Conversation circles to improve society

One of the things that I’d like to host at Telluselle Living Center, is sacred circles for conversation. In Sweden, we have a tradition called “study-circles” that are subsidized by our government, that pays out a sum to non-profit organizations having them. This can be for dancing, yoga, meditation and qigong, as well as actually studying and discussing various books or topics – like night-classes or book-circles for culture, crafts and the arts. It’s this concept that I’d like to bring with me to the United States and adjust to the market here, perhaps even suggesting a subsidy too. And as a professional life coach, I’m trained to lead these kind of conversation circles and have done so, both during my university education as well as taught Beginner’s English for senior Swedish citizens (and some Hula). These groups usually consist of 5-15 people and here is how they work:

Let’s say that our topic is Equality with the purpose to lessen discrimination. We will sit comfortably in a circle and let each person speak. The first round will be introducing ourselves and sharing our own purpose for participating. The second round we’ll discuss how we define our topic. The third round, we’ll all give examples of our own experiences and the fourth time around, we’ll discuss improvements that we would like and how these can be done. All concluded with an open discussion and a summary.

These group discussions may be only once for each topic, or developed into a semester course with literature and news-clippings to go with, and perhaps a brainstorming session, where we’ll come up with various solutions and ideas on how to proceed, whether it would be to write a bill and invite a politician or attorney, or start a consultancy business. We’ll have various exercises that we will do in between our meetings, to try various approaches at home, in our schools or in our workplaces, to implement our desired change. Then, we’ll reconvene and share how these exercises went.

This way of discussing, when properly disciplined with presence and real listening, not only enable us to learn more from each other, but also see how we can develop a topic with synergy around the circle. And we’ll find likeminded souls fostering a mutual sense of support, to improve society.

What would you like to discuss?

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