Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort - 633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA  January 10, 2018, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

How the World Café Approach to Community Understanding Led to Cultures of Peace

WINTER SESSION 2018 – ALUMNI TRACK PRESENTATION

Presenter:
Flavio Mesquita Da Silva, PhD (HOD 2017)

FIELDING CONTINUALLY AIMS TO GENERATE A HIGH MORALE ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR ALUMNI IN ORDER TO PURSUE AN ENGAGED GRADUATE COMMUNITY. THE GOAL TO CONTINUALLY KEEP ALUMNI INVOLVEMENT AT OUR WINTER AND SUMMER SESSIONS RESULTED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ALUMNI TRACK, WHICH ORIGINATED BY ALUMNI FOR ALUMNI AND STUDENTS.

This presentation is designed to provide a hands-on interactive experience that will take participants to reflect on an inspirational peace-building journey that encompassed a whole state education system in Brazil, which benefitted, directly and indirectly, thousands of people in hundreds of high schools and respective communities.

As we reflect on the state of the affairs of humanity, which faces a systemic threat to global sustainability, what surfaces is a sense of urgency in restoring one of our most ancient traditions— to talk about what really matters and find the wisdom that only together we can access. People have the inherent capacity to offer a systemic solution at the same level of the problem as long as they re-learn how to get together and talk. Such perspective helped orient the definition of my dissertation’s research question that considered the pursuit of sustainable networks of peace fostered by networks of dialogue by design.

This presentation intends to highlight the overall exploration and major learnings both in theoretical and practical terms that turned a long-term, statewide peace project – Generation of Peace, a successful one. The Generation of Peace Project in Brazil was a cooperation between the State Department of Education of Ceará (SEDUC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where the World Café, a meeting process that congregates large groups of people in small, intimate conversations, became a support system for the generation of cultures of peace through dialogue. By combining the World Café design principles and the whole systems design principles, a conversational process focused on developing critical awareness and engagement, benefitted about 300,000 people both directly and indirectly. The restoration of the meaning of conversation as a mindful action and a mode of inquiry was the soul and body of this journey, which integrated thousands of citizens as co-researchers in hundreds of high schools and respective communities. Moreover, the theoretical foundation as well as the actual experiential grounds that describe the forces that enabled the World Café to facilitate the process of creating an ambiance for social change, promoting inclusion and respecting diversity in “Generation of Peace,” proposes its extrapolation into other contexts and situations. The project also served as the experiential landscape (and soundscape) to approach peace for peace in a broad sense, encompassing both human and organizational development on many levels. It reflected an intended new order to education where the school, as its center, is the birthplace of all educational public policy, produced with and for the people. The study results are neither about the World Café nor about the peace project alone. It is about how the World Café design principles and the Generation of Peace Project coevolved and mutually contributed to foster cultures of peace. It also presents the positive impacts on the development of the educational system with respect to its organizational structure, processes, and routines as well as to the actors involved. Finally, the presentation will demonstrate that building a culture of peace requires the development of a culture of dialogue, which ultimately means that sustainable networks of peace stem from sustainable conversational processes. It is expected that participants of this event engage in conversation, experience and feel inspired by some of what this endeavor provided to the communities it served.

Learning Objectives:
The presentation will provide the participants with opportunities to:

  • Understand what entails the inception and development of a whole systems approach to a large-scale, long-term social and organizational change process
  • Reflect, interactively, on the patterns that connect culture of design, the culture of dialogue and culture of peace
  • To get acquainted with the process of creating an ambiance for social change promoted by the Generation of Peace project, and envision its extrapolation to other contexts and situations

Click here for SLS Alumni Events at Winter Session 2018.

For more information, contact Director of Alumni Relations Hilary Molina