Clouds, group dynamics and lateral thinking

Participant blogger #12 gives her description of a day in the life of  Talk Together.

“Over ten days of talking and sharing about more than three decades of conflict have passed, but with each day, the dynamics of the group are being challenged.

“This has been proven true after the presentation by the Moroccan journalist, which brought many different emotions and especially amongst the group from the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria. For this, our visit to Wytham Abbey and listening to a presentation about something completely different was necessary to clear the “cloud” that has formed over the group. There, Dr. Stewart gave a talk about – as it has been described by one of the participants – The Project of the century. He presented the new breakthrough in air travel; a hybrid between aeroplanes and airships and it is called SkyCat.

“This  Lateral Thinking trip was meant to expose us to an idea that merges two completely separate ideas to come up with something revolutionary. Apart from that, it was a good change for the group and spending time in the garden was needed for a fresh breath of air and a different environment for our group dialogue process.

“Mediation has been by far the hardest nonviolent communication skill in the course. In theory, it is not that hard to follow the guidelines and the process of mediation. However, practice proves that wrong. In addition, the activity that we had to do was a true challenge for some people who either acted the perspective that they believe in or the perspective that contradict their personal principles.

“This was followed by three presentations; a presentation of the Moroccan perspective, a talk by Richard Starforth from Western Sahara Campaign UK and finally, an insight into the gender perspective of this conflict by Joanna Allan. I felt that these talks were informative and gave us other dimensions of the conflict.”

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