21 April 2022, New York, United States (Virtual) – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York office, in partnership with the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic, kickstarted last of the three-event Spring 2022 presentations of the Columbia Law School Series with the final session titled, “Columbia Law School Series- Amplify: Lead by Lifting Others”. Garnering 138 participants from around the world, the event successfully highlighted the benefits of elevating fellow colleagues in the workspace and the necessities of doing so. The goal of this final session in the 2022 Columbia Law School Series was to impart what amplification is, how to do it most effectively, and why amplification does more than simply elevating people's voices.

The event began with Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of the UNITAR’s New York office by thanking all participants for joining in this crucial session. Mr. Suazo encouraged all those joining in from around the world to actively participate in the workshop as it is meant to benefit them all in an interactive manner and not to merely to be lectured at.  He then proceeded to introduce Professor Alexandra Carter, and her team from the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic, for providing this valuable workshop to the United Nations community.

Professor Carter gave an opening statement, which included an overview of the event by explaining the impetus for the collaboration between Columbia Law School and UNITAR. Professor Carter noted that through amplifying other people upwards, this in fact is one of the most effective leadership strategies for diplomats. Professor Carter proceeded to introduce her mediation clinic team and thanked the UNITAR team for their work in making this workshop possible.

The session itself began by asking all those joining in what they consider amplification to be, and how they go about it. After some thoughtful commentary in the virtual chat, an example of Amplification done in a real time was demonstrated through a video in which President Joe Biden amplified Vice President Kamala Harris in a press conference. This video was quickly debriefed and analyzed by defining old ideas and definitions pertaining to negotiation, and analyzed closer as an example of external amplification. Further, internal and external steering were also outlined as valuable tools in a negotiator’s tool belt.


How can one approach amplification however? A simple approach to this tactic is then described as the amplification formula. In this formula participants are instructed to speak the name of who is going to be amplified, followed by giving the appropriate credit to such person or group. The effects of amplifying are outlined as deepening relationships with clients and creating more opportunities to serve them, increasing positive perceptions of us by linking us in people’s minds to other successful people, and we as the “amplifier” become the kind of “giver” who research shows occupies the highest rungs of success in organizations.

The floor was then given to the participants in breakout rooms where they were able to practice for themselves an exercise involving amplification and its appropriate strategies during a particular situation. This session then concluded by having a representative from each group report on what was discussed in their group’s exercise resulting in a fruitful conversation. In closing, Mr. Pelayo Alvarez,  Programme Coordinator of UNITAR New York office thanked the Columbia Law School Mediation clinic for their useful session and extended a thank you to all of the participants that joined in from around the world.

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