Ontario, Canada.
He offers online mediation services for the Virtual Courthouse and at Mediation Solutions. Thomas has been a guest lecturer at the Judicial Academy of Vietnam and has provided mediation training at the Judicial Academy and also for legal officers at the Ministry of Justice of Vietnam. He was invited to Vietnam in 2015 to give training to the lecturers of the Judicial Academy.
1. You have been a mediator for quite some time. Can you share the most important lessons learned from your journey?
This is my analogy on the dynamics of how the mediation process works as it relates to theater: The monologue from Shakespeare's As You Like It contains one of Shakespeare's most frequently quoted passages: "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.”
Much like Shakespeare’s dramas, the parties of a dispute are the “players” of the drama they themselves created in the first act. The mediator is not only the player, but also director of the second act that is introduced right at the climax of the conflict drama. The role of the mediator of the conflict drama is to direct the other players to have their exit to the scene where the player, to use the cliché from drama, ”Lives happily ever after.”
2. Can you summarize the activity of your organization, Win-Win Dispute Resolution?
Win Win Dispute Resolution is a private company and collaborating with the non-profit, VIMO, the Vietnam Internation Mediation Organization. I conduct arbitrations and Mediations in private practice in the Asia Pacific Region under the auspices of the Vietnamese law firm ANT Lawyers http://www.antlawyers.vn. I also promote ODR by promoting ODR applications wherever I can. For example the online WinWInApp or the Brave App that assists lawyers, mediators, and HR managers resolve various types of disputes online.
I also have a series of podcasts. Mediaton Lawyer of the Week and Law Tech Lawyer of the Week lawtechlawyer.podbean.com and mediationlawyer.podbean.com and interview lawyers who conduct mediations to get their perspectives.
VIMO is a non-profit Vietnamese organization promoting mediation and other dispute resolution processes in Vietnam. The main objective of the VMO is to establish a national accreditation board for Vietnamese mediators and to promote alternative dispute resolution that will offer opportunities for professional development and to foster the study and practice of alternative dispute resolution processes.
3. What are the main differences between Asia and North America/Europe approach to dispute resolution?
This is a complex question that I can answer because I am North American since I was born in Canada and also share a strong connection with Europe since my parents came to Canada as teenagers so I come from both North American and European Cultures.
My observation of Europeans shows that they tend to be more creative, more patient calmer and more worldly and aware of other cultures. I heard a statistic that over 80% of North Americans don’t have a passport while in Europe it is the exact opposite. North Americans assume that just because they’re bargaining in another country the deal will be signed as soon as they get there..
People from the North America to favour strict scheduling with meetings have fixed start and end times, and follow a set agenda. It is considered rude or disrespectful to arrive late Europeans view the schedule as fluid, and they may arrive late for meetings. Americans tend to keep business and social events separate. Negotiations take place in a meeting room, and socializing happens at a different time and place. Eurpopeans view negotiation and socializing as part of the same ceremonial process. In Europe it is important to address people using their academic title, for instance, someone with a PhD should be addressed as Doctor in those countries however Northa Americans are often far more casual and not so formal
4. You are organising one of the biggest mediation conference in the region. What was the motivation to do so? Could you tell us more about the conference?
My motivation in the Asia Pacific Region was the same motivation that I had when I first promoted mediation in Canada in the 1990’s. I truly believe in mediation as an effective timely means to resolve disputes. I am a resident in Vietnam and married to a Vietnamese and have three sons. So this is my home, I feel I am a pioneer in online dispute resolution especially when dealing with disputes in E- Commmerce. As you can see in this chart that the Asia Pacific region has the worlds highest E-Commerce share of total Retail Sales. For example more people are using mobile banking in the region than most regions of the US and Eastern Europe.
Also I chose Da Nang Vietnam in November as the place and time where over 20 world leaders will be attending the APEC which finishes right after our ODR conference begins.
Da Nang will be a very fascinating and powerful place this November with a lot of decisions being made that will affect many companies and organizations in the region. We have over 40 international speakers from 15 different countries coming and about 10 Expert speakers on ODR such as Colin Rule as Keynote speaker.
5. Where do you see ADR in 5 years from now?
I see a growing trend that ODR will be used not just law but for resolving disputes at schools and workplace like Cyber Bullying and train- the trainer programs for Human Resources.
But five years from now? I think it is unpredictable since now we are in the exponential phase of human potential that is combining with artificial intelligence as indicated in this chart below. I think AI is going to play a great of our lives. I am embracing AI right now because I know it will assist us but I agree with Elon Musk and Stephen Hawkings that eventually destroy us in the next few centuries so we are safe for now.
6. What do you think of Youstice? How does it affect and change the ADR landscape?
I have a lot in common with Youstice since I feel we are leaders of the trend and pioneers in this field and I want to cultivate e-commerce in the Asia Pacific region through our collaboration. I think we should not think of ourselves as separate nations but as a family working together to achieve peace. Their initatives in resolving disputes online makes sense we all shop online and do transactions online every day. I am working right in the middle of one of the e-commerce markets of the world it so it makes sense to collaborate on resolving retail shopping claims.
Youstice has credibility since they comply with the new EU legislation on out-of-court resolution of consumers’ disputes. Include Youstice into your certification process and credible industry standards which you have in Europe but is lacking in the Asia Pacific Region I see a lot of growth in our collaboration in the domestic and international e-commerce and retail sectors.
7. What do President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have in common?