'Communication and Dignity'
Thematic Network Meeting, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in Oslo, Norway
'Impuls' - Student Journal of Psychology at the University of Oslo
in cooperation with the World Dignity University initiative
22nd-24th January 2014
See the programme on Education for Peace
and download your invitation and programme in English og program på norsk
Venues: Oslo University Campus at Blindern and Norwegian Centre for Human Rights
English: The focus of the workshops on the 23rd and 24th was on practical tools and methodology in developing, in our communities and societies, communication habits that promote dignity. On Friday, we invited the participants to present their own work.
Norsk: I workshopdagene 23/24 ble fokus på hvordan utvikle i samfunnet gode kommunikasjonsvaner som fremmer verdighet og reduserer konfliktnivået. Fredag inviterte vi deltagerne til å presentere eksempler fra eget arbeid.
Local Hosts, Organisers, and Conveners
See Norges Fredsråd Nyhetsbrev uke 3-4
'Impuls' - Student Journal of Psychology at the University of Oslo
Director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University in Oslo, Norway
• See a personal message by Inga Bostad after the 22/7 terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya sent to our 2011 conference in New Zealand. In this message, Inga Bostad encouraged and urged everybody to engage in dialogue. This message was recorded on 26th August 2011 by Lasse Moer.
• See also Inga Bostad's welcome to our 2012 Oslo Conference
• Please click on the picture at the top or here to see more photos of 23rd January taken by Rachel Aspögård with Evelin's camera
• Please click on the picture at the bottom or here to see more photos of 24th January taken by Rachel Aspögård with Evelin's camera
• Please click here to see more photos by Trine Eklund
How you could get to Oslo and the conference venue
1. If you come from outside of Norway, you can fly to Oslo, Norway's capital (most flights arrive at Gardemoen airport North of the city). You can take the airport train or bus to the city centre. We will help you with instructions, when we know where you are staying. Do not hesitate to ask people. Most Norwegians speak English very well.
2. On public transport in Oslo, you have to buy tickets in advance, before embarking. If you are staying several days, we recommend that you buy a public transport ticket card called Flexcard or Ruter card (or #, see ruter.no). You are able to buy this card in any Narvesen kiosk you see.
3. Oslo has also a T-bane. To get to the campus at Blindern from the city center, take the Sognsvann (nr.6) Storo (nr.3) or Ringen (nr. 4) lines. Get off at Blindern and walk up the road until you come to the map of the campus.
4. To plan your trip with public transport, you can use reiseplanlegger.ruter.no. There you can put in the address where you want to start your trip and the endpoint. You will then be given the best alternatives for your trip.
Day 1: From the city centre, take the metro (T-bane) nr. 1, direction Frognerseteren. Get off at Gaustad, 5 minutes' walk to Harald Schelderups hus, Forskningsveien 3A. The tube goes every 15 minutes, and takes about 10 minutes.
Day 2: From the city centre, take the metro (T-bane) nr. 3, direction Storo. Get off at Blindern, 6 minutes' walk to Georg Svedrups hus, Moltke Moes vei 39. The tube goes every 15 minutes, and takes about 12 minutes.
Day 3 doesn’t really need a map: Follow the tram lines in front of the City Hall, past the Nobel Peace Centre and up the next street (Cort Adelers gata) to the next tram stop. The Centre for Human Rights is in the building right next to the tram stop (it says University of Oslo, Norsk Senter for Menneskerettigheter on the door bell). The Centre is on the first floor (second floor for American English!!).
• Where you could stay in Oslo
• Cochs Pensjonat, Parkveien 25, across the palace park from the city center, on the corner with the shopping street Bogstadveien.
• Anker Apartments, Københavngata 10, in the interesting area of Grünerløkka, near the river.
• Den Blå Dør (the blue door!) Bed and Breakfast, Skedsmogata 2, in Kampen, a delightful old area of Oslo.
• Read about 'Oslo's rapid growth redefines Nordic identity', by Maddy Savage, BBC News, Oslo 16 January 2014.
Please kindly note that...
• We like to get to know participants prior to our conferences and workshops, and prior to issuing an invitation.
• All our gatherings are by invitation only, please approach us so that we can include you and register you. Only our Public Events are open to everybody without registration.
• The Non-Public Parts of our gatherings have limited enrollment.
