ideas are explored and “we” can create something newer and exponentially richer with
possibilities together.
This practice of exploring multiple viewpoints is now gaining momentum in change-
management where people are encouraged to listen and be open to conversations
espousing many views. Recently, my friend Bill suggested that I look for work at a
conservative think tank or foundation and I immediately got it. We need that infusion of
divergent ideas to make something new. There are many organizations that are engaging
open dialogue and bridging fragmented communities. Kenneth Gergen highlights just a
few prominent initiatives:
The Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative (http://activecitizen.org/) organizes
citizen-leaders who can take collaborative practices into their community and work
environments. The emphasis here is on practices that enable various institutions
business, religious, non-profits, and the like to collaborate in making a contribution
to the greater civic good. The Imagine Chicago (http://imaginechicago.org) project
brings together the peoples of poor inner-city communities to explore positive
potentials, and to work with institutions throughout the greater city to create a
positive future. The Chicago model is now transported throughout the world. The
World Café (http://www.theworldcafecommunity.org/) is a global network of people
voluntarily engaged in establishing inclusive conversations about people’s concerns
both local and global. Special practices building fruitful conversations are offered
world-wide. The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue
(http://www.sustaineddialogue.org/) organized to bring alienated groups together
from around the world; their work includes a concerted program to bring Arab,
American, and European groups together. (Gergen, 2009, pp. 367-368)
There are many media organizations concerned about the future of news and democracy.
Journalism That Matters (http://journalismthatmatters.net) is exploring new collaborative
outreach projects and public forums for underserved audiences. ProPublica
(http://www.propublica.org/) a non-profit newsroom, provides public interest stories.
Hacks/Hacker (http://hackshackers.com/about/), serving an intergenerational, international
group, brings together “hacks” (journalists) and “hackers” (technologists) to reboot the
future of journalism and news.
The Henry Miller comment is pertinent, “If we are always arriving and departing, it is also
true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new
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