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Enabling a 12-fold Pattern of Dialogue for Governance

Explores clues towards richer patterns of dialogue.

Enabling a 12-fold Pattern of Systemic Dialogue for Governance
Languages of governance
Thinking tools for dialogue
Clues to patterns of dialogue from competing personality typing schemes
Clues to patterns of dialogue from myth and metaphor
Clues to patterns of dialogue from song
Imagining a 12-fold dialogue process
Possible procedures for a 12-fold dialogue process

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Annex to Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights: Recognition of memory constraints on collective strategic comprehension (2011)


The main paper clarifies the need for a 12-fold pattern of cognitive modalities to enable integrative governance. The central argument there is that a pattern of requisite complexity, or cognitive variety, is necessary to ensure sustainability. The constraints on human working memory capacity, comprehension and communicability were emphasized.

The approach presented here focuses on distinguishing 12 readily recognizable dialogue modalities (or "languages"). The challenge is seen as being one of interweaving their use such as to elicit a 12-fold pattern. Some possibilities of thematic "interweaving" were introduced separately (Interweaving Thematic Threads and Learning Pathways: noonautics, magic carpets and wizdomes, 2010).

A checklist of previous explorations of dialogue on this site is presented separately (Documents relating to Dialogue and Transformative Conferencing). This includes Selected Websites on Dialogue (2002). A valuable summary of dialogue reflection is provided in a collaborative exercise (Donnell King, Martha Merrill, Jim Pruitt, Jeanie Sharp, Lorna Williams. Dialogue Digest: a dialogical approach to dialogue, with extensive bibliography). Appropriate to the experiential stressed in relation to the "vehicle" metaphor explored in the main paper, King et al. introduce their own dialogue with:

To learn to ride a bicycle, you can profit from reading about bicycle mechanics and construction, and about the skills involved in riding a bicycle. But to really learn to ride it, you have to ride it.

The question in the main paper, and here, is the nature of the challenges when the "vehicle" needs more "wheels" than a "bicycle".

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