• Participants are encouraged to find their own sources of funding or economic support to participate in our conferences. We offer our nurturing work as our gift of love and care to you, ad we would like to lovingly invite everybody to contribute to this gift economy. If you need funding for your travels and housing, please inquire in your country and your university about possibilities. See, among others, for the US, www.supportcenter.org and www.foundationscenter.org. The Weinstein International Fellowship program, inaugurated in 2008, provides opportunities for individuals from outside the United States to visit the U.S. to learn more about dispute resolution processes and practices and to pursue a project of their own design that serves to advance the resolution of disputes in their home countries.
• Participants in all our conferences are kindly asked to handle all of their travel arrangements and required documentation, including requests for visas, on their side. HumanDHS is a volunteer initiative and does not have the staff or resources to assist with visa requests.
During our conferences, we always ask all participants for their permission to have their pictures or videos posted on our website, however, if you change your mind later, either in total or for specific pictures/videos, please let us know! Thank you! Since we wish to walk the talk of dignity, it is very important for us to do our utmost in respecting everybody's privacy. We refrain from gathering written permissions from you during our conferences, since we value the building of mutual trust in relationships, and we also would like to refrain from contributing to an ever more bureaucratic and legalistic society.
Thank you, dear Rachel, for taking such lovely pictures! We would like to ask everybody for your permission to include your pictures on our website. Please let us know. In case you change your mind later, please be assured that you can always let the webmaster know and she will remove your picture as soon as she can if you no longer like to be included. It is extremely important for us to have your permission! Thank you very much!
• 22nd January: lecture by Evelin Lindner
• 23rd January: pictures taken by Rachel Aspögård with Evelin's camera
• 24th January: pictures taken by Rachel Aspögård Evelin's camera
• Photos of the entire conference by Trine Eklund
• 22nd January: see the video site of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Oslo for Evelin's lectures since 2009. Thank you, dear Lasse Moer, for your untiring support!
• 23rd and 24th January:
All videos you see further down are on YouTube marked as 'unlisted', which means that only people who know the URL of the particular video can accesss it and it cannot be found by googling. Please let me know whether you wish to have certain videos to be 'public' so that they can be found by the wider public, or if you wish to have certain videos to be 'private' so that only I can give you private access.
Please see the URLs here:
• 23rd January (thank you, dear Randi Gunhildstad, for documenting everything so wonderfully with the video camera!):
- 01 Babs Sivertsen explained how the participants of the 'Communication and Dignity' meeting are to introduce themselves to the other participants: Everybody identified another participant they had not met before, interviewed him/her, and then presented him/her to the plenum
- 02 Elisabet Kristiansen and Evelin Lindner presented each other to the other participants
- 03 Per Glad and Jorun Pareli presented each other to the other participants
- 04 Trine Eklund and Lisbeth Glad presented each other to the other participants
- 04.2 Trine Eklund was presented by Lisbeth Glad to the other participants
- 05 Ingar Evje and Berit Waal presented each other to the other participants
- 06 Sigurd Støren and Elsa-Britt Enger presented each other to the other participants
- 07 Ludmilla and Thomas Daffern presented each other to the other participants
- 08 Ingrid Brudevoll and Caroline Øverland presented each other to the other participants
- 09 Randi Gunhildstad and Rachel Aspögård presented each other to the other participants
- 10 Babs Sivertsen invited into her work with empathic communication
- 11 Elsa-Britt Enger invited into her work with empathic communication
- 12 Evelin Lindner explained the Dignilogue approach (dignity + dialogue) that the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network has developed over the years, taking its inspiration from the Open Space Technology by Harrison Owen, who is also a member of the HumanDHS Global Advisory Board
- 13.1+2 Thomas Daffern presented his Global Peace Philosophy Part 1 | Part 2 (we apologise that part 1 ends abruptly, due to technical reasons; we thank Randi Gunhildstad for documenting part 2 with her mobile phone)
- 13.3 Evelin Lindner explained her 'sunflower identity' conceptualisation (we thank Randi Gunhildstad for documenting this sequence with her mobile phone; see also 'Living Globally: Global Citizenship of Care as Personal Practice', the long version of Lindner's contribution to the anthology Norwegian Citizen - Global Citizen, 2013)
• 24th January (Evelin did the video-recording):
- Bjørn Ekelund (unfortunately, to our great regret, due to technical problems, this presentation could not be video-recorded at the time. Please see: Diversity Icebreaker Applied in Conflict Management, presentation recorded for the proceedings of the 'Communication and Dignity' meeting of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network, 22nd - 24th January, Oslo, Norway, published on 3rd March 2014.
