Global Dialogue Initiative
Global Dialogue Initiative
The Synergos Global Dialogue Initiative was created in January 2020 by a small group of Global Philanthropists Circle members at a meeting in the Netherlands. Inspired by a philanthropist who created a dialogue program based on music in his home country of Israel, the initiative brings together all those who share a common agenda of advancing dialogue to achieve social impact.
Since then, the initiative has mobilized an international community of philanthropists, practitioners and organizations, from every continent who share this common agenda and desire to be part of a like-minded and values aligned community that want to learn from and collaborate with each other.
Members are drawn from a variety of issue areas such as the promotion of democratic politics, conflict resolution and combating modern-day slavery. All aim to achieve their objectives through building connections and mutual trust, critical to achieve sustainable change,
The GDI works at three levels of engagement;
- The Individual – the initiative is a space for individuals to develop their own understanding of the power and potential of dialogue.
- The organizational – through sharing and collaboration, the initiative strengthens organizational impact through the use of dialogue.
- Society – the initiative seeks to address societal challenges through dialogue.
Members of the Global Dialogue Initiative community meet every two months for an online meeting to build connections and share knowledge. The community also meets at gatherings of the Synergos Global Philanthropists Circle. The GDI also pursues collaborative action through joint projects and programs. We welcome individuals and organizations that can demonstrate that dialogue is key to achieving impact in their work. If you are interested to join us, then please fill out this form and we will get in touch shortly.
Members of the Global Dialogue Initiative come together digitally every 4-6 weeks to learn, share and collaborate on specific dialogue projects.
Wednesday, 27 September 2023
Join us for this special community meeting.
Unlike previous gatherings, we will not have a presenter but instead, we will have a community-wide discussion where we will share exciting news about the GDI and hear from you on updates about your work in the dialogue space, challenges and successes. We would also like to discuss ideas about projects and programs that the GDI could collectively engage in and assist. If you know of any such opportunities, please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention.
We hope you feel inspired to join us and look forward to seeing you.
In conversation with the Berghof Foundation
The Berghof Foundation is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization supporting people in conflict in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace through conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Join us to find out how the Berghof Foundation uses dialogue to create space for conflict transformation and peace; the key challenges they face in their work; and their vision for the future.
Speakers included: Johannes Zundel, Chair - Berghof Foundation; Oliver Wils, Head of the Advisory Team and Shirin Reuvers, Head of Strategic Partnerships.
Watch the full meeting HERE
Bill Doherty, Co-Founder of Braver Angels will join the meeting and give an insight talk on the work his organization is doing to combat political polarization.
In the U.S. political polarization has become the problem that prevents other problems from being solved. It's not so much as issues as about "affective" polarization or contempt for those who differ politically, and it has invaded nearly every aspect of life. Bill will lead a discussion of the sources of the rise in polarization and describe how the nonprofit Braver Angels is addressing the problem in the U.S.
Niamh Gunn, the Founder of The Dialogue Code gave an overview of the work she has engaged in, focusing on a case study of how the dialogue had a global impact with Pepsico and also sharing some of the insights that have emerged in their public dialogues on work-culture leadership in the last 24 months. And why more than ever there is a need for dialogue and connected action. She will also share an opportunity for the GDI community.
The Dialogue Code offers organizational leaders a framework to bring sustainable change across the organizations and communities they serve through inclusive dialogue and connected action. They have worked with leaders across workplaces and across communities, uncovering blocks to progress and making meaningful changes for organizations to deliver their goals effectively through dialogue.
Raj Vinnakota, President, Institute for Citizens & Scholars led an interactive conversation about the power and potential of young people to strengthen democracy now and for the long haul.
At the meeting, we were joined by John Sarrouf, Co-Executive Director of Essential Partners for a presentation and experiential session followed by a discussion on collaboration and next steps.
During this meeting Abigail Munroe from Walk Free Foundation and Dr Scherto Gill, Professor of Research and Director, Global Humanity for Peace Institute, University of Wales Trinity St. David talked about their work and how they incorporate dialogue in it.
In the year's first meeting, members of the GDI community met to discuss plans for the year ahead and share updates about their work with the group.
Dialogue for Democracy, November 2021
This 90-minute convening featured philanthropists and practitioners who are actively promoting democracy and using dialogue as a tool toad to advance their work. The session examined the role of dialogue in vibrant democracies and a few model examples from the United States, Africa India and Europe were discussed.
The year’s last meeting kickstarted with an update on the Power of Dialogue program. This was then followed by a presentation on Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) by Larisa Benson. Larisa spoke about how PYE seeks to address social issues through creative solutions. We then heard from Sir Robert Fulton on the Global Leadership Foundation (GLF) and why dialogue is at the heart of the GLF vision and its way of working.
At this meeting, the Power of Dialogue team was invited to provide an overview of the program, co-developed by the GDI in partnership with Partners for Youth Empowerment and Music for Dialogue. The team spoke about how the program intends to teach dialogue skills to young people globally. This was followed by a presentation by Jessica Duque, from the Institute for Economics and Peace on insights from the year’s peace index, especially within the context of global dialogue.
Participants shared their thoughts and reflections about the GDI webinar held in April 2021. This was followed by a presentation by Daniel Hasson from the Jerusalem Intercultural Center. Daniel spoke to the group about an alternative to the traditional outcomes-based approach called the “emergence based” approach followed at the Intercultural Center. Jamie then apprised the group of the Power of Dialogue program and concluded the meeting.
Dialogue in Action, April 2021
A webinar where grassroots leaders from around the world shared how they promote dialogue as a means to address complex issues and improve their communities and broader society. It featured leaders from Brazil, Israel, Morocco, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States.
At this meeting, Robin Sclafani from CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe and Vuslat Dogan along with Merve Caglar from Vuslat Foundation presented the work of their respective organizations. Robin spoke about how CEJI delivers diversity education, enhances interfaith and intercultural dialogue, while advocating against antisemitism and discrimination in Europe. Vuslat and Merve shared a presentation on the main focus of the Vuslat Foundation – Generous Listening.
This group meeting featured German philanthropist Tobias Merckle, who shared details of his various projects including Seehaus Leonberg - a place where juveniles from prisons stay to serve the sentence; and a dialogue programme called Villages of Restoration for former guerrilla members. This was followed by a brainstorming session for a GDI group event.
At our first meeting of the year, we heard from Mark Gerzon from the Mediators Foundation on the relevance of dialogue within philanthropy and the role of philanthropy within politics. This was followed by a discussion on the business plans for the year. The meeting ended with an update on the power of dialogue program.
We were joined by Edward Strasser and Helfried Carl who are leading on The European Capital of Democracy, an initiative of the Innovation in Politics Institute. They shared their aims for the project and how it is hoped will lead to greater dialogue and strengthened democracy in Europe. Mark Gerzon from the Mediators Foundation also presented two case studies of how dialogue helped build partnerships between major US philanthropies, and helped a major philanthropy used its resources to develop bridging leadership at the community level.
We were joined by the Kahane Foundation who shared how they operate across Europe to support refugees driven from their homelands, and the challenges of integrating into a new home. We also heard how they support democratic initiatives, especially bringing in youth voices into local decision-making.
Our first formal online meeting of the GDI was held where members of the Global Philanthropists Circle were invited to hear more about the community and to share how dialogue features in their philanthropy. We also explored potential ways for members of the group to collaborate on joint initiatives.