Making Dialogue Effective, Panel Discussion 5 – Becoming a Dialogue Movement: What Can Dialogue Learn from Other Movements?

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Dialogue Society 402 Holloway Road, LONDON, N7 6PZ

Danny Chivers

Performance Poet Involved in the Environmental Movement

Dr Nicola Montagna

Middlesex University

Dr Ozcan Keles

Dr Ozcan Keles

Chairperson of the Dialogue Society

Ozcan is a non-practising Barrister and member of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn. He is the Chairperson of the Dialogue Society since 2008; was the Executive Chairperson of the same organisation between 2008 and 2014; the Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed biannual academic Journal of Dialogue Studies since 2014 and a full-time PhD candidate in the sociology of human rights at the University of Sussex. Between 2006 and 2009 he was a research student with Prof Kevin Boyle at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, where he held the Scholarship Award of 2006. Ozcan was called to the Bar in 2005 after successfully completing the Bar course at the Inns of Court School of Law. He obtained his LLM in Human Rights Law from SOAS, University of London, in 2002.

Panellists will bring their knowledge and experience of dialogue-related movements and other social movements to a discussion of what movements are, what they can achieve and how they become powerful. Discussion will include the advantages and potential drawbacks of identifying with a broader movement.

Questions to be considered

  • What does it mean to be a “movement”?
  • Is it desirable to be part of a movement?
  • What can social movements achieve at their best?
  • How can movements become powerful?
  • What are the possible disadvantages of identifying with a broader movement?
  • How can movements be organised and effective without being rigid or hierarchical?

About the Panel Discussion Series

A series of panel discussions examining the question of how to make intercultural dialogue work. Those working with intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the community or professional level face a range of challenges regarding its effectiveness. We are asked, or ask ourselves, such questions as:

  • Does what we do make or contribute to a tangible difference to society in any way?
  • Does our work, whether directly or otherwise, reach beyond the sympathetic to those whose attitudes and behaviour are an actual threat to peace and social cohesion?
  • Are the relationships that our work initiates across cultural or religious boundaries of a meaningful and lasting kind?
  • Is our work part of something broader that is capable of effecting change on a grand scale?

This series is intended to occasion focused and constructive discussion of such questions among a range of people concerned with relationships between different cultural, religious or social groups, in their professional lives or at the community level.

Findings and conclusions will be published. It is hoped that the series will be replicated at three independent UK branches of the Dialogue Society, allowing us to draw on a wider range of perspectives in collating findings.

Aims and Objectives

  • To encourage interprofessional dialogue, interaction and cooperation between people working on intercultural/ interreligious dialogue, peace and social cohesion.
  • To foster dialogue between people engaged with dialogue at the personal or community level, and those concerned with the same questions in a professional capacity.
  • To explore and clarify the questions of what effectiveness in dialogue is, and whether and how it can be measured.
  • To find a range of creative and practical answers to the question of how dialogue can be made effective by
    • identifying and promoting current best practice and
    • identifying and promoting promising future possibilities.
    • To share these answers among all participants of the series and more widely.

The Topics

  1. “Effectiveness” in Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Can it be defined? How do we measure it?
  2. Effectiveness at the grassroots: seeking the personal and the genuine
  3. Effectiveness in dialogue for conflict transformation
  4. Skills in dialogue: cultivating effective listening and empathy
  5. Becoming a dialogue movement: what can dialogue learn from other movements?
  6. Preaching to the unconverted: how can dialogue reach the disengaged, the prejudiced and the hostile?

Guests are warmly invited to attend as many of the sessions as possible to contribute to an ongoing process of focused reflection over the course of the series.