- Veslemøy Wiese (unfortunately, to our great regret, due to technical problems, this presentation could not be video-recorded)
- 14 Rachel Aspögård
- 15 Berit Waal
- 16 Elisabeth Kristiansen
- 17 Lisbeth Vilkan Glad and Per Glad
- Ingeborg Breines (without video)
- 18 Thomas Daffern
- 19 Babs Sivertsen
by Linda Hartling, 2004
In our meetings we aim at creating a humiliation-free, collaborative learning environment characterised by mutual respect, mutual empathy, and openness to difference. The perspective of 'appreciative enquiry' is a useful frame of our work. Our HumanDHS efforts are not just about the work we do together, but also about HOW WE WORK TOGETHER. At appropriate points during our meetings, for example at the end of each day, we take a moment to reflect on the practices observed that contributed to an appreciative/humiliation-free learning experience.
It is important to emphasise that an appreciative approach is not about expecting people to agree. In fact, differences of opinion enrich the conversation and deepen people's understanding of ideas. Perhaps, this could be conceptualised as 'waging good conflict' (Jean Baker Miller), which means practicing radical respect for differences and being open to a variety of perspectives and engaging others without contempt or rankism. As we have seen in many fields, contempt and rankism drain energy away from the important work that needs to be done. Most people only know 'conflict' as a form of war within a win/lose frame. 'Waging good conflict', on the other side, is about being empathic and respectful, making room for authenticity, creating clarity, and growth.
• An Appreciative Frame: Beginning a Dialogue on Human Dignity and Humiliation, written by Linda in 2005
• Appreciative Facilitation: Hints for Round Table Moderators, kindly written in February 2006 by Judith Thompson to support the moderators of our workshops.
• Buddhist Teachings on Right Speech, which relate to our quest for appreciative enquiry, caring and being.
Appreciative Enquiry, a video recorded on October 30, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, USA, for the World Dignity University initiative
• Linda Hartling: Presenting the Frame of Appreciative Enquiry, a video uploaded onto YouTube on August 4, 2012, in preparation of this conference.
Please see introductory videos created by Linda Hartling:
Welcome to Everybody, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
Our Appreciative Frame, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
Our Open Space Dignilogue Format, created on 12th August 2012 for our 2012 Norway Conference
Trine Eklund, Host, Organiser, Convener
Trine Eklund was born in Oslo, Norway. Since 1980, Trine is active in the Norwegian peace movement, among others in the “Nordic Women’s Peace Marches” against nuclear weapons in Europe (1981), in the USSR (1982), and the USA (1983). From 1986 –1989, Trine headed the Norwegian Peace Council, an umbrella organization for about 20 peace organizations... She is now active in different Norwegian peace organizations, such as Grandmothers for Peace (see video) and Seniors for Palestina. [read more]
Babs Sivertsen, Host, Organiser, Convener
Barbara Rowen Sivertsen was originally educated as a biochemist, and worked for years as a science teacher. Teaching science took her to countries caught up in in conflict (Nigeria right after the Biafran war, or Colombia) and she started wondering how teachers could contribute to a culture for peace. She transferred to peace work, later becoming director of the umbrella organization for Norwegian Peace NGOs – the Norwegian Peace Council. [read more]
Caroline Øverland, Host, Organiser, Convener
Evelin Gerda Lindner, Medical Doctor, Clinical and Social Psychologist, Ph.D. (Dr. med.), Ph.D. (Dr. psychol.), Organiser of the HumanDHS Conferences, Supporting the Local Conveners
Evelin Gerda Lindner is the Founding President of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) network and initiator of the World Dignity University initiative. She is a transdisciplinary social scientist and humanist who holds two Ph.D.s, one in medicine and one in psychology. In 1996, she designed a research project on the concept of humiliation and its role in genocide and war. German history served as starting point. She is the recipient of the 2006 SBAP Award and 2009 'Prisoner’s Testament' Peace Award. She is affiliated with the University of Oslo, Norway, with its Centre for Gender Research, and with its Department of Psychology (folk.uio.no/evelinl/), furthermore, with the Columbia University Conflict Resolution Network (CU-CRN), which was superseded, in 2009, by the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4) at Columbia University, New York. She is also affiliated with the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris. Lindner is teaching globally, including in South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Africa, and other places globally. [read more]
Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Social Psychologist, Organiser of the HumanDHS Conferences, Supporting the Local Conveners
Dr. Linda M. Hartling is the Director of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS). She is also a Member of the HumanDHS Global Advisory Board, HumanDHS Global Core Team, HumanDHS Global Coordinating Team, HumanDHS Research Team, and HumanDHS Education Team. She is the Editor of the Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (JHDHS).
