Maria Arpa – The Power of Dialogue

Maria Arpa MBE, Founder, Centre for Peaceful Solutions

Making the shift from debate to dialogue is key to enlisting support and cooperation when decisions need to be made and resolution is critical.

Using needs-based theory, the Dialogue Road Map provides a skilful and responsible methodology to consulting with diverse stakeholders with differing priorities.

When all parties believe they have contributed to the solution, they are more likely to stand by the agreements they have made leading to more sustainable outcomes and less mess to clear up later.


In 2006, Maria founded the Centre for Peaceful Solutions as a direct response to the increase in drive by shootings on her road. By 2010 the charity had completed a 3 year project funded by HM Treasury to develop a model of mediation for violent crime and anti-social behaviour. The work has taken her into some of the most socially deprived areas of London where she has mediated everything from hostile parents and teenagers, pupils excluded from school and separated parents at loggerheads to neighbours at war, street gang rivalries and threats to life.

Maria developed The Dialogue Road Map as a communications tool which transforms hostility, aggression and resistance into co-operation and contribution. The applications for the use of dialogue and consent driven decision making extend to all areas of life especially where there are risks and high stakes for parties involved.