PON Live! Follow the Science: Proven Strategies for Reducing Unconscious Bias

Event Date: Wednesday April 26, 2023
Time: 12:00-1:00 pm

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present:

PON Live! 

Follow the Science:
Proven Strategies for Reducing Unconscious Bias

Clickable links referenced in video

A virtual discussion with:

David Hoffman
David Hoffman
John H. Watson, Jr., Lecturer on Law
Faculty, Program on Negotiation
Harvard Law School
Mediator, Arbitrator, Attorney, Boston Law Collaborative, LLC

Helen Winter
Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellow, Harvard Law School
Ph.D. Candidate, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt, Germany
R3SOLUTE, a peer mediation program, Berlin, Germany

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET (US and Canada)
Free and open to the public.

The session will be recorded. Pending faculty approval, we will post the recording on this page after the session.


About the talk:

Unconscious bias – a set of attitudes and stereotypes that we are unaware of – is ubiquitous and its effects can be pernicious. Some of these attitudes – regarding race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and other characteristics – may be the opposite of what we consciously believe but can nonetheless affect our behavior. Biases are particularly problematic for those who are required to be impartial, such as mediators, arbitrators, and judges, and also for lawyers and many other professionals who have an ethical duty to act in an unbiased manner. Fortunately, unconscious bias (sometimes called “implicit bias”) is also malleable. In this presentation, David Hoffman and Helen Winter provide a “user’s guide” to peer-reviewed social psychology research on bias-reduction strategies, with suggestions for how this research can be implemented in everyday life. Their conclusions can also be found in their recent Harvard Negotiation Law Review article, which can be found here.

About the speakers:

David A. Hoffman is the John H. Watson, Jr. Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches three courses: Mediation; Legal Profession: Collaborative Law; and Diversity and Dispute Resolution. He trains mediators with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Hoffman is an attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and founding member of Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, where he handles cases involving family, business, employment, and other disputes. He is past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.

Hoffman has published three books including Bringing Peace into the Room (with co-editor Daniel Bowling) and more than 100 articles on law and dispute resolution. Prior to founding Boston Law Collaborative in 2003, Hoffman was a litigation partner at the Boston firm Hill & Barlow where he practiced for 17 years. Before that he served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

He has received a number of awards for his work as a mediator, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and the D’Alemberte-Raven Award for service in dispute resolution from the ABA. Hoffman has an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. His TEDx talk about “Lawyers as Peacemakers” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKXv1_Sqe_4. Hoffman lives in a cohousing community in Acton, Massachusetts with his wife, Leslie Warner, who is a career coach. They have five adult children, an adolescent cat, and a rescued golden retriever from Serbia.

Helen Winter is a Graduate Research Fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Winter is a mediator and founder of the charitable organization R3SOLUTE based in Berlin. R3SOLUTE empowers refugees and locals to manage and prevent conflicts in their communities through dialogue work and peer mediation.

Winter holds a law degree with a focus on International Public Law from Heidelberg University, and an LL.M. with a specialization in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute. She is pursuing a Ph.D. at European University Viadrina in Germany.

In her own mediation practice, Winter mostly deals with intercultural disputes. Previously, Winter has worked as a mediator with the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a consultant with On Deck Mediation, where her expertise included anti-discrimination and labor law. Additionally, she has worked with the United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS), addressing systemic issues.


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