Civic Dialogues: Selected Stories

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One of the unique features of the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy is that it makes it possible for large groups of people to be in dialogue with each other around a topic of interest. This approach treats every person in the room as having important information and opinion around the topic and offers the ‘stage’ to anyone wanting to speak instead of relying on experts or leaders to make presentations for others to respond to. The technique of deep democracy allow the conversation to go fairly deep fairly quickly and engage the group through movement and amplification of voices, making it possible to include emotional, intellectual, relational, imaginative and other resources in the discussion. The purpose of these discussions is not to prove something or to arrive at a specific answer, but rather to explore a topic and generate insights that individuals and small groups can use to guide their actions in the context of the discussion topic.
In October 2015 we used the excuse of Myrna Lewis’ visit to North America to organize two civic dialogues, the first in Vancouver BC on Oct 3rd and the second in Halifax NS on Oct 8th.  These events were organized as part of a series of about 15 dialogues happening all over the world exploring current issues of leadership relevant to various local contexts.  We had about 125 and 75 people present at the Vancouver and Halifax events respectively. Aftab, Sera and Myrna facilitated the events with help from local DD practitioners and local partners.
Below are some quick reflections of the outcomes of each session, with reference to several interviews with participants which give you a full sense of what happened at each session from various view points.


Halifax Nova Scotia: Oct 8th 2015
Topic: Lowering the Waterline on Nova Scotia’s Challenges
Event sponsored by Engage Nova Scotia.


Quick stats:

Of the 50 people who responded to a post event survey:

27 gave it a 5/5  for “time well spent”
15 gave it a 4/5
7 gave it a 3/5
1 gave it a 2/5


Read three participant’s stories here:


The insights from the session were recorded visually.


Vancouver British Columbia: Oct 3rd 2015
Topic: “Is Hope Bullshit?”


The insights from the session were recorded visually.