IIRP President Ted Wachtel will be presenting and delivering keynotes at three major conferences in Europe within two weeks during late October and the beginning of November. The general aim of his talks will be to encourage practitioners to associate themselves and connect with the larger international restorative practices movement.
In Utrecht, the Netherlands, from October 19 to October 21, 2011, the European congress on the Family Group Conference (FGC, also called Family Group Decision Making or FGDM in North America) will meet on the theme of "Democratizing Help and Welfare" in Europe. The emphasis during the congress is "the important role that may be played by the vision that underlies Family Group Conferencing."
This conference is primarily for FGC/FGDM coordinators and facilitators throughout Europe. Wachtel plans to make the case that welfare and family professionals can begin to see themselves as part of the larger restorative practices movement. This movement includes not only work in the social welfare field, but also restorative conferencing and other programs in the criminal justice field, restorative practices for building positive culture and responding to harm in schools, and community efforts and management strategies in the workplace.
"United," Wachtel argues, "we can make a better case for empowerment of families and communities."
The congress is being organized by Eigen Kracht Centrale in cooperation with Hogeschool Utrecht. Visit the conference home page here. See FamilyPower.org for more information about FGC/FGDM in general.
From Utrecht, Wachtel will be going right to Lisbon, Portugal for the 2nd International Congress on Mediation & Restorative Justice, organized by the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Portugal Ministry of Justice, and Centre of Administration & Public Policies, Technical University of Lisbon, October 20 to 22, 2011.
There he will be presenting and moderating a panel about the future of restorative justice. He plans to make the case that restorative justice is "more than just responding to harm. It's proactive, too. It's about building social capital and community to actually prevent problems as well as responding to harm," he says.
For a full list of presenters click here.
Finally, Wachtel will keynote at the Restorative Practice Conference in Hull, United Kingdom, "Steps Towards a Restorative City," on November 1 - 2, 2011. The event is described as "a highly participatory conference" and attendees are invited to submit "a workshop on their experience of restorative work."
Wachtel will talk about professions in various social work, school, justice and other fields "coming out of their silos" and seeing themselves as part of a larger movement and community. He will talk about how they can connect their work and practice with one another to exert positive change on their communities as a whole.