Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Author: 

 

 

The Almedalen week gather 40 000 visitors and is perceived as the largest political event in the World on a regular basis. It is on a rather remote Swedish island though. Almost 2 per cent of these people were active participants in our Café of Conversations on a rented schoolyard, down town Visby. This is a good result considered the week had 4 300 announced, official events during the whole week.

IofC teamed up with iS! (initiative for Social collaboration!) in arranging “The Garden of Conversations” as a part of this major Political Week in Sweden. We attracted 740 active participants within our 36 dialogues of 90 minutes. All dialogues were about critical societal issues. The environment, mental health, sustainability, youths, migrants and refugees, hate and mistrust etc.At least ten of these had a specific signature of IofC. Nik held a session on “Youth and Wellbeing” and an open conversation on “An Inclusive Labor Market” in close collaboration with three governmental institutions and the civic sector. Rishabh and Per held “The Pyramid of Hate” and “Inner Motivation” twice, respectively. Per held several more, like “Sky Mining” – about harvesting charcoal from the sky to reduce the effect of CO2, and “Strategies for democracy”.

Berit Hague from iS! and Malin Rydesjö from IofC gather outside one corner of the Garden of Conversations – a school yard, just 200 meters away from the large stage of Almedalen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of some dialogues

 

Inner motivation…

All together these dialogues attracted over 100 active participants. One highlight were when the participants realized the importance of “the three factors” both for themselves, and for migrants and refugees.

• Autonomous

• Competence

• Belonging

If all three factors not are fulfilled, the exclusion creates negative effects. Yes, assist migrants and refugees in being autonomous and competent enough in a new context. Yes, understand the power of belongingness. Lack of a belonging causes large individual and societal stress. Of course, with the migrants and refugees, but also with the “old Swedish population”. Bridging the gap between the old and the new is the strategy. Conversations might be a powerful way of doing it.The participants, some migrants, most established Swedes were taken by the fact of what is needed in order to develop the liberal democracy based on equal value.


Pyramid of Hate -  an honest dialogue with four official racists present for 40 minutes.

 

Here I’m referring to the largest dialogue, consisting 40 active participants. 4 of them were talked racists with an unpleasant track record. I didn’t know about it before they left the dialogue after 40 minutes.

Perhaps this detail might be of importance. We started the conversation by drawing the pyramid of hate at the white board. Beneath the pyramid I wrote: “Disoriented Attachment”. Surprisingly enough the four, official racists conversed around this in different small groups of four. Coming up the pyramid, to “discrimination” etc it was enough for them.

The presence of the four was noticed of most of the participants, and made a great impact on the second half of the conversation in small groups, and in the full circle.

One of the participants, professor Cheick Wagué – migrant from North Africa and now established in the Swedish society – will now devote most of his free time to be a part of creating stronger inclusion in Sweden. This will be done in collaboration with us.

Eva Oqvist, University Director, Stockholm University of the Arts also came forward to create a companionship in preventing the pyramid to rise.

Another participant, Operations Developer Syed Latin came forward after the CoC and we have now established cooperation. Syed, came as refugee to Sweden 2012 is now a part of “Swedish Development Partner” helping refugees individually. We will collaborate in the process forward – for a better inclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions:

 

Neither media, nor politicians nor the many people can fix the large challenges in our world. Dynamic complexity can only be met by a stabilizing, dynamic complexity. Like gathering the many people in conversations based on listening. Dialogues on specific issues, linked to other specific issues.

Organizing open, safe meetings based on listening in presence tend to solve and heal things. Most of the 740 active participants are standard transmitters in their own turfs. Perhaps it is better to practise peaceful conversations in “explosive” issues, than talk about what others should do. Especially when the issue implicit is about increasing one self’s consciousness. Even official racists can behave and be a part of the society when they feel included. This is one major lesson of the two weeks.

 

Per Hörberg, with Rishabh Khanna, Nik Dee Dahlström and Bo Giss.