President & CEO, Inventor & Principal Founder

Dr. Thiessen is President of iCan Systems Inc., which is the developer of the  Smartsettle eNegotiation system. Dr. Thiessen is responsible for the direction and management of the company as well as its government, industry and community affairs. He has led iCan’s research and development efforts to implement the ICANS patent, creating the world’s first secure multiparty negotiation support system on the Internet. Dr Thiessen also directs the International eNegotiation Exhibition and was a lecturer in 2010 for UNESCO-IHE’s Negotiation and Mediation for Water Conflict Management course. Dr. Thiessen has been a guest speaker at most of the Annual International Forums on Online Dispute Resolution since they began in 2002 and is on the editorial board of the the first international journal dedicated to ODR – The International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution.

Prior to founding iCan Systems Inc. in 1993, Thiessen worked for 17 years as a consulting engineer and researcher in Canada and in Nepal. During the eighties, this work related to water resource systems, planning and development on a project that received the UNESCO International Hydropower Association (IHA) Blue Planet Prize at the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change in 2005. Thiessen’s responsibilities on this project were the feasibility and preliminary design of the irrigation component. A notable achievement of this project was the facilitation of negotiations between His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, the United Mission to Nepal and the local beneficiaries on the Andhi Khola Project regarding an unconventional plan to develop an irrigation project in such a way as to give unprecedented benefits to the poorest of the community (see related publications listed below). This plan came to be known as the AKWUA Strategy and was later the subject of Thiessen’s Master’s Thesis.

Thiessen received his PhD degree from Cornell University in 1993, majoring in Water Resource Systems Planning and Analysis in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. While at Cornell University, Thiessen developed an efficient methodology to solve very complex negotiation problems. This methodology has been patented and is now embodied in both Smartsettle ONE (for the simplest possible cases) and Smartsettle Infinity (for the most difficult multiparty cases).

Dr. Thiessen is an author or co-author of the following publications:

2012 E. M. Thiessen, Paul Miniato and Bruce Hiebert
ODR and eNegotiation
Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice (a treatise on technology and dispute resolution), Eleven International Publishing (edited by Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab, Eithan Katsh and Daniel Rainey)
2012 Chalmers, Mike and E. M. Thiessen
Smartsettle Water (9 minute video posted on Smartsettle website)
2010 Chalmers, Mike and E.M. Thiessen
Leveling the Playing Field (13 minutes on YouTube)
2008 Thiessen, E. M. and Paul Miniato
Rewarding Good Negotiating Behaviour with Smartsettle
Proceedings of the 7th Annual International Forum on ODR
2004 Thiessen, E.M. and John Zeleznikov
Technical Aspects of ODR
Proceedings of the 3rd Annual UN Forum on ODR 2004
2003 Thiessen, E.M. and Ken Fraser
Mobile ODR with Smartsettle
Proceedings of the 2nd Annual UN Forum on ODR 2003
2003 Thiessen, E.M. and Andrea Soberg
Smartsettle Described with the Montreal Taxonomy
Group Decision and Negotiation Journal, Vol. 12 No. 2, March, pp. 165-170.
2001 Thiessen, E.M. and Debbie Law
Smartsettle User Guide.
2000 Thiessen, E.M. and J. McMahon
Beyond Win-Win in Cyberspace. 15 OHIO ST. J. ON DISP. RESOL. 643
1998 Thiessen, E.M., D.P. Loucks, and J.R. Stedinger
Computer-Assisted Negotiations of Water Resources Conflicts. Group Decision and Negotiation Journal, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 109-129.
1994 Thiessen, E.M. and D.P. Loucks,
“Computer-Assisted Negotiation System (ICANS),” in: Proceedings., Workshop on Computer-Assisted Negotiations, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, May.
1993 Thiessen, E.M., D.P. Loucks, and J.R. Stedinger
Experimental Results with ICANS: an Interactive Computer-Assisted Negotiation Support System. Proceedings of the 18-19 June 1993 “Application of Advanced Information Technologies: Effective Management of Natural Resources” ASAE Conference in Spokane, Washington.
1993 Thiessen, E.M.
ICANS: An Interactive Computer-Assisted Multi-party Negotiation Support System. PhD Dissertation*, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1993. Dissertation Abstracts International, 172p.
1992 Thiessen, E.M., and D.P. Loucks
“Computer-Assisted Negotiation of Multi-objective Water Resources Conflicts,” Water Resources Bulletin, American Water Resources Association, 28(1), 163-177, February.
1986 Thiessen, E.M.
Complementarities between Irrigation Development Objectives in Nepal: The AKWUA Strategy. Master’s Thesis, Cornell University.
1983 Thiessen, E.M.
AHREP Headrace Irrigation: Preliminary Feasibility Report. United Mission to Nepal, Box126, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Following are related publications:

2002 van Etten, J.; van Koppen, B.; Pun, S.
Do equal land and water rights benefit the poor?: Targeted irrigation development: The case of the Andhi Khola Irrigation Scheme in Nepal. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI) v, 21p. (IWMI Working Paper 038)(available here)

* dedicated to a family whose loving support and patience was a steady source of encouragement