This volume presents some of the key insights offered by contributors to the Dialogue Society’s ‘Making Dialogue Effective’ panel discussion series in London, which took place between November 2010 and March 2011 and an extensive list of practical recommendations relating to dialogue. The six discussions brought together dialogue professionals, religious leaders, conflict resolution specialists, academics and other professionals with a wealth of relevant experience.
These professionals, and interested attendees from a range of professional and cultural backgrounds, together applied themselves to some of the challenges which often confront people working in dialogue with regard to its effectiveness. We are asked, or ask ourselves:
- Does what we do make 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?
- How can the quality and impact of dialogue be maximised?
This booklet comprises reflective articles summing up some of the main insights of each panel discussion. It also includes a list of practical recommendations for organising and facilitating dialogue; keeping dialogue going and growing and participating in dialogue which were drawn from the discussions and from the experience of Dialogue Society staff.