In most international processes and negotiations there are, except for different views based in real differences, also knowledge gaps that have to be understood before solutions and results can be reached. To help facilitate knowledge exchange, and also co-creation of knowledge, SwedBio has been co-organising several “multi-actor dialogues”, bringing together diverse actors such as UN organisations, governments, scientists, civil society – including indigenous peoples and local communities organisations – as well as private sector.
"The biggest single opportunity we have is dialogue"
These multi-actor dialogues are based on the conviction that all the participants together can craft a suite of solutions, rather than assuming there is a single answer that fits all.
This approach encourages active listening with the intention to understand each other's viewpoints, find meaning and agreement, rather than listening to imposed positions, finding flaws and make counterarguments. It is about revealing assumptions for reevaluation.
Three distinctive features differentiate a dialogue from a discussion, when all three are present, a conversation is transformed into a dialogue:
1. Equality and the absence of coercive influences
2. Listening with empathy
3. Bringing assumptions into the open
The method used for the dialogue seminars organised by SwedBio includes a thorough process with consultations and interviews regarding aim and agenda – the dialogue starts from day one in the planning process for ownership with the diverse actors involved. They are held under under the Chatham House Rule, and includes keynote presentations, case studies, round table discussions and field trips, all planned for so that different groups can connect across language, cultural and political barriers.
Literature in the field includes: The magic of dialogue; transforming
conflict into cooperation, Yankelovich, D., 2001; and Solutions,
Costanza, R., 2010
Read more about SwedBio’s multi-actor dialogues:
Examples of dialogues
Research news | 2017-12-18
The dismissal of growth in the fisheries section in the Global North is premature
Research news | 2017-12-18
Despite being essential for several of the Sustainable Development Goals the role of ecosystem services have largely been ignored
General news | 2017-12-12
See video from eminar with Professor Rashid Sumaila, one of the world’s most innovative researchers on the future of the oceans
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being