Conversations get stuck. Tension escalates. This is common where a voice is ignored, marginalised or simply not heard.
Polarities are normal. Where there is a “Yes” there will be a “No”. The challenge is to create flow between these polarities, to allow them to enter into meaningful conversation with each other.
If it were that simple there would be no problem. In society there is seldom one “Yes” and one “No”. Polarities intertwine and shift. Conditions constantly shift. We cannot solve these dynamic complex problems with linear thinking and linear processes. Something more is needed.
Our local authorities increasingly lack meaningful conversations about contentious issues. They avoid inclusive decision-making processes. Decision-makers rely on their democratic mandate to initiate and implement change. When these leaders are no longer trusted or lack legitimacy, tension escalates.
When safe spaces are created where people with differing perspectives can meet and say what needs to be said, destructive conflicts can be avoided. Solutions can be found – together. Our mission is to enable people to create these safe spaces for meaningful and productive conversation and in so doing strengthen democracy and create a more sustainable society.
Our work is inspired by the Lewis method of Deep Democracy based on the work Arnold Mindell, by the Transformative Mediation approach developed by Joseph Folger and Baruch Bush as well as by many others we meet and work with.