Hartling is affiliated with the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Stone Center, which is part of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Until November 2008, she was its Associate Director. Hartling is a member of the JBMTI theory-building group advancing the practice of the Relational-Cultural Theory, which is a new model of psychological development. In addition, Hartling coordinates and contributes to training programs, publications, and special projects for the JBMTI. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical/community psychology and has published papers on resilience, substance abuse prevention, shame and humiliation, relational practice in the workplace, and Relational-Cultural Theory. [read more]
Humiliation: Real Pain, A Pathway to Violence, the draft of Linda's paper for Round Table 2 of our 2005 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York.
Humiliation: Assessing the Impact of Derision, Degradation, and Debasement, first published in The Journal of Primary Prevention, 19(4): 259-278, co-authored with T. Luchetta, 1999.
Shame and Humiliation: From Isolation to Relational Transformation, the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMIT), Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College No. 88, Wellesley, MA 02481, co-authored with Wendy Rosen, Maureen Walker, Judith V. Jordan, 2000.
Humiliation and Assistance: Telling the Truth About Power, Telling a New Story, paper prepared for the 5th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies 'Beyond Humiliation: Encouraging Human Dignity in the Lives and Work of All People', in Berlin, 15th -17th September, 2005.
Wednesday, 22nd January 2014
Venue: Psychology Institute of the University of Oslo, Blindern University Campus Harald Schjelderups hus Forskningsveien 3A, Auditorium 3
|10:15-12:00||Verdighet eller Ydmykelse / Dignity or Humiliation
Foredrag/lecture (på norsk/in Norwegian) Evelin Lindner
Del av/part of PSYC3203 - Anvendt sosialpsykologi).
See the video site of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Oslo for Evelin's lectures since 2009
12.30 - 14.30 (approxi-mately)
|For our visitors from outside Oslo and Norway: guided tour in the City Hall of Oslo by Trine Eklund|
Thursday, 23rd January 2014
Venue: U1, Blindern University Campus Georg Sverdrups hus, Stort møterom, 2nd floor
Welcome by Evelin Lindner
Introductions (on video):
Conflict Staircase, Empathic (non-violent) Communication: A tool in Conflict Transformation and a Counterbalance to Humiliation (see also www.educationforpeace.com)
Lunch in the university canteen
Open space workshop (Dignilogue), with working groups
|Evening|| Dinner together at the traditional restaurant Lorry, and Kunstnernes hus
Friday, 24th January 2014
Venue: Norwegian Center for Human Rights Cort Adelers Gata 30
Welcome by Inga Bostad
|9.00|| A Dignity Mosaic:
This morning session was devoted to short presentations of the work of our participants, and their richly diverse contributions to the development of improved communication habits.
Bjørn Ekelund (unfortunately, to our great regret, due to technical problems, this presentation could not be video-recorded)
Veslemøy Wiese (unfortunately, to our great regret, due to technical problems, this presentation could not be video-recorded)
Lisbeth Vilkan Glad and Per Glad
Ingeborg Breines (without video)
Lunch in the canteen in the Centre for Human Rights building
Plenum with report from the groups, summary and conclusions
Cultural contributions in the course of the day by Thomas Daffern
We have thought about how to dignify the way we conduct our conferences for many years. The Open Space movement has started from the observation that after mainstream academic conferences, the participants, when asked, often say: 'Oh, I slept through the presentations, but the coffee breaks were wonderful!' The creators of the Open Space approach thought: 'Ok, why don't we create conferences that are structured like coffee breaks!' Please read more about the originator of the Open Space Technology, Harrison Owen.
In other words, the basic idea behind the Open Space approach is that most academic conference are rather boring. Invited speakers might not be in tune with the audience. Reading papers aloud may be particularly uncommunicative.
We aim at co-creating our conferences, in contrast to traditional conferences. We take a highly collaborative approach to determining how to use our time. The Dignilogue approach allows for identifying priorities for dialogue sessions on key topics.
