LICRSH Winners!

We are excited to announce the winners of the first ever Legendary International Conflict Resolution Scavenger Hunt!

The winning team completed EVERY task!

Congratulations to The Resolutionaries!

The Resolutionaries are: Wendy Lakusta (team leader), Cheryl Berry, Tamara Throssell, Sandy Milne, and Colleen Spier.

The Resolutionaries will each receive a Listening Bot (from Gary Hirsch’ BotJoy) to help them in their mediation practice and, perhaps, beyond.

Listening Bots

(Here‘s a few ideas on how to use bots in mediation. We’re hoping to hear lots of new ideas from this incredibly creative team!)


Scoring was incredibly close amongst the top 3 teams! Congratulations to the second and third place teams who are both very well represented in our highlights!

  • Team WinWin
  • The Parleying Pirates

Honourable Mentions go The DenoueMonsters and The Common Grounders who also made the highlights reel for best submissions on specific tasks!

Check out highlights here!


New ITEM #11 Added!

As promised, one final item has been added to the LICRSH Task List.

#11 IMAGE: Twitter is celebrating #CRW2017 by offering everyone extra characters to get the word out. Using exactly 280 characters, tweet out your team’s inspirational message related to #ConflictResolution. Bonus points if you get someone with at least 2000 Twitter followers to retweet your message. (55 points)

Let’s see those tweets!

Museum of Salvaged Relationships

Museum of Salvaged RelationshipsCreated as an item for the first ever Legendary International Conflict Resolution Scavenger Hunt (LICRSH), PignPotato Games invites submissions to the online Museum of Salvaged Relationships.

Inspired by the global, crowd-funded Museum of Broken Relationships, we’d like to hear inspiring stories about salvaged relationships! Tell us the story of a relationship that was falling apart and how it was saved. And share a photo of an artefact of that relationship that carries meaning.

We are launching this Museum during Conflict Resolution Week in BC with its theme of “There’s Another Story“, but submissions are welcome anytime! You don’t need to compete in LICRSH to submit items.

Ready, set … GO! LICRSH is on!

The LICRSH task live is live!

The task list has just gone live for the first ever Legendary International Conflict Resolution Scavenger Hunt! Teams  of five have one week to complete as many of the tasks as possible – aiming for bonus points for creativity, artistry, and anything else that sets their submission apart (in a good way).

Did you miss out on joining a team? Never fear: we welcome individual submissions throughout the week. Choose one or two items to complete and try for Hall of Fame levels of excellence!

And definitely watch out for some amazing items to be posted throughout Conflict Resolution Week!



LICRSH: the Legendary International Conflict Resolution Scavenger Hunt!

Join PignPotato Games in a week-long scavenger hunt for conflict resolution professionals to celebrate Conflict Resolution Week (CRW) in BC!

This year’s conflict resolution theme is There’s Another Story to Tell – highlighting the benefits of remaining open and curious to new perspectives as a part of resolving conflict.

Teams of 5 will complete up to 10 tasks tied to CRW themes.

Why a Scavenger Hunt?

This year’s CRW theme is all about the benefits of remaining open and curious to new perspectives. PignPotato teammates have found one of the very best ways to stay open and curious – and to practice team-building and communication skills, too! – is to compete together in events like this. Most of us have participated at least once in GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen) and we’ve found that participation:

  • Builds community amongst conflict resolution professionals (our teams have been heavily weighted with mediators)
  • Offers chances to push ourselves to try new things, share our experiences, and be creative
  • Refreshes our outlook and requires us to consider different perspectives in problem solving to complete tasks

We hope that by bringing together teams with specific conflict resolution interests that we can also serve the CRW purpose of sharing information about conflict resolution processes – but in fun, new ways.

What sorts of things will I need to do?

All tasks will have some connection to Conflict Resolution and/or the theme of “There’s Another Story to Tell”. You might be asked to create a short video capturing a story; write a letter; dress up in an appropriate costume and share stories; engage in acts of kindness and understanding; use your creative talents to sing, draw, paint, sculpt, dance or otherwise depict tales of conflict resolution.

Whatever you are asked to do, you’ll be asked to send an image or video capturing the act to PignPotato. Some will be posted throughout CRW and published by Mediate BC, others will be shared afterwards. All will be part of the goal of CRW – to share information about conflict resolution processes!

How much time will this take?

Each team will decide for themselves how many of the tasks they’ll try to complete and how much time they’ll spend completing them. Recreational* teams may just choose one or two tasks to complete together and have fun. More competitive** teams may try to complete all 10 tasks during the week – or 2 tasks per team member.

Tasks will vary considerably in the time they will take, and the number of people they might require to complete. You might need to engage friends and family for a complex task, or you might simply be asked to tweet out a short note. You’ll always have control over how much time you spend on a task – but it would be wise to plan to have some time set aside during the week when you know you can focus on a couple of tasks.

How do I join?

You can join as a team of 5 by sending your names and email addresses to and paying a registration fee of $25 for the team.

OR join as an individual, by sending your name  to and paying a $5 registration fee. We will put individuals onto teams and connect you up before the event. Be sure to let us know if you want to be on a recreational* or competitive** team.

OR join a team led by an experienced scavenger hunter by emailing and asking to be placed on an experienced leader’s team. These leaders are all members of Team Brown (Trench) Coats and participated competitively in GISHWHES! Their scavenger hunt “resumes” can be seen here. NOTE: These teams will compete against each other only. Prizes will be awarded in a separate category.

What’s the difference between a recreational team and a competitive team?

