Collective Inquiry & Community Conversations
Appreciative Inquiry Commons
'AI Commons' is devoted to the sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change. The site is hosted by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. Appreciative Inquiry is the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations and the relevant world around them.
In 1991, the Utne Reader, an alternative press magazine, led with an article on Salons, online and face-to-face forums which foster conversation, connection, engagement, and community involvement. The organization was bombarded with interest from readers to start salons and 10 years and 500 salons later, they continue to sponsor neighborhood face-to-face conversations, as well as online conversations.
Vicki Robin, a pioneer in the voluntary simplicity movement, came up with the idea of using the "conversation caf?" model in attempts to take her ideas of simpler living to a higher level. Her organization has more than 60 trained caf? hosts and has spread internationally after a tremendous start in Seattle.
David Bohm Resources
This site provides a plethora of links to articles, books and information about and by David Bohm, a well-respected contemporary physicist whose contributions to science and philosophy include a kind of free-form, sustained dialogue.
Future Search Network
The Future Search Network initiates future search conferences, innovative planning conferences used world-wide by hundreds of communities and organizations. The conferences meet two goals at the same time: helping large diverse groups discover values, purposes and projects they hold in common; and enabling people to create a desired future together and start implementing right away.
Global Dialogue Institute
Temple University's Global Dialogue Institute promotes a process called "Deep-Dialogue" within and among the cultures, religions and other direction-shaping forces of the world. GDI fosters the Three Dimensions of Deep-Dialogue (ethics, globality and spirituality) by organizing and promoting research, publications, and face-to-face Inter-World Encounters in its Twelve-Step Program to Deep-Dialogue.
The Heartland Institute based in the Twin Cities sponsors public forums called "Thought Leader Gatherings" in which a speaker primes a group of about 200 with suggestions and ideas to move them to think about the "integration of personal growth with what we do in the world." After small group discussion, the audience reunites in the final hour.
Open Space Institute - U.S.
The Open Space Institute - US is one of many Open Space Institutes worldwide, all born and raised by the efforts of volunteer members. The Institute is an inclusive learning community that provides access to resources on Open Space and connects individuals and groups to inform, inspire, mentor, and sustain each other in opening and holding space. Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired, self-organized meetings and events. In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance.
The Society for Philosophical Inquiry
SPI is a grassroots nonprofit organization comprised of philosophical inquirers of all ages and walks of life who form "communities of philosophical inquiry," through Socrates Caf?s. Caf?s take place at coffee houses, libraries, hospices, senior centers, prisons, bookstores, homeless shelters, schools and more. SPI's diverse members are devoted to resuscitating the once time-honored art and skill of Socratic philosophical inquiry. The Socrates Caf? method of dialogue (based on Socrates' ways of facilitating learning through continuous questioning) is spontaneous yet rigorous, and inspires participants to articulate and discover their unique philosophical perspectives and worldview. The Caf?s encourage participants to become more autonomous thinkers and more engaged and empathetic citizens.
The Taos Institute is a community of scholars and practitioners working to explore, extend and share the view that, through human relationships, we construct our realities, moralities and aspirations. Participants collaborate to design and promote creative, appreciative, and relational practices in families, communities and organizations around the world.
The Table, or TT, is a free-for-all m ?lange of ideas, comments, and images. Run by an international group that claims TT is the only ongoing online (David) Bohm Dialogue, TT encourages people to contribute to the dialogue by writing or sending pictures, movies or sounds... ?as in Bohm Dialogue: there are no rules, anythinkg goes.?
Juanita Brown and David Isaacs from Whole Systems Associates use the model of the caf? setting to create a warm, inviting environment in which people can converse. Participants gather informally at small tables and are encouraged to map out the ideas generated from conversation onto the paper table cloths covering the tables.