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The experience of attending a two-day workshop on Reflective Structured Dialogue with Robert R. Stains was transformative. We explored the many facets of the current need for dialogue in Finland and the potential of dialogue to create spaces to listen and be heard in a deep way. The experience, warmth and wisdom Bob brought to the room made it possible for all of us to explore our deepest fears and prejudices in a safe way. We left the training equipped with a fresh understanding of not only about dialogue, but also ourselves.

Jonna Kangasoja Co-founder and Managing Director, Akordi, Helsinki www.akordi.fi


“Honest,” “relatable,” “knowledgeable,” “has a good presence” – these are a just a few of the comments students offered when asked their impressions of Bob Stains, who did a workshop for University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service graduate students last October. The general theme of feedback I received from students was that Bob seemed to understand them.  I could not agree more! As a facilitator and trainer, Bob Stains combines his extensive knowledge and experience with genuine empathy to deliver a powerful and transformative experience for participants. He will be invited back to the Clinton School of Public Service for years to come – he sets a fine example for budding public servants.

Christina Standerfer, PhD Associate Professor, Communication • Faculty Director, Office of Community Engagement Fulbright U.S. Scholar Alumni Ambassador • University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service


I run the first and only Centre for Community Mediation in Finland, founded by the Finnish Refugee Council. We prevent and mediate conflicts between neighbours and groups, and foster practical and pragmatic ethnic relations in our society that started policies on diversity and multiculturality very late, only in the 1990’s with the arrival of first larger group of refugees and asylum seekers. I had the pleasure to meet Mr Robert Stains during his first visit in Finland in November 2016. After passionate discussions on mediation and dialogue practices over lunches/dinners/coffees and a workshop on “Bridging Chasms: The Power and Practice of Reflective Structured Dialogue”, I was very inspired to translate the key ideas of the method in Finnish and very encouraged to continue and develop further my work. I know I wasn’t the only one inspired… Today, we keep in touch and Robert Stains mentors me and gets back with a lot of inspiring and useful questions whenever I write to him about a dilemma I encounter. I warmly recommend his services.

Miriam Attias Head, Center for Community Mediation • Finnish Refugee Council • Helsinki, Finland