The chair of the 10th Online Dispute Resolution Conference says her "thank you"s while ODR Fellows give her their compliments
Chittu Nagarajan, Head--Community Courts, eBay and PayPal, has finally some time on her hands for her family. Her son would not tease her asking if she is reading a book on how to organize a conference. If the three days of ODR 2011 was as engaging and as meaningful, it is because of her efforts in bringing together diverse perspectives, and even if some presentations might have looked slightly out of context in the ODR framework. But in international fora, when India is just warming up to ODR, it is necessary to show that we don't lack in innovation and adapting ODR will just be a matter of time.
The wrap up panel consisting of Prof. Ethan Katsh (who conceptualized and popularized ODR), Colin Rule (Director, ODR, eBay and PayPal), and Sanjana Hattotuwa (who applied ODR in conflict resolution and is an expert in Sri Lanka on conflict resolution) gave a perspective on ODR 2011.
Prof. Ethan Katsh, who is slightly uncomfortable when conferred the title Father of ODR, complimented Chittu as the "mother" of ODR, though in a lighter vein to convey her excellent work in putting together ODR 2011. Prof. Katsh felt that ODR need not follow alternative dispute resolution (ADR) but can follow the path of technology. He said "India has the potential to become the center of ODR in the future."
Colin Rule was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and support for ODR in India and said that the ODR is a key component of a judicial reform "movement" launched by Justice Mohan Mehta. Community mediation movement in the United States adapted the principles of ADR as it came into practice but ODR is increasingly getting integrated into ADR. But in India, ADR and ODR are happening at the same time.
Sanjana Hattotuwa said that this ODR conference is the best ever he has attended and Colin Rule seconded his statement. Sanjana said that India and the South Asian region are rich in innovation. He said sophisticated debates characterize ODR at present compared to two years ago.
To wrap up, Colin recalled her first meeting with Chittu in Hong Kong. Then he narrated how Chittu converted her part time position at PayPal to establish community court to a full time position by her persistent and efforts to the extent of running innovation program at PayPal.