GPSEN Sustainability Symposium Community Dialogue – Pulse from Our Participants

GPSEN Sustainability Symposium Community Dialogue – Pulse from Our Participants

Like emerging new shoots in spring, our 2020 Symposium participants engaged in our community dialogue session with enthusiasm after riveting presentations on energy, food systems and permaculture.  Our community dialogue started with a nod to the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle observed across the globe on April 17. We shared a moment to reflect on how being in a pandemic reminds us of our interconnected world, and to intentionally advance sustainability across diverse fields by using education as a tool to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the new ESD for 2030 decade and framework. 

GPSEN’s community dialogue adopted the Talanoa approach to harness community thoughts, concerns and vision for action. The Talanoa dialogue model is the traditional method of solving differences in the Pacific Islands. In 2017, the Fijian presidency used the Talanoa dialogue to bring together governments and civil society in conversation on climate change. Talanoa dialogue is an inclusive, receptive method where empathy is the primary diplomacy tool to understand the repercussions of climate change in different countries, and to arrive on emission reduction agreements. 

Talanoa dialogues are led by three questions:

  • Where we are?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How do we get there?

To enable the process of ‘hearing’ everyone, we asked our participants to share their thoughts via Zoom chat page. The next paragraphs contain a collective reflection from the community to these lead questions and a subset of questions which facilitate the community dialogue for 20 minutes.  

As you read through these paragraphs, you will see participants’ words and thoughts (in quotations) braided into sentences showing collective wisdom, hope and call for action. I acknowledge all participants for their contributions in the community dialogue.

Click here for the full document: Community Dialogues – GPSEN Symposium 2020.