Everyone is talking about engaging across differences. Refugees, racial and cultural communities, victims of harassment, political adversaries, youth, elders, rural and urban dwellers—all experience the painful patterns of prejudice. Individuals and institutions are doing more than just talking. Public policy, corporate training, and a variety of grass roots movements seek to reform society and shift from bias to empathy. Too often, however, those efforts reinforce old paradigms. When social dynamics are complex, these traditional interventions may enflame resentment and create unintended consequences.

The theory of complex adaptive systems and the practice of human systems dynamics (HSD) opens alternative pathways through Generative Engagement. Using this simple model and method, individuals and groups see patterns in their own behaviors and others’, understand those patterns in new ways, and take wise action to shift toward patterns of possibility.

In this presentation, you will reflect on your own experience and share with others to learn:

  • Basic dynamics of difference in complex adaptive systems.
  • Methods to recognize sources and impacts of your own bias.
  • Simple process to enter into dialogue with others about social patterns as they emerge.
  • How to set conditions that generate patterns of growth, learning, and empathy.
  • Additional resources to expand your understanding and practice.

You will apply what you learn to your own most sticky issues of bias—whether you are the source or the victim of the pattern. You should attend this session if you:

  • Experience the stress of privilege and prejudice.
  • Support others to reduce bias in their communities.
  • Feel perplexed or frustrated by the public discourse related to bias.
  • Want to develop your own capacity to see, understand, and engage with others who are different from you.

Faculty & Coaches

Glenda Eoyang, PhD, HSDP
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