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.
What We Do
SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue creates real-world impact for society’s most pressing challenges by using dialogue and engagement to co-create solutions, exchange knowledge, support community-engaged learning, and to build the capacity of others in the knowledge and practice of dialogue.
The following values guide our work:
- Transparency: We earn trust and legitimacy by proactively disclosing our motives and by transparently communicating the outcomes of our work.
- Diversity: We believe that success and innovation require the participation of diverse peoples, perspectives and ways of knowing.
- Curiosity: We host respectful conversations without pre-determined outcomes, where collaborative inquiry serves as an alternative to adversarial approaches.
- Equity: We support participants in achieving equal voice by removing barriers to participation, reducing power imbalances and counteracting systems of harm.
- Impartiality: We hold neutral space for others to express their ideas, while recognizing our responsibility to ground these discussions in evidence-based information.