voice of humanity: Response to Heiner Benking's "Dialogues and Conversations" paper    
 Response to Heiner Benking's "Dialogues and Conversations" paper7 comments
picture14 Jul 2006 @ 02:12, by Roger Eaton

Heiner, your "Dialogues and Conversations" article has put my head in a swirl! It almost makes me feel that if we can actually understand something, anything, that something must therefore be simplistic and not representative of reality. Conversely, since I don't fully understand your article, it really might be on the right track!!! But, kidding aside, it is well to be reminded that things are more complicated than they seem, and multiply that by 7 when dealing with global issues.


A key idea I come away with is Bela Benathy's distinction between generative and strategic dialog. Quoting from your paper,

-------------begin quote-----------

Dialogue (Generative) is a "mode of social discourse .... applied to generate a common frame of thinking, shared meaning and a collective world-view in a group." In generative dialog people may prefer a certain position, but they are willing to suspend it. They are willing to listen to others to understand the meaning of their position. They are able to face disagreement without confrontation and are willing to explore points of view that they don't subscribe to personally...

"Generative dialog is not a tool for addressing specific task-focussed issues."
"Generative dialogue becomes the core process of transforming the group into a 'community '."

Dialog (Strategic) "focuses on specific issues and tasks in organizational and social
systems settings". Banathy advocates "Generative dialogue and Strategic dialogue
as a combined methodology for Design conversation ".

------------end quote-----------

The bottom-up "Group Dialog" process I am working with is stronger on the generative side than on the strategic, so I am glad to be reminded that we need strategic global dialog as well. Perhaps strategic global dialog is naturally the function of a world parliament, but it would be most excellent if we could a practical method to involve interested parties directly in strategic global talks on a massive scale. Please correct me if I missed something, but the co-laboratories and the new agoras and the Open Space and the Structured Design Process (SDP) seemed all to be processes for limited numbers at one time in one dialogue. The question that intrigues me is how to have unlimited participation in a strategic dialog that is designed to work through complex issues without slighting the complexity.



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7 comments

29 Apr 2008 @ 12:45 by John B @211.30.166.201 : Source
Source for Heiner's article is a dead link.  


22 Aug 2008 @ 20:07 by Heiner @89.62.103.9 : your comment
all thes links www.benking.de/dialog and http://benking.de/dialog/conversations-dialogues2006.html might help. Heiner  


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