*Recreational teams are in it to accomplish as many tasks as fit into their work week, have fun, and create a few great images for CRW.

**Competitive teams are in it to win and will be trying to complete all tasks within the week and to do so to an excellent standard!

Both recreational and competitive teams will have fun, but as mediators we are conscious of the value of shared objectives to conflict prevention!

Is there a prize?

Yes. While we believe there’s ample reward in the fun and team-building you’ll experience, we will use the registration fees to offer prizes suitable for conflict resolution professionals. Since this is the first time we’re holding such an event, we can’t predict how much we’ll have to spend on prizes, but all money collected will go towards prizes.

Who are the Judges?

Three of our PignPotato members will act as judges – and will also set the tasks. Sharon Sutherland, Rowan Meredith and Darsey Meredith will award all points and select the final winners.

Is there a deadline for registration?

Well, yes. Before the hunt. The later you register though, the less chance that you will be placed on a full team. That said, you can register right up until the last minute – November 3 at noon.

How do I pronounce LICRSH?

Yes, it really is pronounced like licorice.

“A Card Game that Moonlights”

headshotOn May 18th, Emily Martin shared her passion for the potential of collaborative games at Ignite Seattle – an exciting evening of “curated discovery”. Emily’s talk covered her own path of discovery as she said “yes, and…” to an invitation to join in a first attempt at creating purposeful games with other mediators and conflict resolution professionals.

Check out the recording of Emily’s 5 minute talk!


Using Collaborative Games to Uncover Dysfunctional Board Dynamics


Board meeting

My mediation practice, like that of many colleagues, takes place in varied contexts. Mediation can look quite different in each of these contexts. One area which I find requires considerable flexibility of process is when working with a Board of Directors. As a mediator, I am usually called in to help a Board deal with inefficiency rather than overt conflict.  There is often a shared sense among Directors that the group is unable to get important things done, or perhaps there is a general tension and discomfort rather than a notable point of conflict.  Such Boards tend to have a number of symptoms of underlying dysfunction like high turnover, low meeting attendance, lack of enthusiasm, or difficulty getting decisions made.  This small set of common symptoms may signal any of a  number of possible underlying dynamics.  And, of course, there are also a huge number of possible responses and approaches to improving those dynamics.

I recently had the opportunity to explore a new tool in assisting a Board of Directors to improve a number of challenges in their working process. Prior to my engagement, the following dynamics impacted this particular Board:

  • Members were too similar, which limited ideas and possibilities
  • There was an unknown skills gap, where 2 essential group roles were unfilled
  • Unspoken assumptions had led to confusion, lack of clarity and distrust
  • Members lacked the skills to use diversity to their advantage
  • There was pressure for Members to conform to organisational culture
  • Meeting formats disadvantaged introverted Members

When I was first approached by this group, I suggested using Zombie Fight or Flight, a collaborative card game I was involved in developing through PignPotato Games.  The Board was very hesitant at first, unsure if the Members would be willing to engage, but they were stuck and open to trying something new.  It turned out that Members were happy to hear that a group game would be used to elicit discussion instead of 1-on-1 private meetings with each Board Member.

Teaching and playing Zombie Fight or Flight to a group for the first time takes about 30 minutes. In our 2-hour session this allowed us 1.5 hours to debrief, discuss and explore dynamics surfaced in the game.  The initial focus on the game created a safe way for the group to start discussing dynamics that arose in game play and then apply those dynamics back to the harder space of their Board interactions.  Insights into differences in communication styles and values surfaced in the game were easily discussed in the context of a card game — this lowered the risk of then discussing how these dynamics impact their group work.  The game gave this Board an accessible, shared language to explore some controversial and difficult subjects in a safe environment.

As a conflict resolution practitioner, the most exciting piece of this session was how quickly the group got to deep and significant conversation.  What often takes many hours (including many facilitator hours spent in individual meetings), moved more smoothly into challenging topic areas within a single session, and with greater participation from the entire group.  Members were able to see how their own actions and behaviours impacted other Members, and gained significant insights into their colleagues’ perspectives, allowing for real teamwork and constructive disagreements.

During our second session, the group’s goal was to figure out some possible solutions to the dynamics we had uncovered. One of the previously difficult and disengaged Members suggested we open with a few rounds of Zombie Fight or Flight  to remind us of what we had learned.  This set up the group up for an incredibly productive meeting where they revamped many of their policies, changed the structure of their meetings, and made their first consensus decision in 2 years.  While it is too early to know how effective this intervention will be in the long run, the Board’s last 2 meetings have had higher attendance and more enthusiasm than the previous year of meetings.

In conversation with some of the Members afterwards, they noted that they were able to behave less guardedly within the game context because they felt they didn’t have to take big personal or social risks to participate.  This allowed Members to be more open and engaged in an environment that is often highly competitive, and in which risk-taking is often met with ridicule.  Members were able to explore (and practice) some of the skills necessary to collaborate in a group and note personal skill gaps as well as group skill gaps without feeling overly vulnerable.  They were excited and empowered to move forward with the hard work of implementing their solutions.

My experience in using Zombie Fight or Flight as a tool for working with Boards may well be transferable to other similar organisations, whether workplaces, sports teams, clubs, or any of the many organisations that rely heavily upon volunteer engagement. My colleagues at PignPotato Games and I are excited about the possibilities! So much so that we are holding a Game Jam on May 5-7, 2017 to create another collaborative game to increase the number of tools available to mediators and facilitators. If you’re intrigued by the idea, consider joining us.

Article by Amanda Semenoff; republished with permission.