Amsterdam week of dialogue

Every year (this year from the 2rd to the 12th of November) a “Dialogue Week” is held throughout Amsterdam at various locations based on the “Appreciative Inquiry” method. Appreciative Inquiry is all about searching for the best in people and the world around them. It utilises meeting, experiencing, dreaming and designing to accomplish this.

The idea behind the Week of the Dialogue is simple and effective. People come together and form a circle, usually comprising of 6-8 people. Each year (or each time) a different theme is chosen and experiences are shared in a dialogue form. People share experiences and dreams with each other in a deep and personal way. This can happen in many places, community centres, old people’s homes, offices, people’s homes, cafes, places of worship, in fact anywhere where people can make some space to talk with each other. This results in new connections and inspiration that strengthens communities.

This year the dialogue is based on the theme “Together- in a different way”. As Amsterdam is a multi-cultural city we would love to have English speaking tables or any other language…
We can train you in one evening how to lead a dialogue and set up your own table. This is very much a grassroots initiative done by volunteers, people who are interested in dialogue and sharing experiences with new people.

It is very simple and based on 4 steps:

  1. Getting to know each other
  2. Sharing experiences based on the theme
  3. Sharing dreams
  4. What you will do

 

These 4 steps are reflected in the questions formulated for the theme, which is different every year.

The rules for the dialogue are:

  •     Let the other tell their story.
  •     Don’t interrupt to tell your story.
  •     Treat each other with respect and friendliness.
  •     Speak from your own experience.
  •     Clarify if someone generalizes, ask for their own experience.
  •     Don’t judge and if you do reflect on why you are doing it.

The Dialogue Week was started in Holland in response to 9/11, in Rotterdam first and after that other cities joined in. After Theo van Gogh was killed in Amsterdam it was started here in 2004, as these events resulted in fear, mistrust and even violence.

The aim is to bring people together who may never have met each other before to create greater understanding and a shared vision of their own life and the lives of others. Listening to other people’s stories can give you another perspective on your own. With dialogue as a tool people start to listen and acknowledge each other again.

If you speak Dutch there will be a training for beginners on the 20th Sept. Please check the agenda for details.

If you are interested in participating and maybe even learning how to lead a dialogue please contact Carola Goodwin  info@amsterdamdialoog.nl