Dialogue School


The second Dialogue School ran for ten weeks from January to March 2012, during the Dialogue Studies MA student work placement at the Dialogue Society. It will run again in February/March 2013.


The Dialogue School, held at our London Head Office, currently forms part of a work placement for students of the MA in Dialogue Studies co-delivered by Keele University and the Dialogue Society.

Like the MA as a whole, and particularly the work placement, the Dialogue School aims to build capacity for the effective, reflective practice of dialogue between people of diverse cultures, religions, social positions and political opinions.

The current global situation requires a dialogue among civilizations, to resolve existing conflicts of ownership, of power and of worldview, to help prevent future ones and to facilitate fruitful collaboration on shared challenges. Equally at the national and local levels, increasing cultural and religious diversity necessitate dialogue. Such diversity is capable of promoting a culturally rich, open-minded society able to draw on a wide range of perspectives in confronting social, economic and political challenges. But a diverse society also has the capacity to harbour deep divisions which can lead to problems of ghettoisation, social and political disengagement, inequality, resentment, mistrust, insecurity and discrimination. The need to address such difficulties and the aspiration to achieve a thriving diversity demands dialogue to increase interaction and understanding between different sectors of the community.

The Dialogue School helps future organisers and facilitators of dialogue to develop the understanding and skills to respond to this acute need in the contemporary world.


  • to stimulate interest in different practical and theoretical approaches to dialogue (particularly intercultural dialogue)
  • to equip participants with key dialogue and interpersonal skills such as public speaking and effective communication, leadership and project management and effective networking skills.

Target Audience

  • Dialogue Studies MA students
  • Young people (17-27 years) of a variety of social, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • Community leaders and others interested in fostering intergroup dialogue and social cohesion in their communities


With the guidance of Dialogue Society staff and invited experts, participants will explore different theoretical and practical approaches to dialogue (particularly intercultural dialogue) and engage in training in a range of skills for organising and facilitating dialogue.

Sessions will fall into two categories:

  • Dialogue: Theories, Principles and Approaches. These sessions will explore the work of influential dialogue theorists such as Martin Buber and David Bohm, examine religious inspirations for dialogue and engage with selected practical approaches. Invited speakers and Dialogue Society staff will share insights drawn from academic study, specialised dialogue practice and the engagement of faith communities in interfaith/intercultural dialogue.
  • Skill-Based Training
    - Project management
    - Dialogue facilitation skills
    - Public speaking
    - Effective networking
    - Engaging with the media


The school consists of ten weekly 2-hour sessions.

According to the particular topic, the structure will be either:

  • An initial presentation, followed by Q and A and discussion
  • Workshop format, with a focus on acquiring and practising skills, receiving feedback and discussing approaches and techniques