IDeIAs for dialogues
Peter SengeIDEIA organises and participates in dialogues in conjunction with the Taos Institute, el Instituto Relacional, Case Western Reserve University, the European AI Network Diálogos Productivos and the Red Iberoamericana de Indagación Apreciativa (Ibero-American Appreciative Inquiry Network). See agenda for upcoming dialogues.
Dialogue and designing the future together *
«In dialogue people learn to use the energy of their differences to enhance their collective wisdom.» William Isaacs
The etymology of the word “dialogue” is día (“through”) +logos (“word”). It is the meaning that flows between, within and through the participants, out of which a new understanding may emerge. When we really, genuinely dialogue, we listen to each other. Often in meetings we do not dialogue, we simply express our opinions without listening to others or constructing on what they expressed. Most of us think in a fragmented way: instead of trying to find a shared meaning, we simply champion our own particular point of view. Perhaps we should acknowledge the “meaninglessness” that often results from such a fragmented perspective and the collective problems we have to face – the way we become separated from each other. Many of the problems that arise in families, work teams and large organisations, and our inability to solve them, is a result of us thinking in an individualised way, without any collective vision. Thus, we do not use systemic thinking. The fragmentation, polarisation and isolation that result from this prevents us from interrelating productively.
IDEIA promotes dialogues in which we search for meaning shared with the collective reality, transmuting fragmentation and unconnected individual thinking. By engaging in dialogue we can progress towards constructing a tangible reality in which good ideas become experiences and beneficial habits for the good of the collective.
Social Construction: Orienting Principles
We live in worlds of meaning. We understand and value the world and ourselves in ways that emerge from our personal history and shared culture.
Worlds of meaning are intimately related to action. We act largely in terms of what we interpret to be real, rational, satisfying, and good. Without meaning there would be little worth doing.
Worlds of meaning are constructed within relationships. What we take to be real, rational and is given birth in relationships. Without relationship there would be little of meaning.
New worlds of meaning are possible. We are not possessed or determined by the past. We may abandon or dissolve dysfunctional ways of life, and together create alternatives.
To sustain what is valuable, or to create new futures, requires participation in relationships. If we damage or destroy relations, we lose the capacity to sustain a way of life, and to create new futures.
When worlds of meaning intersect, creative outcomes may occur. New forms of relating, new realities, and new possibilities may all emerge.
When worlds of meaning conflict, they may lead to alienation and aggression, thus undermining relations and their creative potential.
Through creative care for relationships, the destructive potentials of conflict may be reduced, or transformed.
The preceding understandings do not constitute beliefs. They are neither true nor false. They are ways of approaching life that, for many, hold great promise.
Inspirémonos para diseñar nuestro futuro, Miriam Subirana y David Cooperrider, ed. Kairós, 2013.