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Generative Dialogue Project

The Generative Dialogue Project emerged in late 2003 as part of the Global Leadership Initiative, a broad effort to address the need for more effective approaches to global problem solving. From the outset, our intention for the GDP has been to organize a community of experienced dialogue practitioners as a peer learning group to work together to advance the state of the art of dialogic problem solving and to promote the use of the most effective processes in the global arena.

To support their core activity, GDP undertook to ‘map’ the field.  They feel that the results of this research clearly establish the need for greater process knowledge and broad capacity building in the global problem solving community in order to make dialogue a robust and reliable approach.

The GDP concept and approach has roots in three ongoing streams of work by project personnel and our sponsoring organizations:

  • The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) originated as a project of SoL and Generon Consulting and is now part of the Multi-stakeholder Partnership Program of Synergos Institute).  GLI’s mission is to find breakthrough solutions to a range of stuck global problems by assembling and leading cross-sectoral teams in the ‘U Process,’ a multi-stakeholder dialogue-and-action approach to systemic problem solving and change.
  • GAN-Net is a community of global action networks (GANs) and their stakeholders.  GANs are an important innovation in global governance and problem-solving.  About three dozen have been identified.
  • The UNDP Democratic Dialogue Project focuses on multi-stakeholder dialogue at the national level aimed at strengthening democratic governance.  It is a collective learning and network building initiative with dialogue practitioners. The project began as a joint initiative of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Generon Consulting, and SoL.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry, NORAD, the Metanoia Fund, and the Fetzer Institute have provided funding for the GDP.

The goal of the Generative Dialogue Project is to develop and advance the use of generative dialogic change processes that can produce the deep societal shifts required to address the complex challenges that threaten our future. We seek to create the following outcomes:

  • Advanced practitioners of dialogic change processes will have deeper process understanding and achieve greater impact in their work on a wide range of global issues, through peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by the GDP
  • The process understanding developed within the GDP practitioner community will have broad dissemination across diverse issue areas and practice disciplines through the activities of GDP community members within their networks and through project outputs such as reports, cases, a Fieldbook, open workshops, and project communications
  • The spread of dialogic approaches to problem solving will reach a tipping point at which dialogic changes processes are understood and effectively practiced across the full range of global governance institutions, including business, government, and civil society

Resource Link: www.generativedialogue.org

Bettye H. Pruitt, Ph.D., Project Co-Leader

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