Mediator & Attorney Mark Baer Receives Validation From Australian Non Political Think Tank

Until We Have Empathy Conversations as Part of Public Policy, Attorney Baer says People Are Going to Continue to Feel Like Outsiders in Their Own Country

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 16, 2016) - Mediator & Attorney Mark Baer today announced that Australia21, a not for profit, non-political think tank that deals with public policy, has validated his assertion that more empathy and compassion is needed in politics. Given the divisive nature of the recent U.S. presidential election, which has resulted in national protests, including grade and high school students ditching classes to protest the election results, Baer's plea for the use of empathy in political decision-making is well-timed. "Until we have empathy conversations as an integral part of the shaping of public policy," says Mediator Baer, "people are going to continue to feel like outsiders in their own country."

Australia21 recently corroborated Mediator Baer's conclusion, reached in his Huffington Post blog "The Power of Empathy," in which he stated, "If a mediator, a judge, a politician, a scientist, or anyone else for that matter has a limited worldview as a result of their personal background and life experiences, how does that impact their assumptions and ultimately the decisions they make, both personally and professionally? Unless a person has become more empathic by being a member of a minority group that is discriminated against, what personal relationships shaped their learning process? In a diverse society, how do limited or otherwise sheltered worldviews affect the level of civility and commitment to fairness?"

Dr. Lynne Reeder used Attorney Baer as a source of factual information in her study, "Empathy Conversations -- Testing their effectiveness as a policy making instrument -- A Pilot Study." Reeder is director of Australia21, which specializes in promoting new evidence-based thinking about the big issues confronting Australia in a rapidly-changing global environment.

The pilot study involved interactions between two groups of participants with significant differences in their lived experiences, including financial wealth, organizational influence, and educational attainment. All participants were provided with training and background materials to support them in connecting with, rather than judging one other. The result was that participants were able to 'humanize' each other by discovering what they shared in common. Therefore, this multi-disciplinary pilot suggests that guided empathy conversations can assist in bringing those with 'unlike' lived experiences into a shared connection and common experience of humanity within a policy setting.

Reeder credits Baer by stating, "I thought the point he made in his article 'The Power of Empathy' was such an important one -- particularly in the application of empathy and compassion to the sort of 'real world' challenges he is dealing with." As set forth in the study itself, Reeder said, "In today's global and uncertain world, it could be argued that policy challenges require an ability to become more aware and sensitive to the suffering of others. For that to happen, empathy and compassion need to be intentionally included and rewarded in policy and decision making settings." 

"Having my conclusion in 'The Power of Empathy' utilized in this very important study by a think tank focused on solutions to complex real-world problems, is beyond anything I could have possibly imagined," states Baer. "As a Family Law Attorney, Mediator, Collaborative Law Practitioner and Conflict Resolution Consultant, my opinions are sometimes considered controversial or 'too forward thinking,' so it is with pleasure that I accept the role of an internationally-recognized expert on the psychological concept of empathy. As collaboration expert Stephen Willis, Ph.D. says, "Empathy is a key skill that enables people to collaborate more effectively." 

On November 11th, Mediator Baer joined Psychology Today's expert community. His debut blog is "Bridging Our National Divide Demands Empathy and Compassion -- Solving Problems Facing Our Nation Requires Empathy and Emotional Intelligence."

A five-time Southern California "Super Lawyer," Mediator and Attorney Baer was crowned "Best Child Custody Mediator -- Los Angeles" by Corporate America Legal Elite 2016, and "Best in Family Law Dispute Resolution -- California" in Acquisition International's 2016 AI Legal Awards. Since 2008, he has authored a psychology and Family Law column for the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association's award-winning newsletter. In February 2015, "Putting Kids First in Divorce," a book in which he collaborated with ten other leading divorce, co-parenting, and relationship professionals, was published and quickly became a best seller on Amazon. To order Putting Kids First in Divorce in Kindle format, visit:

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Los Angeles Mediator Mark Baer Receives Validation from Australian Non Political Think Tank