I'm having a great time at the conference so far. It's a lively atmosphere with a lot of ideas being exchanged. I'm making new connections as well as reconnecting with old friends.
Laura Mirsky has posted this day-one conference report:
Greetings from Day One of the IIRP's 15th World Conference, "Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network."
To begin, IIRP president and founder Ted Wachtel welcomed conference participants. He then presented the first plenary session, Building a Learning Network and Defining Restorative.
He spoke about plans for the Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network, which he hopes will increase the number of people worldwide using restorative practices in a wide range of fields and help existing practitioners learn from one another and improve their efforts by focusing on what is working. He also discussed the definition of the term "restorative," which has been developed by the IIRP to be consistent throughout its courses, events, videos and publications, with the goal of facilitating communication within the Graduate School and throughout the Worldwide Learning Network.
Stacey Miller, Director of Residential Life at the University of Vermont, presented the second plenary session, Building Campus Community: Restorative Practices in Residential Life
Miller talked about how her department has been using restorative practices as a community development model to cultivate communities of care and mutual respect. She has found the practices to be useful in addressing such matters as campus health and safety policies, bias incidents, vandalism, accidental damage, unsanctioned and/or unsafe student traditions and cleanliness. In addition, Miller has seen that the practices are an innovative and explicit framework for building and repairing relationships and addressing harm.
Conference participants then split up to attend the many breakout sessions on offer for the rest of the day.
For those who wish to keep abreast of the conference but are unable to attend, we are making these daily reports via the Restorative Practices eForum, and more frequently on the Restorative Practices Blog, the IIRP Facebook Page and the IIRP's Twitter feed: @iirpgradschool.
We will post papers from the conference on the IIRP website and on the above venues as we receive them from presenters in the coming months.
I want to reiterate here that Laura Mirsky has been tweeting extensively both the plenaries and the breakout sessions she's been attending, which you can follow here. I'll be posting about the individual breakout sessions I attended beginning next week.