Dialogue Publications was founded in 2017 to make Professional Dialogue materials available internationally. The editors release an annual publication entitled The World Needs Dialogue! (hardback and ebook) covering the Working Papers considered by Members at the Academy’s annual conference. Other publications include books authored by Academy Members, as well as supporting materials for all educational programmes and courses accredited by the Academy. Today they launch two new books – A New Kind of Dialogue by Peter Garrett, and The World Needs Dialogue! 3 – Shaping the Profession edited by Cliff Penwell and featuring papers by eleven members of the Academy.

A New Kind of Dialogue

by Peter Garrett

A New Kind of Dialogue is a landmark in understanding the pervasive challenges of modern society.

It is a serious but easy read, written as a first-hand narrative that encourages dialogic thinking.

This is the story of how a new kind of Dialogue was conceived by the author with theoretical physicist David Bohm, and their eight years of participatory research until Bohm’s death in 1992. Their seminal paper “Dialogue – A Proposal”, laid the foundation for the author’s 30 years of work introducing Dialogue into prison systems and consulting to multinational organisations.

Across the span of this remarkable journey, the author’s discoveries cover such diverse territory as…

Organisations. The author explores with compassion and insight the dynamic realities of these complex structures. Organisations are everywhere, and they structure every part of our lives. But we are not running them – they are running us. We may be unaware of the cause, but we all experience the consequences that include social fragmentation and the proliferation of seeming unresolvable problems.

Fragmentation of thought. It seems humans have changed little since Stone Age times, but our world has changed substantially. It is shaped by the way we now talk and think, that has become detached, fragmented and confused. The proposal that there is a single root cause is radical yet hugely encouraging. It is clear where to place our attention.

Dialogue as a profession. The author shows how one central way forward is the development of Professional Dialogue, which has proven itself to be effective and generative.

The World Needs Dialogue! One: Gathering the Field

The portfolio of work by Dialogue Practitioners considered at the first annual international conference of the Academy of Professional Dialogue

Foreword by Peter Garrett
Editor Cliff Penwell

This inaugural volume records the Gathering of the Field of Professional Dialogue. It acknowledges and celebrates the work of 25 Professional Dialogue Practitioners, and the wide variety of good work they have delivered. Some have been actively developing their Professional Dialogue careers for decades, whilst others add the innovative energy of being relative newcomers. Their combined work has provided a unique service, addressing and resolving fragmented situations in hundreds of organisations and communities in different sectors and countries around the world.

The publication is the first collection of such accounts and thereby provides the first benchmark for the field. It records the state of Professional Dialogue in 2018, setting a standard that others will emulate and no doubt surpass in the future. The authors had their work considered at the first international conference of the Academy of Professional Dialogue, The World Needs Dialogue! Their papers were written and circulated to participants before the Academy’s inaugural gathering. Extracts from the considerations with participants at the conference are included, along with their subsequently written postscripts.

The World Needs Dialogue! Two: Setting the Bearings

The collection of Working Papers by Dialogue Practitioners considered at the second annual international conference of the Academy of Professional Dialogue

Foreword by Peter Garrett
Editor Cliff Penwell

The Academy continues its steady progress with this volume of working papers that were considered at the second international conference in 2019. The proceeds of the previous year’s inaugural annual conference were subtitled Gathering the Field.

The current volume, Setting the Bearings, demonstrates the Academy’s intention to provide ongoing developmental learning and professional affiliation for those working in this essential discipline. The accounts contained in this publication reveal the recent work of 13 Professional Dialogue Practitioners from Canada, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, UK and USA. As before, the papers were circulated prior to the conference to replace the typical presentational monologues, which freed up time for dialogues amongst the participants gathered.

Authors were present throughout the full three days of the conference to rub shoulders with the other participants and learn from them too. You will find extracts from these conference sessions following the papers, and postscripts written by the authors to describe their own learning as a result of writing their paper and considering it with experienced colleagues.

The World Needs Dialogue! Three: Shaping the Profession

The collection of Working Papers by Dialogue Practitioners considered at the third annual international conference of the Academy of Professional Dialogue

Foreword by Peter Garrett
Editor Cliff Penwell

The third annual conference of the Academy of Professional Dialogue was held online for the first time, and in the Academy’s Conference Centre specially built for the occasion. By holding sessions for four hours each day for five consecutive days, many more could be present than in previous conferences. This year there were nearly 500 registered participants from as far apart as Finland in the north to South Africa in the south, and California in the west to China in the east.

The conference theme was Shaping the Profession. Dialogue as a profession is assuming the form needed to encourage and enable different sectors to work more dialogically. We had substantial evidence of progress in this regard through the conference papers shared with participants beforehand and considered together at the conference. They featured Professional Dialogue work in Education (primary, secondary and adult), Corrections (UK and USA), Social Services (homelessness and care homes for the elderly and those with special needs) and Thinking (including what it takes to create a profession).

During the conference we formally recognised our first Dialogic Organisation, that is the largest state agency in Virginia. Members of their executive, staff and hundreds of trained Dialogue Practitioners were all in evidence at the conference. Their remarkably low recidivism rate adds further clout to the proof that Professional Dialogue can make a material difference for the benefit of society. The decision to accredit Dialogic Organizations is a firm statement of the intention to broaden and deepen the Academy’s impact in the world.

The Academy of Professional Dialogue is a non-profit charity working to develop the whole field of Professional Dialogue. Books released each year through the Academy’s imprint, Dialogue Publications are intended to inspire and inform people about Professional Dialogue. The Academy has a developmental educational programme leading to the accreditation of Dialogue Practitioners. The annual conference gathers Academy Members
to acknowledge and consider their Dialogue work. There are ongoing activities for Members to learn from each other and to deepen their skills. Applications for membership are welcome via the Academy’s website (AofPD.org).

The Spirit of Dialogue in a Digital Age

by Marie-Ève Marchand

We do not lack platforms to communicate or venues to hold political debates, but we seem to sorely miss the time and space to think together. Whether with friends, neighbors or people from different cultural or religious groups, we rarely take the time to explore our basic assumptions and perceptions. Such explorations, however, allow us to better understand ourselves and each other before making our choices or acting on them.
This book is dedicated to the spirit of dialogue. To cultivate it, the author invites us to take up six invitations:

  •  Accept that we are all related
  •  Listen with one’s whole being
  •  Suspend assumptions
  •  Question with warmth and curiosity
  •  Honour the power of words and of silence
  •  Co-create new meaning

Marie-Ève Marchand holds her doctorate in adult education, and her research has focused on group dialogue as a means of develop- ing the reflective capacity of adults. A specialist in organizational dialogue with experience as a senior executive in the Public Service of Canada, she has also been an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Laval University. She is a therapist, a graduate of Toronto’s Gestalt Institute and a member of the international organization The Academy of Professional Dialogue.