Bridge Collective Discussion Group

This group began its life in a discussion group facilitated by John

Thompson from Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry.

Between March and August 2008, John facilitated a regular discussion group on a range of topics. (See past discussions Mar-Aug 08). When John left Exeter for a new job, we got together to keep the group going. Since then we’ve been meeting once a month for a drop in discussion. We share facilitating it together.

For each topic we start with maybe ten different perspectives to look at from all different points of view. There is an invitation to use the OSDE principles as a way of sharing our opinions on different points of view as we see them: globally, within the group and within our own lives, if we want to.

At each session we come up with a topic for the next session and start putting together statements to begin the next discussion.

Some comments about what people have enjoyed:

‘Time to talk and listen without having to solve anything’

‘Hearing that the same stuff that goes round my head, goes round other people’s’

‘More comfortable with different beliefs’

‘It’s helpful that there’s some structure and an opportunity to bring stuff to the surface and observe it and engage with others’

‘I like discussing  different points of view without anyone trying to change them’

‘In awe hearing people sharing what’s true for them’

‘I’ve learnt so much from everyone’s perspectives’

Because there is chance to suspend the belief that any point of view is universal there is no need to come to a consensus or for anyone to change their mind. Nothing has to be fixed or decided just explored’

‘It can mean that a safe enough space is created that it’s easier to express views, especially if experienced views to be out of step with others or put down in another context’

‘A way of seeing different things without being in conflict’.

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Discussion Group History