What is the Dialogue Program about?

The Dialogue Program seeks to enable an open and respectful dialogue aimed at learning from one another. The organisers hope to enhance mutual understanding and develop respect for varied perspectives between the participants on contentious topics and issues. We will be using the dialogue methodology developed and practised by the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue (NCPD).

The Dialogue Program:

  • will take place in Ilmenau, Germany
  • broad topic: COVID-19 Pandemic
  • dialogue will be held in two parallel dialogue groups
  • language: English

If you are interested in engaging in a dialogue with people from various backgrounds, opinions and ideas, then apply now at:

Applications are now closed.

If you have any queries or doubts, please write to us at dialogue@iswi.org

Program Details

“Dialogue is an open communication process that aims to build or rebuild relationships between people as they share experiences, ideas and information about a common concern. It also aims to help groups to take in more information and perspectives than they previously had in order to get a new and broader understanding of a situation. This process happens through deep listening and asking open and not leading questions, instead of argumentative responses. This requires interest to learn more about others’ unique experiences, beliefs and thoughts. It requires humility to recognize that one person or group does not have the whole truth and that everything we experience is shaped by factors like age, class, religion, ethnicity, geography or gender.
A dialogue offers an open space, where people can be honest about their similarities and differences and learn to live within an environment of disagreements. This learning process might expand people’s ability to act with empathy and care for others, even if they are perceived as outsiders. This behavioural change is the goal with dialogue and will over time influence the development in a society.”

– As defined by the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue.

In a dialogue, participants shall set the ground rules for their dialogue together and are encouraged to take complete ownership over the conversation. Thus, dialogue sessions are facilitated rather than moderated. A facilitator is entrusted with the duty of creating the space for an open respectful group process. The facilitator does not participate in decision-making, but rather ensures that the contributions of all participants are taken into account and everyone feels safe to take part. Training to develop facilitation capabilities is provided by the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue

The overarching context of the dialogue is the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’. This topic involves a wide range of aspects and subtopics that relate to each individual differently. You, the participants, will have full ownership of the conversation. You will decide, together as a group and by trying to reach group consensus, on the specific sub-topics to engage in throughout the dialogue sessions. The first phase of the program will be dedicated to this consensus-based decision-making group process.

IDC Dialogue Training in October 2020
IDC Dialogue Training in October 2020

The Dialogue Programme is organised by the Ilmenau Dialogue Center (IDC), with support and training from the NCPD, and contributions from the Empirische Medienforschung und Politische Kommunikation (EPMK). The IDC is currently a project organized by the members and collaborators of the Initiative Solidarische Welt Ilmenau e.V., a student-led association on the campus of TU Ilmenau.

Key goals for the IDC are:

  • To understand and apply dialogue as a tool for enhancing mutual understanding.
  • To build capacities to facilitate different forms of dialogue.
  • To organize and host regular dialogue sessions in Ilmenau.
  • To promote dialogue as a methodology for peace-building and conflict transformation.

The members of the organizing team will facilitate the dialogue sessions through the roles of ‘Facilitator’ and ‘Co-facilitator’.

From 25th November to 28th November 2021, you will participate in dialogue sessions as part of one of two groups. During that period, you will be required to attend two sessions per day for a total of 5 hours per day.

The dialog program will take place on the following days:

THU, 25 November 2021: 13:00 – 18:00 CET

FRI, 26 November 2021: 13:00 – 18:00 CET

SAT, 27 November 2021: 10:00 – 15:00 CET

SUN, 28 November 2021: 10:00 – 15:00 CET

Everyone over the age of 18 years can participate in the Dialogue Program. We value diversity of opinion and hope to receive applications from different backgrounds.

After the end of the application period, based on the internal review process, shortlisted applicants will be invited for an online interview. Finally, a total of 16 persons will be selected and invited to take part in the Dialogue Program.

Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue NCPD

The NCPD is a knowledge center and meeting point for dialogue and conflict transformation. The center provides training courses and facilitates dialogue. NCPD promotes peace, human rights, dialogue, and reconciliation through training courses, documentation, and sharing knowledge based on field experiences. The center conducts peace and dialogue work both in Norway and internationally and has been active in Western Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Poland, and more. In Norway, the center cooperates with schools, municipalities, cultural and religious organizations, museums, colleges, and universities.

By facilitating dialogue in divided communities, NCPD helps build bridges across ethnic, cultural, political, and social divides. Experience proves that targeted efforts are required overtime to develop strategies and tools for preventing, managing, and transforming conflicts. The center is located at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway.

Empirische Medienforschung und politische Kommunikation EPMK

The research group EMPK deals with (public) communication about socially relevant problems like climate change, energy turn, migration, corona crises, and digitalization in education. The focus of the research group lies in the investigation of reception (media use and media effects) as well as on the analysis of the media content related to these phenomena.

As such, the research group analyses these foci with broad methodological expertise, such as representative panel surveys, qualitative and quantitative content analysis, and qualitative interviews.

Key dates