In practice, on Day One of our conference, we, the participants, make the programme for Day Two and Day Three together, in a collaborative effort. All participants are both presenters and audience, there is no separation, there is no pre-planned programme, except for the introductory part (and the Public Event). We are aware that this approach is new to most people, yet, it opens new dimensions. We invite every participant to join us and try. It has an profoundly dignifying impact and, as our participants always tell us afterwards.
We have adapted the Open Space approach, added the term dialogue, and connected it with dignity to form the expression Dignilogue (see also our Video page for how peace linguist Francisco Gomes de Matos has inspired this linguistic creation).
Please watch the Introduction into the Dignilogue Sessions Format by Linda M. Hartling (created on 13th August 2012). Please read here more about the Dignilogue format and what it entails. See also Open Space Tools by Peggy Holman.
We invited the group to create mini-videos of dialogue for the World Dignity University if they wished so. Please see www.worlddignityuniversity.org.
As mentioned above, the Dignilogue approach means developing the programme of the conference on the first day.
See further down a list of the topics that were proposed prior to the conferene but did not manifest in the actual conference because their initiators were hindered to join us in the conference.
See here two topics that had been proposed prior to the conference and which later merged with other themes that were spontaneously put forward in the course of the conference:
• Caroline Øverland
• Berit Ås
• Lisbet and Per Vilkan Glad
• Bjørn Z. Ekelund
• Elisabeth Kristiansen
• Ingar Evje
• Veslemøy Wiese
• Berit Wahl
• Sissel Melby
• Ingrid Brudevoll
They were unfortunately hindered to join us:
• Dan Baron offered to speak to us via video connection from the Brazilian Amazon (7 hours time difference, it is early in the morning in Brazil when it is afternoon in Oslo) on the Arts-based Pedagogical Work in the Amazonian North of Brazil that he and his partner Mano Souza conduct in Brazil. Unfortunately, we did not manage to realize this plan. Dan wrote (20th January 2014) 'Hi Evelin. Here are two thoughts: how about showing one or two bilingual videos from the Amazon this week, for group discussion, with a view to then creating a collective action? One could be Mano's statement - displaying dignity in the face of adversity, lack of transparency and exclusion... The other Festival Beleza Amazônica, could discuss the study in youth dignity, in their own documentary, living in the dangerous circumstances of Maraba. Both could end with posted statements. March will be fine! all our love, Dan'
See more here:
Festival Beleza Amazônica: The project Rios de Encontro based in the community of Cabelo Seco, Marabá, Amazon, Brazil, cultivates young leaders through artistic formation to care for themselves and to transform the afro-indigenous roots in to a project for a sustainable futures, see riosdeencontro.wordpress.com.
Vídeo-carta à Ministra da Cultura: diálogo já! Vídeo-carta à Ministra da Cultura: Marta, a Rede ABRA e parceiros de 72 países exigem diálogo, transparência e resolução bilateral da pendência com IDEA 2010, já! Video-letter to the Minister of Culture: Marta, ABRA and partners from 72 countries demand dialogue, transparency and bilateral resolution of the debt to IDEA 2010, now! Published on Jan 14, 2014.
Earlier, Dan had shared with us the story of Alexandre and how he was executed in his wheelchair. See Alexandre in the picture on the left. Click on the pictures or here to see more photos. See the videos made in Brazil when Evelin spent time there in June 2012. See also Evelin's Digniventure reflections.
Daniel Baron is a playwright, community-based arts-educator and cultural activist, presently living and working in Marabá, in the Amazonian state of Pará, northern Brazil. He studied English Literature at Oxford University where he did doctoral research into theatre as popular education. After a decade of community theatre and mural collaborations dedicated to conflict transformation and social justice with excluded communities in Manchester (Northern England) and Derry (North of Ireland), in 1994 Dan accepted a permanent post in theatre and popular education at the University of Glamorgan, in Wales. He left Wales in 1998 to collaborate as a Visiting Professor at the State University of Santa Catarina and has been collaborating with communities within the Landless, Indigenous, Trade Union and University movements of Brazil ever since. His Pedagogy of Transformance emerged through these collaborations and dialogues with other cultural movements in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Two national awards in 2008 and 2010 from the Ministry of Culture and a national UNICEF award in 2011 allowed Dan to accept an invitation to live and collaborate with the Afro-Indigenous community of Cabelo Seco ('dry hair'), founding community of the city of Marabá, in the quest to develop sustainable communities through living popular culture.
