My journey as a catalyst for dialogue.
Journeying is my passion. On reflection, this has been true for all of my life. From the earliest age I have travelled, and much of my professional life has involved imparting the skills needed to journey successfully. The concept of the Learning Journey was fundamental to my recognition as an international expert in the field of educational opportunities, and enabling others to build their capacity to travel (in its broadest sense) has been fundamental to my very successful career.
For many years I have also understood that the most important aspect of travel is not what you learn about the places that you visit, but what you learn about yourself. In 2015 I established the company: Catalyst for Dialogue, which built on my 40 years’ experience as a practitioner, manager, consultant and activist. During my three decades at the University of Liverpool, where I became the first Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Educational Opportunities, I worked across the world with many communities, groups and organisations.
During this time I developed the role of a ‘catalyst’ seeking to enable meaningful conversations between different stakeholders. The work I do now often involves using the Medicine Wheel as a framework to review the group/organisations journey so far and then to work together to develop a shared vision for future work. The presence of an external facilitator can significantly assist in the development of a genuine road map which involves all those in inclusive and value led solutions.
Journeying involves seeing the world from different perspectives, of learning about oneself through gaining insight into the thinking of others, recognising that our similarities are so much greater than our difference. Reflection and dialogue are also opportunities to look at your own world from a different perspective and can provide a huge opportunity for insight and learning. However it is not always an easy thing to do. Sometimes the presence of someone from the outside can act as a stimulant, which leads to deep and meaningful conversations and positive future actions.
'Once we started talking it was difficult to stop, but the Workshop really helped us work out where we wanted to go! '
Goran: Where Are We Going Workshop participant