WEBINAR - Debate or Dialogue – What Way Forward For British Democracy?

  • July 2, 2013 · 7:30 PM
  • Online Meeting

Our British system of democracy has been based often on the process of debate. Debate is the form of discussion where a group divides into two or more sides that argue trying to win their perspective. Debate focuses on points of difference and is thus destructive to group cohesion and often ignores potential solutions that would work for everyone.

Debate although fun and a useful tool for learning to speak and make arguments is not necessarily the best way to reach agreements in complex and diverse societies like our own. The British system of debate may well be outmoded

Dialogue is discussion where the goal is to understand issues and each others' perspectives, not to convince others of your view or to find a solution. Dialogue is a helpful process to increase trust and understanding before engaging further

Can you have a democracy that is based on dialogue rather than debate and how would this work in practice when the are so many conflicting interests?

Perry Walker will present this webinar. Perry is an innovator of participatory methods that anyone can use. Over the last ten years he has led the development of Democs, a conversation game, which provides a unique opportunity for small groups to find out about complex policy issues like climate change or nanotechnology, to shape and share their opinions, and to provide feedback for policymakers. Democs has been used by tens of thousands of people all over Europe.

Until 2011, he was head of the Democracy and Participation programme at nef (the new economics foundation). He now works mainly on developing two other approaches: www.openupuk.org and http://www.openupuk.org, a site that helps people grapple with complex ethical and political issues using 'argument maps'; and Crowd Wise, a method for consensus decision-making.

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  • Ruby

    Very enjoyable dialogue :-)

    July 5, 2013

  • Jonathan S.

    I found the contrasts between debate and dialogue too value laden. We can often engage in dialogue in situations of open conflict. A present example is the Taliban. If there is debate then there is a shared set of values involved. Working in mental health I could sometimes found myself entering into a dialogue with someone who wanted to end their life. The first stage was to validate their feelings, then there could be an opening for dialogue. In politics, especially our British Democratic process we do not get that far into empathy in party political debate.

    4 · July 3, 2013

    • Mark R.

      I agree, I think that sometimes we get so obssessed with the point we wish to make that we forget that, although dialogue tends to be based on logic, we can forget the human feelings that the logic is meant to convey. Definitely more empathy is needed, or the move forward will be all the slower!

      1 · July 3, 2013

    • Jules B.

      Jonathan, when you say validate - do you mean search for the value beneath the expression? If so then yes I agree and I like the metaphor 'to granulate' conversation.

      1 · July 3, 2013

  • Hannah

    Dear All apologize I did not make this WEBINAR but look forward to joining another one.

    Hannah

    July 3, 2013

  • Mark R.

    Interesting, lots of fascinating points of view, excellent dialogue between all concerned!

    1 · July 3, 2013

  • Francis S.

    Just to remind you that our webinar is today at 7.30pm on “Debate or Dialogue – What Way Forward For British Democracy?.”

    You log on to the webinar by clicking on the link https://onsync.digitalsamba.com/go/fs@globalnet21.org/dialogue

    and this will take you to the webinar platform. You can visit there any time to see what it looks like but on the day. Indeed it is best to check it out to make sure you can access the platform and on the day, it is best to get there about five minutes early.

    July 2, 2013

  • Marco B.

    Cannot make it tomorrow, but I hope recording will be available.

    July 1, 2013

  • Hannah

    I would like to participate a bit before paying to see if I like it is that acceptable?

    1 · June 21, 2013

    • Rajen

      Hi Hannah. I am sure your comment will have been noted.

      June 30, 2013

  • Mark R.

    I don't have the cash at the moment, but I do have an initiative that I'll be turning into a campaign very soon, and it ties in nicely with the ethos here.

    June 20, 2013

    • Mark R.

      And there are many more aspects of this wonderful platform that I wish to participate in, given a chance, and that chance has been handed very kindly to me, Rajen, and made my choice that bit easier. How kind is that, Rajen? :)

      1 · June 21, 2013

    • Rajen

      I am glad:) GN21 rarely excludes unless there is good reason even though they still have to meet their own expenses! Did not mean to offend in original comment.

      June 30, 2013

  • Mark R.

    Can't seem to find my way into the webinar!

    June 25, 2013

    • Mark R.

      Doh! Sorry, so much on here, chasing my own tail, and very dizzy!

      June 26, 2013

    • Mark R.

      But I'll send you a copy of the mission statement either today or tomorrow. It's why I barely know what day it is right now.

      June 26, 2013

  • Jonathan S.

    By accident I encountered the leader of our local county council. politically we are in the same court,but differ widely as to how that perspective can best be put forward. his strategy, was simply that of dismissal of differance.

    June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Debate is a social presentation format derived from the structure of legal court cases. The goal is to pick a "winner" given only 2 contestants, at least one of which is presumed to be a liar. Once we see this foundation, it is easy to understand why this structure is way to limiting to be used for exploring complex topics.

    Humans have a wide range of creative abilities. Once structures are put in place, however, most people cannot easily envision other approaches, especially if the structure has some clearly good properties. Democracy is exactly like this. Because it makes a clear separation between a monarchy and rule by "all" people, most people automatically jump to the conclusion that it is the ONLY alternative.

    I am looking forward to the webinar to see if the people in this community can work with each other to explore MANY other alternatives. As a start, take a look at the "democracy" tab on the A3society.org website.

    2 · June 22, 2013

  • Neil M.

    Part 2:
    This end goal is usually towards winning the outcome of the dialogue with the sole purpose to invalidate the others. This kind of dialogue can be highly detrimental to the process itself. Dialogue can lead to debate and debate can lead to dialogue; above all dialogue has the potential to bring mutual understanding and respect for all. The choice is ours.

    June 22, 2013

  • Neil M.

    Part 1:
    In the aims and objectives have to be met in any dialogue, otherwise dialogue has no purpose. We need to consider if we are working towards or are willing to work towards a common consensus. Sometimes before dialogue can progress, we need to have a topic debated from multiple perspectives to iron out the grey areas that may need clarification. Both debate and dialogue are necessary but at different stages of the communication process. Dialogue can also be used to encourage understanding of each others' thinking but there could be a tendency to debate the validity of what all the sides are trying to understand. This may occur because some parties or all the parties have a different end goal.

    June 22, 2013

  • Hannah

    Please send more details of how I access the event.

    June 21, 2013

    • Francis S.

      Hannah you will be sent a link shortly before the event with log In details.

      June 21, 2013

    • Francis S.

      Also we ask people who join our events to pay a yearly subscription of £12 and that allows you to attend all our network events for that year and also to bring along a guest free so really a very modest amount. We also never refuse anyone membership who cannot pay so we do our best to be as inclusive as we possibly can!

      June 21, 2013

  • Hannah

    i am interested in teams and team work as a strategy for transformation to peace unity and societal productivity.

    June 21, 2013

  • Hannah

    Hello I am a social and ethical business creator. I am also a global peace keeper.

    June 21, 2013

  • Hannah

    Is the invitation to a Free event?

    June 21, 2013

  • Ruby

    Dialogue please! :-)

    June 19, 2013

  • Jules B.

    Dear folks at Open UK, As a student I am quite literally unable to pay membership at this time. However, I have just completed a research project into the learning benefits of dialogue tools over debate, and I would very much like to take part in this webinar. I will also encourage a friend (a working professional) to join in. Look forward to your response.

    1 · June 19, 2013

  • Cally H.

    Civil rights have rapidly eroded in this country...

    2 · June 18, 2013

37 went

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