Between 2004-10 Dan was the President of IDEA (International Drama/Theatre and Education Association), and Coordinator of the World Alliance for Arts Education between 2006-2010. He is a member of the World Council of the World Social Forum.
Rios + 20 Amazon Dialogues: Evelin Lindner had been invited to Rio + 20 in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, but chose to go to Marabá in Pará with her video camera instead. She chose Marabá over Rio + 20 because, as she had learned, the voices of the people in the Amazon are not heard. She wanted to hear them and bring their voices to larger audiences. Her hosts were Daniel Baron Cohen, known in Brazil as Dan Baron, or Dan, and Manoela Paula Latronica de Souza, known as Mano Souza, or Mano, and their Rivers of Meeting community project (Rios de Encontro) in Cabelo Seco ('dry hair'), which is the founding community of Marabá at the confluence of two rivers, Rio Tocantins and Rio Itacaiúnas (the name 'dry hair' comes from the observation that the hair of Africans is so tightly coiled that it does not get wet when bathing in the river).
Dan Baron, please click on the picture to see it larger.
The Castanheiras of Eldorado dos Carajas 1999 (10m x 15m x 25m), please click on the picture to see it larger.
Military police is moved to sing in the school of the assassinated art educator Maria Silva, 24th August, NovaIpixuna, Para, Amazonia. Please click on the picture to see it larger. See also Colheita em Tempos de Seca or Harvest In Times of Draught, a CD that provides a celebration of the Amazon as a source of human values and rich popular culture, by those who live both everyday. But it also reminds of its vulnerability. It is an inspiring resource for all educators and communities who seek a sustainable future
Participants who could unfortunately not join us:
• Vanessa McAdams-Mahmoud
• Ingrid Skyllstad
• Andrew Herold
• Anja Tiller
• Brandon Scott
• Bernt Hauge
Donald Klein explained the Open Space design as follows (2006): It involves creating a kind of 'marketplace' of possibilities based on topics nominated by participants. The only requirement is that whoever nominates the topic, acts as the convener of the discussion of the topic and takes responsibility for having notes taken. A report is subsequently made about the essence of what was discussed, including any conclusions or recommendations, at a plenary session following the topic groups.
The Open Space design has the advantage of focussing on whatever is of greatest interest to participants at the moment. It allows for parallel discussion of multiple topics, followed by a period of sharing and general discussion.
Alan Klein kindly wrote (31/10/2005): One of the key elements in making an OS event successful is the focusing of the question that the participants respond to. Another is being clear about what will be done with the information presented and/or decisions made in the OS event itself.
I would like you all (and any others who should be involved in this as well) to begin thinking and dialoguing about what would be the most question that you would most like to see grappled with by the participants. This may or may not include a sense of the decision(s), or type of decision(s) that you want the participants to come to or you may decide that the OS event is just for gathering and focusing energy and not to some to any decisions.
On 14th December, 2005, we had a Board Meeting in NY:
We discussed our Open Space Section. Don explained that we could have different levels, a more open and general level and a more focused level. At the more open level we would discuss what is on our minds, at the more focused level, we would form 'buzzgroups' on particular topics, such as business, research, education, fundraising, non-profit.
Don Klein wrote (30/12/2005):
[...] The main point I recall dwelling on at some length had to do with deciding first on the content of a session and its purpose; then deciding what meeting technology to use. Open Space is often used when the purpose is to make it possible for individuals to focus on aspects of a general topic that are of special interest to them. The participants themselves choose what they want to discuss. No one knows in advance how many groups there will be and what they'll be discussing.
Buzz groups are used as a way to break a large meeting down into smaller sections (usually from six to twelve or so people). All the buzz groups can be assigned the same topic; or different buzz groups can be assigned different aspects of the same topic; or buzz groups may be divided among two or more different - usually related - topics.
The main point is to decide what is to be the topical focus and what outcomes are desired from a session. Then pick the technique that promises to help us achieve the purpose.
