The dream of Conversations to Change the World is this:
The development of trained teams of leaders of civil dialogue – who cross faith, vocational, race, gender, generational and any other lines that separate. The work of each team then is to go into communities where a sponsoring organization or organizations will invite individuals into training for the conversations-participants who will in turn commit to utilizing the concepts of civil dialogue in the world in their own circles of influence-workplace, homes and areas of influence – for at least one year, after which they will return to their gathering place with the sponsoring organization and report on the experience.
Our experience on a local scale has been a recognition of the changes that take place when individuals of all ages come to recognize behaviors and understand impacts, and then learn that there are alternative behaviors that can mean different and preferred impacts in conversations, relationships and possibilities..
My dream is not a miracle cure for a broken world. It IS a building of potential, of a human immune system against a virus that is eating us alive.
Is it an impossible dream?
I believe it is a proposition of the possible, a way to begin, to choose to BE the change we want to see in the world.
What if partnering organizations across the United States… and perhaps eventually, in other countries… agreed to be the host group for training key leaders from various systems in their communities?
What if academic, legal, educational, business, athletic, political, mental health, medical, social services leaders identified and invited to participate in the training, and carry the practices of civil dialogue and supporting theories back into their own system in practice for a year… and then come back together to report on what happened?
How might a system, and a community, be impacted if its leaders model listening to each other? Honoring each other’s truth? Naming dysfunctional behaviors in a way that leads to constructive change and focuses on potential rather than problems?
Is it possible to change our own little parts of the world….on the way to impacting the larger world? I believe it is. Our experience tells us it is. And others believe it is possible as well. The work has already begun.
The pioneering partner for Conversations to Change the World is the Oklahoma Methodist Manor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They did their initial training of Board of Trustee members, Senior staff, resident council and individual leaders in April 2015, and are moving forward in their system with next steps.
Conversations are underway in other locations. Would you like to help change the world – starting with the world where you are?
Let’s begin the conversation…..to change as much of the world as it is possible for us each to touch.