An exploration and assessment of recurring troubles facing humanity. Hope is combined with realism based on confidence in the energies and capacities of individuals as civic agents outside government to meet the pressing challenges we face today.
• BOOKS •
People in our deeply, angrily divided world desperately need peaceful and productive ways of relating to each other. Rooted in four decades of intense experience in deep-seated human conflicts, Saunders presents a peaceful way of transforming destructive relationships and designing change.
Harold Saunders, Former Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter Administration, with extensive experience in the US government, particularly on the Arab-Israeli conflict and later as Director for International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation, presents a step-by-step approach to organizing sustained dialogue in conflict situations.
• ARTICLES •
Changing the Conversation: Emerging Better Dialogue Practices Seen Through Four Lenses
SDI’s president, Rev. Mark Farr, has contributed a chapter to Peace Building Through Dialogue: Education, Human Transformation, and Conflict Resolution (edited by Peter N. Stearns), a collection of essays about the many dimensions of dialogue. His contribution draws from his rich journey through life as a psychotherapist in private practice, a Christian priest, leading an organization devoted to political reconciliation on Capitol Hill, and working at Sustained Dialogue primarily on matters of international diplomacy to compare and contrast the unique […]
Transformative Experience, Conflict Resolution and Sustained Dialogue
The roots of conflict, whether international, community or interpersonal, are most often expressed in antagonistic attitudes or perspectives towards ‘the other’. Such attitudes frequently are deeply embedded and resistant to change. Yet lasting resolution of conflict is difficult, if not impossible, unless such attitudes of hatred, mistrust and anger can be addressed. This article begins with insights from science that shows that transformation of such perceptions under certain circumstances can occur. We then describe a well-tested but little known approach […]
Sustained Dialogue: How Students Are Changing Their Own Racial Climate
In 2006, Priya Parker, realizing the University of Virginia’s campus climate needed dialogue, created a student-led process to improve race relations. The campus approach brings small groups of students from widely different backgrounds together for a year of deep conversation.
Six Years of Sustained Dialogue at Ethiopian Universities
Currently, The Life and Peace Institute and the Peace and Development Centre have introduced SD in Haramaya University in eastern Ethiopia, and Jimma University in South Western Ethiopia. LPI and PDC have been implementing SD in Haramaya University since April 2013 and 300 students were involved in the project. Since March 2014, implementation of SD in Jimma University has begun. Like in Haramaya University 300 students will be involved and at the request of the University, LPI and its partner PDC are setting the ground for adding a new dimension to SD in JU where faculty and administrative staff will be part of the SD.
Dialogue and interethnic trust: A randomized field trial of ‘Sustained Dialogue’ in Ethiopia
Using a stratified randomization process, participants were selected to a two-term Sustained Dialogue program at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in 2009–10. Immediately following the dialogue intervention, an attitudinal survey and a behavioral trust game were conducted with a group of 716 participants and non-participants.
Sustained Dialogue and Civic Life: Post-College Impacts
This study examined the civic outcomes of the Sustained Dialogue model. Qualitative interviews investigated the perceived impacts of dialogue experience on post-graduate civic life, generating an inventory of 29 dialogue civic outcomes across five domains: 1) cognitions, 2) behaviors, 3) attitudes 4) skills, and 5) hopes and plans for the future.
Constructing Ourselves, Constructing the Other: The Challenge of Reconciliation in South Africa
This article describes an ongoing Reconciliation Initiative undertaken in partnership between the Institute for Democracy in South Africa1(Idasa) and the Gauteng Council of Churches 2(GCC). This Initiative launched in May 2004 now has six regional dialogues at local level, each focusing on a different aspect of reconciliation. The project is grounded in social constructionist principles and merges the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and Sustained Dialogue3(SD) methodologies. This article explores how these theoretical groundings and merging of methodologies are working to tackle the question of reconciliation from a positive approach. The central hypothesis is that history can be a “positive possibility” (Cooperrider et al, 2003:21) and through a series of Sustained Dialogues our constructions of self and the other can be a process of remembering ourselves into new ways of being.