The ODR Initiative is born!
It all began with the E-ADR Challenge in partnership with ICICI Bank in January 2019. Recognizing the power of technology and trusted mechanisms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve millions of disputes expediently and efficiently, Agami in partnership with ICICI Bank conceptualized a national E-ADR Challenge. The purpose of the E-ADR Challenge was to identify and accelerate powerful innovations that can transform the future of dispute resolution in India. Agami launched the Challenge overview and specifications to invite inputs from the legal, business, technology, and dispute resolution communities.
E-ADR Challenge Launch
After receiving community inputs, Agami in partnership with ICICI Bank launched the E-ADR Challenge - inviting applications from across the world. The Challenge was framed simply as building an E-ADR Institution that can combine the best of technology and ADR to resolve disputes at scale. 60 teams from India and abroad participated in the Challenge. The process enabled participants to collaborate and create coalitions to build solutions.
Finding the Innovators!
The finalists pitched their solution to a remarkable group of five Jury members who determined which team would drive the development of a model E-ADR Institution. At the end of a day long deliberation, they selected a venture founded and led by a group of then final year law students at NUJS - ODRWays (now SAMA) as the winner! The other finalists were Centre for Online Resolution of Disputes (CORD) and Resolve Disputes Online (RDO). In addition to the finalists, the Challenge saw the emergence of 8 lasting coalitions of partners and the birth of the ODR Community.
Triggering the Demand
With the movement underway and ODR solutions taking shape and growing in their capabilities, we looked to the demand side, and partnered with Vahura, to expand the ecosystem further with an Enterprise Leaders’ Circle - triggering businesses to innovate with ODR in house and to create the appetite and market that our community of innovators can service.
Autonomy: The ODR Community Emerges
Entrepreneurs, experts and enthusiasts of ODR came together to form “Autonomy”: a group to accelerate the ODR movement in India. This powerful collective meets every quarter to advance the ODR ecosystem in India and are on a common platform together for continuous engagement and knowledge sharing amongst the community. Click here to join the Telegram group!
Agami hosted a two-day autonomy 2.0 during the annual Agami Summit in November 2019 to explore the applicability and design of ODR systems to different needs in business and society. The community heard insights from e-commerce leaders, grassroot networks, global pioneers, and start-ups to map the emerging future of ODR, develop a shared vision, strengthen relationships, and create clear areas of collaboration. A paper on ODR opportunities in India was also released and key insights from the session can be accessed here.
Just as Autonomy 3.0 geared towards exploring developing capacity for nationwide ODR was around the corner, COVID19 hit India. Agami along with Autonomy came together for the largest (and open) weeklong online ODR meetup yet. The themes ranged from showcasing ODR solutions to identifying use cases for ODR to discussing building capacity for ODR in India. Watch the series here .
ODR: A National Priority
Spurred by the success of ODR Week in introducing the ODR community in India to the world, Agami in association with NITI Aayog and Omidyar Network India brought together senior members of the Judiciary, Government and Businesses in a closed door meeting to identify pathways to recognize the full potential of ODR in India. See the five key insights here and key takeaways here. What emerged were key insights and a multi-stakeholder agreement to work collaboratively to ensure efforts are taken to scale online dispute resolution in India. See the five key insights here and key takeaways here!
ODR: A Business Priority
A common theme through the June 2020 meeting was the need for businesses to actively adopt ODR to Enhance the Ease of Doing Business, particularly now in light of COVID19. To catalyse this shift, NITI Aayog, Agami, Omidyar Network India along with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised an open online meeting with key business, government, and legal representatives to signal to the industry that ODR was an idea whose time had come. The meeting can be viewed here and key takeaways can be accessed here.
Agami in association with NITI Aayog and Omidyar Network India, and ably supported by Ashoka Innovators for the Public, ICICI Bank, Trilegal, Dalberg, Dvara Research, and NIPFP are launching the ODR Handbook - an information guide to accelerate the adoption of ODR by businesses.