Sophie Schaarschmidt kindly wrote (02/01/2006):
What I would suggest for a following workshop (and this is my very personal view) is to create discussion forums as open choices. The open space technology as I know it, and as it is used mainly in the field of training involves participants in a unique way. The first step is like an open brainstorm session involving all participants. In this session, participants can come up with a topic that they want to (present and) discuss. All topics are written down and similar topics might be combined into one topic. This process can happen either beforehand via email or a web-forum or at the workshop on a blackboard. Once the discussion topics are defined the person that proposed a certain topic would announce a time and a space when and where the topic will be discussed. In a full day of open-space, up to 50 topics could be discussed. People are free to join and leave a discussion. As a metaphor, people are like bees flying from one topic to another, participating in a discussion as long as it feeds their interest and taking the honey from it as well as contributing to it, and leaving the discussion when it takes a turn into a direction that they are less interested in or when they wish to participate in other discussions on other topics as well. Normally people take part in 3 to 10 discussions a day. Therefore, people are free to select the topics they are interested in and move to other discussions, as listener or both, listener and contributor. Each discussion group is also free in putting their time frame, and scheduling breaks. Of course, there should be a time frame for the open-space session, let's say it would take place from 1pm to 5pm in the afternoon. Yet, discussion groups can schedule their space (location), time frame (a discussion could last half an hour or three hours: as much as it takes to explore the issue) and breaks themselves. The only condition is that the discussion topic, its location and starting time will be announced (or written down on a public board) so that all participants know when which subject will be discussed where.
I participated twice in such an open-space session and I was very much impressed by its power and evolving possibilities. Not only were people more active, excited and engaged, taking little breaks, but also people felt they could gain and contribute most in this process. They felt they were free to choose which discussions to engage in, and it was an easy way to make contacts with those people interested and engaged in topics similar to one's own. By being able to set an own time frame discussions were deeper than usual, and by participants moving from one topic to another, joining (and making new contributions) or leaving a discussion the discussions stayed vivid and interesting, and many perspectives could be shared. At the end of a discussion each group filled in an A4 page which contained the title of the discussion group, a list of the names of the people who contributed in the discussion, and a summary of what was discussed (the main stances). All the discussion summaries can be combined to a book at the end of the conference providing people with a tremendous treasure of topics and insights.
Another advantage of the open-space technology (as I experienced it) is that people stay 'fresh' in the workshop. The discussion excites and revives people and forms a good basis for getting to know each other and going on with the discussions at a later time in the workshop (e.g. during lunch).
It might be worthy to try the open-space technology in a HumanDHS workshop meeting substituting the round table sessions, or in addition to them. The only difficulty I'm aware of might be that we would need many spaces (rooms) where the discussion groups could spread for their discussions.
Good luck for your work in 2006!
Linda M. Hartling kindly wrote in response to a message from Carlos Sluzki (21/01/2006):
How do we maximize the quality of work together when we are a group of individuals with dramatically varying levels of experience? This is such an important topic I think we should discuss it at our next meeting in Costa Rica. Perhaps, we could use some of our Board meeting time to discuss this? In addition, perhaps we could use some of our 'open space' time to explore people's view of this dilemma? I suspect that all of us involved with the operations of this network share a desire to optimize our efforts, to move the work forward efficiently and effectively. When we use an all-inclusive format at our meetings, we risk back tracking and dealing with questions that have obvious answers (e.g., convincing some newer attendees of the significance humiliating behavior). (...) In the words of Peter Drucker, I would like to see our group create conditions that 'strengthen our effectiveness and make our weaknesses irrelevant'. But, how do we do this in a way that promotes the dignity of all the people who attend our meetings? I'm trying to think of some examples of organizations that do this... perhaps, Linda Stout's Piedmont Peace Project? Not too long ago I read a book entitled, 'The Wisdom of Crowds', which I think is relevant to our questions about inclusion/exclusion. It
describes the conditions for 'wise crowds'. (Surowiecki, J. (2004). The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations. New York: Doubleday.)
Don Klein responded (28/01/2006):
I very much support the focus on where we want to go. Suggest working in interest groups part of the time: i.e., education, research, civic action, global community building. And include a way for groups to emerge around other areas of interest. for that matter, if only one person had an
interest and wanted to develop it further and then share his/her thoughts with us, that might also be possible.
Don Klein wrote (28/01/2006):
I'd like to offer some experiences with the network originally known as National Training Laboratories. This network, begun around 1950, is sstill in existence today; it has changed, however, in ways that seem relevant to the issues raised.
