Foundational History and Skills of Dialogue

Bohm Dialogue offers a direct approach to social fragmentation, now considered one of the biggest security threats facing all life on our planet.

In 1946 Einstein noted:

“We have learned to split the atom, yet we have not learned to think differently.” 

We need new ways of thinking together to solve our complex global problems: the global pandemic, climate change, large refugee and immigration movements, racial injustice, rising income inequality and poverty, the growing shift towards authoritarianism, and more.

A popular definition of insanity is “continuing to do the same things [and think in the same ways] and expecting different results”.  If we want future generations to remember us as committed to creating a safer and healthy world for all, we need to learn how to think together, now.

In 1992 quantum physicist David Bohm wrote:

“Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or to conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception.  Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture and the way we think?”

Bohm was describing engaging in conversations where we speak and listen with empathy, bring to consciousness buried assumptions, suspend judgments, and create openings for new meanings to unfold.  When we think differently together, we choose and act differently, and become capable of creating the transformational results we strive for.

In his proposal, On Dialogue (David Bohm and Lee Nichol,1996) Bohm joined his quantum worldview with the lens of social psychology and philosophy to offer us a wholistic way to engage collectively with the systemic crises of our time.  Dialogue offers us a way to make visible the fragmented thinking we are currently struggling with offering the possibility of discovering lasting solutions to our most urgent problems.

Why virtual? Why now?

With the increasing development of digital technologies coupled with virtual platforms, we can now bring people together across geographies and cultures, experts and diverse people from all walks of life, to think together deeply about solutions to the problems raised above.  Geographical distance is no longer a hindrance.   And yet, we humans have made little progress in learning how to think differently together to positively impact our problems.

We, Glenna Gerard and Linda Ellinor, feel called to offer a distillation of our understanding and ongoing inquiry from 25+ years of living and developing what many call Bohm or Bohm-inspired Dialogue. We prefer to say it is grounded in David Bohm’s work, knowing that we have evolved it with each group we have worked with.

We believe now is the time for all of us to bring forward the collective wisdom we have as a resource for today and the next 7 generations to come.

Our Offering: 

We will meet for eight, 3-hour sessions over 10 weeks from July through September 2021. For more detail on specific dates, and times, program outcomes, a course outline and materials, please click on DETAILS.

We invite you to join us and…

  • Think deeply, with a group of practitioners & leaders
  • Explore skills, activities, and ways of applying Dialogue within diverse groups and contexts
  • Deepen and expand our collective understanding and open portals for different results.

Price: $1320 per person

Group size: 10 to 16 Individuals

Co-Facilitators: Linda Ellinor & Glenna Gerard

Modules & Dates

October 29: Module 1:

  • Reflection on pre-work reading around Dialogue
  • Introduction to program, each other, and learning-platform infrastructure

November 8: Module 2:

  • History and roots of Bohm Dialogue/Generating Guidelines/Dialogue & Reflection

November 12: Module 3:

  • Fragmentation, Proprioception & Suspension/Dialogue & Reflection

November 15: Module 4:

  • Assumption Identification/ Ladder of Inference/Value of Conflict/Dialogue & Reflection

November 19: Module 5:

  • Levels of Listening/Roadblocks to Listening/Dialogue & Reflection

November 22: Module 6:

  • Inquiry & Reflection/Dialogue & Reflection

November 29: Module 7:

  • Applications / Design of Interim Work/ Dialogue & Reflection

(During a 2-week break, participants will be applying Dialogue within a setting of their choice.)

December 13: Module 8:

  • Interim Applications Review with Group Coaching/Close
Course Materials
  • The e-book: Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation. John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
  • A set of 2 downloadable audio files: The Art & Practice of Dialogue. Created by Glenna Gerard and Linda Ellinor. One set covers the skills, the other applications in a variety of contexts.
  • A webinar workbook.
  • A Digital Journal with quotes.
  • Various articles.
  • Access to the documentary “Infinite Potential – Director’s Cut” on the work and life of David Bohm

Dialogue Application Design & Facilitation

This 10-week offering is for those who have attended the Foundational History and Skills of Dialogue program and want to take a deeper dive into applying and facilitating dialogue in diverse contexts with opportunities to immediately integrate the material and learnings into their own work.

Each 3-hour module will involve interim work applying material to each person’s specific working context. During the 10 weeks each person will receive one 1-1 coaching session with Linda or Glenna.

Modules & Dates

Module 1:

  • Orientation & container building – 3 hours

Module 2:

  • Role of Dialogue in system change and a framework for designing and facilitating – 3 hours

Module 3:

  • Decision making & Dialogue – 3 hours

Module 4:

  • Learn tools for various Dialogue challenges – 3 hours

Module 5:

  • Approaches to facilitation and Dialogue within different contexts – 3 hours

Module 6:

  • Impact of shadow in Dialogue design and facilitation – 3 hours

Module 7:

  • Create and test a design for a Dialogue application – 2 hours
  • 1-1 Coaching Session during 3-week interim between Modules 7 & 8

Module 8:

  • Closing Session – Receive coaching on your application and design questions – 3 hours

Price: $1320 per person

Group size: 10 to 16 Individuals

Pre-requisite: Foundations of Dialogue

Co-Facilitators: Linda Ellinor & Glenna Gerard

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Communication training, consulting and facilitation to change our world inspired by the principles of Bohm Dialogue