Our vision

Many realities in modern life do not lend themselves to easy explanations from the mainstream or solutions designed by technical experts alone. Surviving and flourishing in a world fraught with uncertainty and conflict means we must think, learn and act across boundaries between people and the world around us.

 

Our work is dedicated to advancing authentic dialogue and sound inquiry among people committed to making a difference. It weaves together insights and lessons from critical, clinical and pragmatic perspectives on PAR, building on the common idea that research must be done “with” people and not “on” or “for” people.

 

The approach we advance is not just another toolbox or packaged methodology. We argue that every process must be designed from scratch, tailored to a specific purpose, timeframe and set of actors. This is a craft involving five skillful means, described below.

 

The term "skillful means" is our adaptation of the Buddhist concept of upaya-kaushalya, also known as the craft of compassion. It refers to the art of helping others realize the potential within the present moment. It implies a twofold caring structure — precision and caring – to create a shift in understanding and action.

 

 

Engaging people and knowledge from different perspectives and facilitating dialogue across social boundaries, cultural settings, and modes of learning.

MEDIATING

Engaging people and knowledge from different perspectives and facilitating dialogue across social boundaries, cultural settings, and modes of learning.

ENGAGING

Building inquiry and learning on felt needs and “in the middle” of ongoing processes. Asking, what would be useful to learn more about at this time?

GROUNDING

GROUNDING

Selecting and combining different forms of inquiry, planning, and participation to help people deal with complexity (the uncertain, the unknown) in a timely fashion.

nAVIGATING

SCALING

Adjusting inquiry methods and actions to fit the depth of evidence, planning, and participation needed to achieve meaningful results.

SENSEMAKING

Co-creating meaning in complex situations by integrating analysis and narrative into explanations that inspire and persuade.

SAS2 Dialogue (OM) © 2018. Jacques M. Chevalier and Daniel J. Buckles.