Dialogues at the Intersections of Power

Peter Jones Dialogue, Sensemaking

Design with Dialogue held an inquiry into the systems of power we face in modern civilization, and the structures and forms it takes. Pre-reads included Off-Guardian’s “Left and Lockdown“, Charles Eisenstein’s The Coronation, or something (anything) from Matt Taibbi’s recent substacks.

We proposed a few discovery questions to shape the inquiry:

  • In a complex society with heterogeneous forms of power, are we each subject to different structures and forms of power we experience?
    Or is there a sense in which we are all subject to the same powers, whether we accept them or not?
  • How do you hold agency? Do our unique histories and commitments determine the boundaries of our personal power to alter policies, events, outcomes, and eventually our society?
  • What structures are now available, or foreclosed, for acting on a commitment to collective power, e.g. democratic power of a people?
  • How might we better shape our societies while sustaining collective wellbeing, privileging individual freedom, and guaranteeing self-expression?
  • What have we learned from organized activism – have any of us achieved the desired outcome of our appeals? Where is it working or not? Could we be using obsolete means of intervention when considering larger goals of systems change?

If you do read these or any other great stories, be prepared, not to discuss merits, but to use its ideas to inquire into the various structures, forms and cycles of power at play in our current situations, which we all share to some extent in a common destiny.

This Design with Dialogue will be held Tuesday September 2, from 7:30 – 9:00. The online series is free, with registration on Eventbrite (you will receive a link to the session after you register your email).