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 | 2017-10-16
How investments in solar energy go beyond access to electricity to positively affect people’s life expectancy and years of schooling
Research news | 2017-10-12
Stockholm Resilience Centre acts as impact partner for their Global Solutions Program
Research news | 2017-10-11
How pro-environmental interest groups were able to push for reforms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy
Educational news | 2017-10-02
Introducing our new executive programme in resilience thinking
General news | 2017-10-02
Exhibition in Spain presents work from a 3-year long collaboration between artists and scientists
Research news | 2017-10-01
New paper explores links between conservation, development and sense of place on the Wild Coast of South Africa