The network originally was a group of 'originators' of theory and practice in the area of group dynamics. Most of them had participated in the discovery of 'sensitivity groups' or the t=group method. After almost a decade, the more experienced people in the network became Fellows, as distinct from ordinary Members of the network. To admit someone to their membership, all the Fellows had to agree that the applicant's credentials merited inclusion in the Fellows. During t his initial period, which lasted about ten years, selected members of the network participated as staff members of two and three-week training programs for the general public, using the t-group method. An enormous amount of theory building took place as faculty spent three or four days preparing each of the training labs. It should be noted that most of the network were academics engaged in one or another of the social sciences, in areas related to democratic participation in social change. They were all motivated by their common passion and some of them felt that the two or three weeks they spent with their colleagues from around the country were the most meaningful and exciting of the entire year.
In the 1960s, questions arose about the suitability of having a 'class' system in the network. The Fellows were seen as an anti-democratic perversion of the ideals and purposes of NTL. And so the Fellows class was discontinued.
At about the same time, financial difficulties led to a reorganization of NTL, which included dissolution of the existing netework and inviting a more diverse group (sex, race, and ethnically) to form a new network. The theory and practice of Organization Development, meanwhile, had emerged and more and more of NTLs network members became engaged in OD practice, while fewer and fewer network members were engaged in academic pursuits.
In my view the social impact and creativity of the current network have been reduced by NTL's growing emphasis on operating profitably as a 'business'.
There is currently an upsurge (how strong we don't know) of those wishing to advocate working on participative ways to democratize our institutions and our society. Some of the network members are placing an increased emphasis on creating an international network and of promoting global community.
A major point in all of this history for me is that there is no 'ideal' and certainly no 'absolute' way of resolving questions having to do with competency, interest, and inclusion. Based on the above history, my inclination is to favor the 'class' system; i.s., creating a group of qualified researchers, practitioners, and policy shapers to work together to shape, participate in, and contribute knowledge and skills to the work of HDHS network, including those activities that enable it to raise money by grants, contracts, income from training programs, and contributions.
These comments are lengthy. I hope they're helpful.
Linda M. Hartling wrote (27/04/2006):
In terms of Open Space...I think we should have some of the same groups we had in Berlin, with room for a couple of new groups. For example, we could have an education group, a research group, a business group, etc. It would be helpful to have these key groups continue their discussions, rather than creating all new groups. Didn't we talk about having 'buzz groups', meaning groups addressing topics that people want to continue to move forward? The education, research, and business groups could be buzz groups.
The following Open Space groups were proposed but the facilitators are unable to come. If you are interested in the topics, please contact them.
Here is a list of other topics that have been proposed for Open Space Sessions prior to the conference:
Giving Voices to the Environmentally Humiliated and Misrecognized: Nature and Women by Keitaro Morita (adapted from a similar presentation at the 9th Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in Hangzhou, China, 13th-16th April 2007)
Familiarization and Its Ways: Is Ragging/Bullying an Archaic Method of Interaction, facilitated by Harsh Agarwal (2009)
Humiliation and Dreams, a talk/session by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)
Asian Religious Worldviews and Alienation, and/or Alienation and Dreams, a talk/session by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)
Video Series of the Causes and Patterns of Humiliating Experiences Through Role Play by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan (2009)
D. Raja Ganesan kindly wrote on January 15, 2009: 'I take this opportunity to suggest that a video series of the causes and patterns of humiliating experiences through role play of well established principles of social psychology--both culture free and culture fair--through role play and simulation be taken under the auspices of our group'.
Intercultural Research, faciliated by International Academy of Intercultural Research (IAIR) researchers (2009)
The Role of Dignity and Humiliation for How We Relate to Other Animals by Michael W. Fox (2010)
The Role of Human Dignity in Nepal by Chandra Prasad Siwakoti (2012)
Synergy in understanding between the occurrence of violence in Norway and Nepal will be explored.
Between Conspiracy Theories and Madness, by Katrine Fangen (2012)
Katrine Fangen, Ph.D., is a Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology of the University of Oslo. She has published several books and journal articles within the research-field of racism, national, political and ethnic identity, stigmatisation and youth subcultures. [read more]
The Concept of Human Dignity in Indigenous Philosophies Project, by Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo and Tashi Nyima (2012)
All participants are warmly invited to send in papers.
Please notify us, if you wish to submit any of your papers also as a book chapter or as a journal article.
Please see earlier submitted papers here:
• List of All Publications
Evelin Lindner (2013)
Living Globally: Global Citizenship of Care as Personal Practice
See the long version of Lindner's contribution to the anthology Norwegian Citizen - Global Citizen, 2013
(A Global Citizen lecture series took place at the University of Oslo during fall 2012)