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 | 2018-05-21
Four cases of participatory foresight exercises show impact is not a given. Here’s how to fix it
Research news | 2018-05-17
Applying Elinor Ostrom’s principles on common pool resources management demonstrates how forest management in the Pamir Mountains may not be so tragic after all. But Soviet era legacy lingers, new research shows
Research news | 2018-05-14
To create change in coastal districts of Kenya and Mozambique, dominant narratives must be challenged by stories rooted in people’s lived experiences
Research news | 2018-04-26
Construction of roads and water channels across Colombia’s Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta wetlands has altered the landscape to the point of surpassing mangrove ecosystem tipping points
Research news | 2018-04-26
Over 100 scientists, architects, journalists, artists, designers and activists provide perspectives on what future urban sustainability should look like
Research news | 2018-04-19
New study of UNESCO biosphere reserves sheds light on how people learn to live with social-ecological complexity