Why A GPC Event Is Like No Other Conference You’ve Attended

With around half of the Global Pound Conference (GPC) events now behind us, well over a thousand delegates have experienced for themselves attending a GPC event. So what’s it like? Put simply, the experience is unlike any other dispute resolution conference you’ll have attended. No dozing at the back of the room as dry speakers work painfully through drier legislative changes. No quiet catching up on your emails as you wonder what will be for lunch.

From minute one you need to be on your mettle and on your chosen electronic device – smartphone, tablet or laptop.  At the heart of the GPC series – and each event – is the opportunity to make your voice heard in gathering data, generating ideas and sharing conversations about the future of dispute resolution and access to justice.  You’ll be part of a local event but your voice and views are part of a global conversation.

You’ll be taken through some practice questions to familiarise yourself with the GPC Series’ bespoke web-based app. You need to vote; give feedback; generate word clouds; make comments; ask questions; and more. Then get stuck into the core sessions that are the heart of the project.

A platform for discussion

In session 1 you’ll vote on what users – the parties to disputes – want and need right now in relation to dispute resolution, ranking choices from a menu of options. Then you’ll work with other delegates in groups to discuss these issues in more detail, inputting your thoughts via the app. You’ll work with whoever is nearby – a general counsel of a major corporation, a retired judge turned mediator, a post-graduate law student, a well-known arbitrator, litigation lawyer or academic.

Soon the voting results from session 1 will be in and a panel of experienced commentators will take you through the results, analysing the voting trends at your event and against the global aggregate data so far. Do you agree or disagree with the panel? Do you have a different point of view or a question? Use the app and join the debate as questions and comments tick up on the big screen in real time. Do you see a comment you agree with? You can “like” it social media style through the app and watch that comment move up the screen. Or put up your hand in the usual way, grab a microphone and start talking.

Looking into the future

Three more sessions follow. In session 2 you’ll consider how providers – existing dispute resolution institutions – meet the needs of ssers. Session 3 turns to the future – how can dispute resolution be changed if users’ wants and needs are to be met in 21st Century dispute resolution? And in session 4 share your views on what needs to be done to drive that change and by whom Each session brings more discussion, more ideas, more conversations and networking, more insight from great panellists; more questions and comments.

The experience is invigorating and inspiring. The conversations are dynamic and practical. You’ll meet new colleagues and together generate new ideas. Seasoned dispute resolution professionals are describing GPC events as the template for dispute resolution conferences going forward.

Click here for a list of events near you and experience a GPC event for yourself.  And look out for the series finale on 6 July 2017 in London  for reflections on the GPC journey so far.

Written by Alexander Oddy.

This is an adapted version of the original article written by Alexander Oddy, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in London.


Alexander Oddy is deputy head of commercial litigation in London and heads the firm’s market leading Alternative Dispute Resolution practice. He is a solicitor advocate and a CEDR accredited mediator, and handles all aspects of insurance coverage disputes, commercial litigation and contentious regulatory investigations.

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