Foundation Overview

An Overview

History leaves scars. So does culture.

So do most other social forces that act on us from outside. Religion, education, economics, and so on.

These forces leave their scars passed down through generations, along cultural, gender, religious or national lines. We bear scars from the experiences of others: the experiences of our ancestors, the experiences of our peers. While most of these scars are not ours, we still bear them.

And so we build walls to help protect ourselves from being scarred again by those things that were suffered by those others.

But is it really our nature to live in this way: in fear and separation? Is it really our nature to survive behind these invisible walls? Or is it our nature to seek how we can live in openness, in connection, in love and in compassion?

Are we just here to survive or are we here to thrive?

The Conversation Initiative believes that most of these walls no longer serve us, and don’t really protect us. We believe that in exploring our inner vulnerabilities, we begin to understand where they came from which allows us to bring them down one by one and in so doing we begin to connect with greater openness to ourselves, our traditions and values. With this greater openness we are then more able to reach out to those on the other side. In this process we discover what connects us rather than differentiates us and how we can make each other feel safe so that we can work together rather than against one another.

In this way we can learn to thrive. All of us. Together.

But in the end all these walls do is create and maintain separation. In this disconnected state we arm ourselves with weapons of self-righteousness, intimidation, propaganda, mistrust, insecurity and fear that often lead to weapons of war.

We have built such walls around our houses, our neighbourhoods, our countries. But the most powerful and the most dangerous, are the ones we have built around our hearts.

To reinforce and strengthen our walls we then often declare them our ‘moralities’ our ‘practicalities’ and our ‘ideologies’ and then label those on the other side with words like “heathen”, “bigot”, “idiot”, “illiterate”, “barbarian”, “fanatic”, “traitor”, “weakling” and so on.

We all bear these scars and so we all build such walls.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Our mission is to help people engage in a new form of communication, one rooted in a genuine connection to one’s own vulnerable yet heartfelt feelings.

From such a space, an openness flows. There is no defensiveness, there is no blame, there is only what is: the genuine feelings that are deep deep inside.This shifts the speaker’s relationship to these feelings, to their truth, to themselves, which ultimately allows them to shift their relationship to the world.

Hearing such openness, also shifts something in the listener too. Because the listener is not blamed, not judged, they don’t need to maintain their defensiveness, so they begin to open more fully to the story being shared. In doing this, in witnessing the vulnerability of the speaker while feeling their defensiveness drop, they find themselves opening to their own feelings and the possibility of exploring their own vulnerabilities. without the worry of how others would judge them.

These shifts in either the speaker or listener or even both create the opportunity to bring down a wall that may have previously divided them. Allowing them to connect in a very different way.

We undertake this mission in two synergistic ways:

Firstly, we create safe shared spaces for conversations to explore our deep vulnerabilities. People may explore their vulnerabilities wherever they like, but our spaces are facilitated and focused making them safe and allowing for the exploration to be deep.

Secondly, conversations that move us or our participants within those spaces are, with permission, shared onto public platforms so that others can begin to hear and feel the true power of this sort of communication and what it does to them. We leverage state of the art technology to do this so that the stories are available widely and delivered in as vulnerable and as engaging and moving a manner as possible.

With the sharing of these stories, we encourage and attract more diverse and other views into our spaces, to share their stories, and so our community of connected diversity grows…..

The infinity sign in our logo represents this: an ever growing cycle from speaker to listener spreading compassion and understanding. It only takes one to change a relationship. It only takes one to change the world. The speaker shifts his connection to his feelings. This opens a space for the listener to shift his relationship to his. Should the listener now communicate to another in this way, he will shift in that listener their connection to theirs. And so it goes.