December 2010, Issue 8

Dear Friend,

I hope you are well and keeping warm. It is my pleasure to update you on the activities of the Dialogue Society during November and December. It has been a busy and exciting time for us.

Our November events began with a most interesting seminar with Canon Dr Alan Billings on "God and Community Cohesion." We were also honoured to host distinguished guests for roundtable discussions on two more equally topical themes. Prof Malcolm Grant CBE, President and Provost of UCL joined us to discuss "Higher Education in an Age of Austerity." Leading International Relations scholar Prof Joseph Camilleri visited us during his brief stay in the UK to explore "Dialogue of Civilizations and the Future of Global Government."

November saw the launch of an exciting new project: the Dialogue Society Media School. The Media School aims to empower representatives of small to medium charities and community groups, religious leaders, young people and others to engage with the media in a more positive and confident way. Our first sessions, with Maria Way of Westminster University, were a great success and we look forward to January when the School will resume in earnest. We look forward to welcoming a range of journalists, editors and media consultants to lead sessions focusing on practical skills for engagement with the media.

Over the last weeks we have also held the first three in a series of six panel discussions exploring, "Making Dialogue Effective." The series is taking a close and searching look at the work done in intercultural dialogue, exploring its aims, its contribution to society, and what makes for good or "effective" dialogue. We have had some fascinating speakers and thoughtful discussions in the first half of our series. We invite you to join us for the remaining three discussions, which will take place in February and March. As you will see browsing our news below, the Dialogue Society has also been out and about, visiting neighbours and friends in Islington and further afield, (sometimes bearing Noah's Pudding).

As the Christmas holidays draw near and the snow begins to fall, on behalf of the Dialogue Society I would like to wish you a peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director

Back to top

"Making Dialogue Effective" Panel 3: "Effectiveness in Dialogue for Conflict Transformation."



14/12/10 - The Dialogue Society welcomed a panel of experts in the field of conflict transformation to discuss their major insights into what makes for effective transformative dialogue in particularly tense contexts. They explored the conditions required for effective dialogue in such situations and some of the challenges faced by practitioners in this field, such as dealing with the presence of inequality and injustice in the dialogue, and taking the influence of a powerful dialogue beyond the safe context in which it takes place. The panellists responded to a number of interesting questions and participants ended the final seminar of this year by indulging in some delicious Noah's pudding.

Read MoreBack to top

Dialogue Society Meeting with Borough Commander Mike Wise

Dialogue Society Meeting with Borough Commander Mike Wise, 13/12/1013/12/10 - Tamer Yigit, Dialogue Society's East London Representative, paid a goodwill visit to Islington Borough Commander Michael Wise, at his offices on 13th of December. Tamer introduced the work of the Dialogue Society and gave brief updates on future plans and projects. Michael Wise, a warm and hospitable host, expressed a keen interest in the work of the Dialogue Society and the potential for working in partnership and collaborating on future projects. The Dialogue Society appreciated the opportunity to meet with Michael Wise and looks forward to future collaboration.

Read MoreBack to top

"Making Dialogue Effective" Panel 2: "Effectiveness at the Grassroots: Seeking the Personal and the Genuine."



07/12/10 - The second panel discussion from the ‘Making Dialogue Effective' series explored effectiveness in dialogue at the grassroots level, looking at how we can take dialogue beyond the superficial level, seeking the personal and the genuine. Issues raised included the importance of intentional silence within dialogue, the need for dialogue with the other to start at home with an internal dialogue, the need for persistence in the face of division and misrepresentation and the power of story and of having fun together. Panellists and guests exchanged some engaging and hopeful stories about times when persistent attempts to initiate dialogue have ultimately transformed relationships and brought people together.

Read MoreBack to top

The Dialogue Society meets the High Commissioner of Pakistan

The Dialogue Society meets the High Commissioner of Pakistan, 06/12/1006/12/10 - The Dialogue Society was honoured to meet the High Commissioner of Pakistan at a fundraising dinner hosted by new charity Education Pakistan at the Hilton Metropole, central London. To support the launch of the charity, His Excellency Wajid Shamsul Hasan took to the stage to express the urgent need for a better schooling system in underprivileged areas of Pakistan. The Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP and Honorary Fellow and Director of the Entrepreneurial College Leadership programme of Durham University, Dr Stephen Clough also expressed their concerns and invited guests to support the work carried out. The Dialogue Society also enjoyed meeting with many other respected guests present at this prestigious and meaningful event.

Read MoreBack to top

"Making Dialogue Effective" Panel 1: "Effectiveness in Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Can it be Defined? How do we Measure it?"



30/11/10 - The Dialogue Society's new panel discussion series on "Making Dialogue Effective" began with an extremely thought-provoking examination of what effectiveness in dialogue means, whether we should seek to measure it, and how. The Dialogue Society was proud to host four distinguished panellists professionally engaged with dialogue in civil society and academia who brought a wealth of experience to the discussion. Issues explored included whether setting external objectives for dialogue may actually damage it, the danger of superficiality in so-called "dialogue" meetings, the deeply transformative process that genuine dialogue can be and the scope for true dialogue in evangelical traditions. An animated discussion followed the presentations.

Read MoreBack to top

Intercultural Visit to Turkey with Keele University

Intercultural Visit to Turkey with Keele University, 30/11/1030/11/10 - A group of academics from Keele University attended a Turkey trip last month to develop partnerships and academic links, in particular with key Turkish universities as well as other educational establishments, media and voluntary sector organisations.

