Creating space for transformative conversations
What is dialogue?
Dialogue is about bringing together many voices, many stories, many perspectives and many experiences, with a goal to increase understanding about others and ourselves. It is a conversational process that usually occurs in small groups on a specific topic, and is intended to help us gain insight into complex problems to which no one person holds the answer.
Productive dialogue is more than ‘just talk’ – it is entered with a spirit of curiosity and openness, an interest in continually learning from and with others, and a willingness to be changed. Instead of arguing, convincing and advocating for what one already knows, dialogue encourages one to enter a space of the unknown: exploring diverse experiences and values, as well as points of agreement and disagreement. Instead of a conversation with sides, dialogue has a center.
To foster shared understanding and positive action through dialogue and engagement.
- We work in service of the public to generate solutions for our most pressing challenges.
- We bring together and honour diverse voices and actively remove barriers to participation to reflect the full range of community interests and create conditions for innovation.
- We believe in the importance of transparency in our methods and our motives, and in how we share what we learn with the wider world.
What we do
- We create space for respectful conversations, where mutual curiosity and collaborative inquiry act as alternatives to adversarial approaches.
- We support student success through experiential learning and participation in our research and programming.
- We connect the university and community partners to work towards shared objectives in ways that value each party’s unique knowledge and contributions.
- We serve as a trusted convenor, grounding our work in research and evidence-based information.
- We act as a hub for dialogue and engagement initiatives, fostering a culture of shared learning and support that enables ongoing improvement and innovation.
- We work across sectors and across borders to support communities locally, nationally and internationally.