Opening Space for Community Dialogue

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Wu Wei

In Dayton, Toronto, and everywhere I’m seeing increased passion for people creating opportunities for community dialogue to enable people facing local concerns in common to exchange and cooperate. In most cases, we see the co-emergence of the need to facilitate occasions for real face-to-face dialogues and to sustain efforts and action by online social networking. Both of these applications of social technology are practices of collaborative sensemaking, ways of working together for all participants to progressively understand a situation and its range of options for action. As GK van Patter suggests in NextD Journal articles, sensemaking by all stakeholders is necessary before changemaking, before what we think of as “designing.” Our Designing with Dialogue group facilitated a community dialogue at The Storefront Community, a literal storefront community center in the Bloorcourt neighborhood in Toronto. The purpose of the session was to enable community members and other stakeholders in the Storefront …