conversation initiatives around the world


Listed here are some excellent websites that promote community, conversation, or an issue described in Turning to One Another. Just reading this listing gives a sense of how much important and inspiring work is going on. More and more people all over the world are using conversational processes to bring people together and to solve problems. This list is far from complete, but hopefully it inspires you to explore these sites and then discover many more.

Community and Conversational Processes

The Community Toolbox. The world's largest resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities.


Compassionate Listening Project.  Dedicated to empowering individuals to heal polarization and build bridges between people, communities, and nations in conflict.

Hope in the Cities.  Fostering dialogues on racial, ethnic and religious healing; provides dialogue modules.



Appreciative Inquiry Commons. Devoted to the sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and this rapidly growing discipline of how to create positive change.

Art of Hosting.  Practice retreats teaching processes of working together that inspire and lead to real solutions to current problems.  International scope.

The Co-Intelligence Institute. To further the understanding and development of co-intelligence, defined as “the ability to wisely organize our lives together -- all of us being wiser together than any of us could be alone.” A treasure trove of resources from Tom Atlee.

Conversation  Café.  Aspires to promote global community, democracy and wisdom through generating millions of open, respectful public conversations.

Future Search. A process for involving the whole community in determining its vision and moving its dreams into action.

Study Circles Resource Center. Supports communities in developing their own ability to solve problems by bringing people together in dialogue across divides of race, income, age, and political viewpoints.

Open Space Institute – US.  One of many globally to support the use of Open Space Technology as a powerful convening process.

Peerspirit.  Life & Leadership through Circle, Quest, & Story,  A rich resource of people, retreats and publications.  www.peerspirit.comm

Public Conversations Project.  To guide, train, and inspire individuals, organizations, and communities to constructively address conflicts relating to values and worldviews.

World Café.  A rich community of resources, stories, connections and processes for those using this wonderful process of hosting intimate conversations even in very large groups.


Caring Institute.  Honors and promotes the values of caring, integrity and public service inspired by the example of Mother Teresa.

Center for Courage and Renewal.  Fostering personal professional renewal through retreats that offer the time and space to reflect on life and work.

National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. Among many other things on this site, their Learning Exchange is a searchable data base of the most updated, comprehensive resource collection on dialogue and deliberation anywhere. www.thataway.orgg

Generative Dialogue Project.  Part of the Global Leadership Initiative, a broad effort to address the need for more effective approaches to global problem solving.


Bread for the Journey.  Finds people with strength and vision who are excited about improving their community and help them make it happen, offers one-time seed grants up to three thousand dollars.


Americans for the Arts.  Promoting securing increased funding for the arts. Their Arts and Civic Engagement initiative supports art that encourages civic dialogue on important contemporary issues.

PhotoVoice.  Encourages the use of documentary photography by enabling those that have traditionally been the subject of such work to become its creator, to promote community well-being.

Peace Tiles Project.  Offers an easy to follow process to engage people of all ages in the exploration of global issues through art, while building connections around the world.


Mix It Up. Helps young people identify, question and cross social boundaries in their schools and communities. free handbook, “Reaching Across Boundaries: Talk to Create Change.”

Orangeband Initiative. The “rock and roll of democracy,” taking back dialogue from media and politicians, as rock and roll took back music from institutions and put it in the hands of the people making the music. People get an OrangeBand, put it someplace visible, and use it to spark a conversation - hopefully with someone who thinks differently.

Service for Peace.  Work begun by 300 international youth volunteers, offering service programs in communities in 27 nations for all ages.

The People Speak.  Engages people of all ages to discuss the value of international cooperation, runs thousands of events yearly.

YouthNoise. Social networking site for those under 27 who want to talk about real issues and amplify their impact as youth.


The Berkana Institute.  Co-founded in 1992 by Margaret Wheatley.  Working with a rich diversity of partners mostly in the Third World to strengthen communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment.

Changemakers. An initiative of Ashoka focused on the rapidly growing world of social innovation.  Includes online “open source” community and large library of resources.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. From South Africa, an international alliance of members and partners focused on strengthening civic engagement.

Civic Life International.  Dedicated to using dialogue, deliberation and media strategies to uncover emerging issues facing people and communities and strengthening the competencies of citizen, institutions and governments to respond to these challenges.

Global Voices. A non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Peace X Peace.  Women’s circles connecting globally to support each other and promote peace.

Pioneers of Change. A global learning network of young people, in their 20's and 30's, who have committed to be themselves, do what matters, start now, engage with others, and never stop asking questions.

WiserEarth.  Serving those who are creating a just and sustainable world through community.  A community directory and social networking service.


Center for Ecoliteracy. Founded by Fritjof Capra. Teaching children how to care for the earth through projects developed in local schools.

Small Planet Institute.  Co-founded by Frances Moore Lappe, as a resource for hope and action.

The Sustainability Institute. Sustainability in homes, communities, worksites. Includes the wonderful commentaries of the late Donella Meadows.

Zen Peacemaker Order. Co-founded by Bernie Glassman, transforming individuals and society through socially engaged Buddhism.



Angeles Arrien.  Anthropologist, author, educator, consultant. A truly wise woman who draws on all the world’s cultures.

Peter Block.  Wise and experienced about creating community in all settings.

Fritjof Capra.  Physicist and Systems Thinker, Environmentalist, a gifted communicator of the implications of new science for today.

Pema Chödrön.  A compassionate, funny, wise Buddhist teacher whose teachings help many live more peacefully.

Riane  Eisler.  Social  scientist, author, social activist whose work startles us to think differently.

Paulo Freire .  In English and Portuguese.

Paul Hawken.  A sustainability, social change activist and journalist describing how the world is benefitting from individual and small group activism.

Paul Loeb.  A clear voice for citizen participation and prolific writer on current issues for more than 30 years.

Joanna Macy. One of the most compassionate and skillful societal change activists in the world.

William McDonough.  Architect, designer, breakthrough thinker on sustainability.

Bill McKibben.  Author, educator, environmentalist extraordinaire.

David Suzuki.  A tireless and wise scientist, environmentalist, author with a vision of how we could live on this planet within its limits.