The trip included visits to Istanbul and Ankara. Apart from touring historical and touristic sites, the group also visited and had meetings with the head of several educational establishments, universities, media outlets, a hospital, a business confederation, and an interfaith organisation. The trip provided a good opportunity to develop a better understanding of Turkish society, politics and international relations.

Read MoreBack to top

Roundtable with Prof Joseph Camilleri: Dialogue of Civilizations and the Future of Global Governance

Roundtable with Prof Joseph Camilleri: Dialogue of Civilizations and the Future of Global Governance, 23/11/201023/11/2010 - The Dialogue Society was delighted to be able to host leading International Relations scholar Professor Joseph Camilleri for an examination of "Dialogue of Civilizations and the Future of Global Governance." He was joined by three distinguished discussants: Dr Fabio Petito, Dr Scott M. Thomas and Prof Jeffrey Haynes. The speakers explored the meaning of the "dialogue of civilizations," and the degree to which it may be capable of contributing to global responses to massive environmental, humanitarian and financial crises. A diverse group of guests engaged in academia, politics and civil society took up discussion of this crucial topic.

Read MoreBack to top

Islington Interfaith Week Reception, with Dialogue Society Noah's Puddings

Islington Interfaith Week Reception, with Dialogue Society Noah's Puddings, 22/11/1022/11/10 - The Dialogue Society was pleased to be part of an Interfaith Week Reception hosted by Islington Council. The event was attended by representatives of a range of faith communities, council workers and the Mayor of Islington, Cllr Mouna Hamatouche, who said a very apt few words celebrating the richness of diversity where tolerance and respect are practised. The event also featured a "speed dialogue" session, which was an excellent way of getting to know each other a little better. The Dialogue Society was able to contribute to the event by distributing some very tasty Noah's puddings prepared by volunteers for the occasion.

Read MoreBack to top

Dialogue Society launches new Media School

Dialogue Society launches new Media School, 18/11/10

18/11/10 - November saw the Dialogue Society hold the first two sessions of an exciting new Media School, which will resume in earnest in January. The Media School aims to empower participants to engage with the media in a positive and confident manner. It is particularly aimed at representatives of small to medium charities and community organisations, religious leaders and young people. The first two sessions gave some key background to engagement with the media, looking at the place of the media in society and at the relationship of the media with religion. They were led by Maria Way, a Senior Lecturer in Media Theory at the University of Westminster, who encouraged lively and fruitful discussion among participants.

Read MoreBack to top

Mayor of London's Community Reception

Mayor of London's Community Reception, 10/11/201010/11/2010 - The Dialogue Society attended the Mayor's Community Reception at City Hall hosted by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on 10th November 2010. Members of various communities across North London were present at the event. Mr Johnson acknowledged and praised individuals and organisations who have made important contributions to the community. The reception also provided a valuable opportunity to meet people from various parts of the city as well as members of the London Assembly.

Read MoreBack to top

"God and Social Cohesion: Help or Hindrance": seminar with Canon Dr Alan Billings

09/11/10 - The Dialogue Society was delighted to welcome Canon Dr Alan Billings for a most thought provoking discussion of "God and Community Cohesion." He explored the journey that British society has been on since the end of the Second World War as our society has become more diverse and complex and as the government and civil society have adopted different responses to inter-cultural tensions. He highlighted the different ways in which religion can potentially affect social cohesion, from the very constructive to the very negative. Britain, he suggested, is uniquely placed to pioneer a society in which religion plays a positive role in social cohesion. Dr Billings' presentation was followed by a highly interesting discussion.

Read MoreBack to top

Roundtable with Prof Malcolm Grant CBE, President and Provost of UCL: "The Future of British Universities in an Age of Austerity"

Roundtable with Prof Malcolm Grant CBE, President and Provost of UCL:

03/11/10 - On the very day of the Government's response to the Brown report on Higher Education, the Dialogue Society had the honour of hosting Prof Malcolm Grant CBE for an exploration of "Higher Education in an Age of Austerity." He discussed the challenges facing British universities in a new era of unprecedented cuts and heightened competition and the shifts in outlook that will inevitably result among university management and among students. He emphasised the importance for collaboration. Lively discussion followed among a gathering of distinguished guests working in Further and Higher Education, media and civil society.

Read MoreBack to top

In this issue


Video

Effectiveness in Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Can it be Defined? How do we Measure it? Video

Making Dialogue Effective Panel 1: Effectiveness in Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Can it be Defined? How do we Measure it? Video

FORTHCOMING


Other news

Past & Forthcoming Events

Visit our Events page to see the number and range of work carried out by the Dialogue Society. Users can view the events in categorical or chronological order.

Read More

Internship at the Dialogue Society

The Dialogue Society is currently offering volunteering placement opportunities for candidates from all backgrounds and interests. We provide a unique, dynamic and stimulating work experience where volunteers are encouraged to plan, build and deliver their own projects whilst contributing to other ongoing projects and tasks.

Read More

Support the Dialogue Society

Regardless of your means and time, there are a number of ways you can support the Dialogue Society. Click below for some practical suggestions.

Read More

Feedback

The Dialogue Society would appreciate any feedback or ideas you can provide on its work. Please visit the website to send us any comments you would like to make.

Contact Us

Dialogue Society
402 Holloway Road,
London, N7 6PZ

T   + 44 (0) 20 7619 0361
E   info@dialoguesociety.org
W  www.dialoguesociety.org

Dialogue Society - 402 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PZ. Ph: +(44) 20 7619 0361