An International Celebration of Collaboration

If you ask almost anyone to describe divorce, the words “scary and stressful” are much more likely to come up than “creative and innovative.” But the truth is, the Collaborative Divorce process IS both creative and innovative (and this process makes divorce much less scary and stressful.)

In April 2022, members of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals (FACP) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) shared the creative aspect of Collaborative Divorce with the general public through their participation in World Creativity & Innovation Week.

World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW), April 15–April 21, is a United Nations observed event that was established in 2001. The purpose is to celebrate the use of creativity and innovation to advance the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2022, individuals and organizations from 127 countries participated in over 500 WCIW celebrations. The theme of the 2022 WCIW celebrations was Collaboration.

Here in Florida, FACP members Sheila Furr and Karen Sacks spearheaded WCIW celebrations around the state. As a result, FACP members joined IACP Collaborative Professionals from around the world and helped spread the word about the most creative and innovative conflict resolution process around—Collaborative Process.

Choose Collaborative Practice Group

The Choose Collaborative practice group of Boca Raton Florida celebrated WCIW with their grand event “Conflict Resolution Starts with the Family” on April 7. Speakers included: WCIW Chief Steward, Professor Jim Friedman, who spoke about the creative mindset; Brian Thomas from the City of Fort Lauderdale, who presented a proclamation from the City of Fort Lauderdale to the group in recognition of Word Creativity & Innovation Week; and practice group members John Mulhall, Esq., Kim Nutter, Esq., and Eilene Brodie, CPA.

This group received a second proclamation for World Creativity & Innovation Week from Palm Beach County.

Well done to the Choose Collaborative Practice Group organizers: Sheila Furr, Karen Sacks, Carolann Mazza, and Christen Ritchey.

The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida

The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida held a WCIW Happy Hour in Orlando on April 18 with practice group members and members of the community. They celebrated creativity and innovation with a proclamation by the City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, thanks to the efforts of FACP and practice group member, Michael P. Sampson; FACP board member and practice group member, Carina M. Leeson; and CFLGCF board and practice group members, including the Honorable Christopher Sprysenski, Christine Hammond, and Charles Jason Rutland.

Next Generation Divorce Practice Group (Tampa Bay)

The Next Generation Divorce practice group held their event, Create.Innovate.Collaborate., on April 21. The event was hosted by practice group co-chairs, Matthew E. Thatcher and Stacey Hudon. WCIW Chief Steward Jim Friedman spoke and elaborated on the power of coming up with lots of answers and being willing to make mistakes. The Honorable Wesley D. Tibbals addressed the group about the current collaborative administrative order that is in the works. The final speaker of the evening was FACP member and practice group member Joryn Jenkins who shared her thoughts on creativity in Collaborative Practice.

Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida

FACP members Tammy Berman and Kristen D. Goss of the practice group Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida spearheaded and moderated a panel in recognition of WCIW.

The panel was titled The Creativity of the Collaborative Process and included speakers: the Honorable Michael Davis, the Honorable Ari Abraham Porth, Dr. Lisa Saponaro, Robert J. Merlin, Esq., Ed Sachs, and Fernanda Pedroso, Esq.

Saving the World: Creativity & Collaboration

The international team of World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW) explored creativity and collaboration as critical components in the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On April 21, WCIW held the panel Creativity & Collaboration in SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. The panel was moderated by WCIW Advisory Board Member Holly Haggerty and included three experts, each with a unique perspective on collaboration. FACP’s President and IACP Treasurer, Robert J. Merlin, Esq. served as a panelist with Professor Jim Friedman, Ph.D., Chief Steward of WCIW, and Mr. Javier Bikandi – Director of Citizen Services and Digital Services of the Basque Country, which promotes collaborative and open government.

The panel discussed the benefits and challenges of collaboration across sectors—government, education, and the family—and how collaboration can be used at all levels of society to create change, from global to personal.

Following the panel, participants broke out in five virtual rooms to discuss and learn more about how we can work together to make the world a better place.

Creativity & Innovation in Daytona Beach

Collaborative Divorce professional and FACP member Pam Masters created a video message and an article, Listening with Curiosity, Creativity, and Innovation, in which she discusses the use of creativity to solve conflicts.

Creativity & Innovation in Alberta Canada

Collaborative Professional Stephanie L. Dobson, Collaborative Divorce Lawyer and Mediator, created “The Essential Link between Creativity, Innovation and Collaborative Divorce: Perspectives from Around the Globe.” This video features Collaborative Professionals from around the world including Stu Webb, the Founder of Collaborative Law, and FACP member, Joryn Jenkins.

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) held a World Creativity and Innovation Week interactive discussion led by IACP Board President Lori Gephart of Pennsylvania, USA, and IACP Board Past President Francesca King of Milan, Italy. They discussed how the Collaborative Process is inherently creative and innovative, while also speaking on how Collaborative Practice is accessible to families and professionals around the world.

Thank you to all of the Collaborative Professionals who helped make this year’s international celebration of World Creativity & Innovation Week the largest ever and helped to make the Collaborative Process more known.

World Creativity & Innovation Week Proclamations from around Florida

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