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Online Intercultural Dialogues – A Participatory Inquiry

January 11 @ 4:00 pm 6:00 pm GMT

Led by Thomas Kottner and Peter Garrett

9 sessions to be held between January and September on the second Tuesday of the month

11th January, 8th February, 8th March, 12th April, 10th May, 14th June, 12th July, 9th August, 13th September

Our Journey from 2019 to 2022…

From Global Online Dialogues to Dialogic Online Multicultural Awareness

When the 2020 pandemic turned the world Online, it presented a challenge for the 3rd The World Needs Dialogue! Convention, which finally unfolded as an opportunity for it to be held online and thereby have a wider reach for the AofPD efforts towards the expansion of Professional Dialogue. The subject of exploring Online Dialogue as a particular version of Dialogue became a Topic during that Convention and generated significant exchanges between participants. 

Given the interest created, during 2021 we followed, a monthly Generative Dialogue for further exploration and understanding of Online Dialogue. We tried different ways of making ourselves, participants, to know each other better, from so far away, explored what aspects create increased engagement and interaction, discovering what works better and what does not, generated interesting topics explorations, and we really achieved deep connections online, which proved that deep dialogue could actually be held online. This was a significant realisation.

One of the aspects of which we became increasingly aware was that Online had not only made our connections easier, but it had brought us all closer together, regardless of our geographical and, foremostly, cultural provenances.This is an aspect which deserves further dedication to understand.

Culture and tradition, the shared beliefs and assumptions of any given society, if well understood, can bring us together, or on the contrary, can put unconscious or unexamined barriers to dialogue. What are the nuances, the linguistic intricacies, the worldview, the meaning creation, which the history, the customs, the communication behaviours and attitudes of the spaces where we were brought up and lived have imprinted in us, and how do they impact our dialogic (or non-dialogic) habits? What do we all have in common, and what makes for our interesting differences? What are the particular contributions in that diversity that can help create a stronger field for dialogue, mutual understanding and shared meaning?

This is what we will be exploring during 2022, in a cycle of monthly dialogues, starting in January. We will be meeting every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 4.00 pm UK time, for a 2 hour dialogue, and an additional 30 minutes space for reflections and conclusions. We intend to put a specific accent on different cultures each month in order to make this an integrative and hopefully most interesting experience for all of us to learn from. We welcome you to join us in the journey and look forward to your registration for next January, on Tuesday 11th

Best Regards

Thomas Köttner and Peter Garrett

Our Proposal

Further thinking further about the potential value and relevance of these Cultural Dialogues has led us to add some structure and process to our proposed monthly enquiries. We believe culture is an important factor in the quality of engagement we experience with others, but we have relatively little common language for the cultural enrichment, the miscommunications and the occasional offences we see and experience between cultures. Yet more often we now find ourselves thrown together online at short notice.

We propose that we learn together to understand more about all of this through a form of participatory enquiry that uses Dialogue as a Research Methodology. Usually the word ‘research’ leads people to take books of shelves, do literature searches and check dictionary definitions. In this case we are talking about something quite different. We want to learn about culture first-hand, from our own experience of our conversations together with groupings of Academy members and their colleagues from other countries and cultures. We will be interested to incorporate relevant past first-hand experiences, but no references to books or published frameworks and theories.

If you would like to participate in this learning process, we need your:

  • commitment to attend at least the first four sessions (January to April), but preferably all of them
  • undertaking to write something about your observations and what you have learnt yourself from your own inner responses and reactions as well as what you heard said and not said
  • your permission to extract parts of your writing in what we later publish, under a general acknowledgement of named participants (rather than specifically attributed quotes). 

To accept this invitation, please register to participate below.

To register, please complete this form

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