This paper was done for the Anna-Lindh Foundations “1001 Actions” campaign proposal when preparing for the UN AMR 2008. Please also see these background papers.


Transcultural Dialog and Peace-Making

Roundtable learning from experience during the last 40 years and new ideas

Looking into 35+ years of efforts into inter-cultural dialogues make obvious that there are some stumbling-blocks hindering us and inhibiting searching co-creatively commons and develop shared alternatives without neglecting the “other” position and perspective.


Stumbling blocks preventing true dialog, peace-making, and reconciliation:

1) we fight over words but do not check the meaning,

2) we do not question and compare the values attached to statements and attitudes,

3) we do not contextualize and embody concepts and meaning, do not check the sectors, regions, scales, proportions and consequences of alternative actions,

4) we do not give voice, empower, listen, cherish and cultivate difference or variety in dialog and decision making,

5) Disorientation and dumbing-down in Cyberculture and a misadministered and misunderstood, intangible  “Globalisation”: Where we get overloaded by communication noise (sign/symbol melange) and media demagogy which means: no trust and fidelity in the statements and no ways and means to check the credibility and impact/relevance, and get lost between the scales, brackets, and sectors.

6) The above incompatibility and incomparability opens the door for over-claims and oversimplifications. Leaders use intangible jargon (plastic-words), neglect impacts and avoid instead of exploring differences and alternatives.


As the topic and target: Transcultural Dialog and Peace-Making is a star-high goal naturally further experience and successful approaches need to be gathered. The authors can think about reconciling the inner and the outer, senses and aesthetics, models and orientations, and move to assemble 5-7 “movers and differences makers” from the Edge of peace making and reconciliation.


The original organizers: Alexander Christakis, Farah Lenser and Heiner Benking have dedicated most of their professional life (for decades) to work on the above critical thresholds and leverage points.

The idea is to include more “original” movers in the scene and allow an exchange of experience to be shared with a wide public via interactive teleconferencing.

The idea is not to share experience and learning from mistakes and successes. An idea of the format shows in this gathering of system sciences pioneers which unfortunately has not been recorded:


The location proposed is either Alexandria or Berlin in May 2008. The possible contributors below have already agreed participation for a weekend sometime in May 2008.

While preparing this concept and reviewing and revisiting milestones and the contributions already in for “1001 ACTIONS FOR DIALOG” it became obvious that a lot of interesting activities are in already bringing together a lot of exciting and different projects and stakeholders, but bringing together unique developments and achievements, actions, mishaps and successes to learn from is missing!

A matrix of key-contributors and areas as given above and invited contributors will be provided to see how areas overlap and connect ! According to the magic-roundtable rules (see Lenser below) the imagined roundtables will include surprise and honorary guests coming only last minute to augment the list of candidates.


This “embryonic” proposal for one action can therefore be seen stakeholders and risk-takers, policy makers and facilitators to help the learning curve of good practices. A lot more that the ½ dozen possible contributors are around. To bring them together some physically, some virtually is therefore the main idea and objective of this proposal. Experience with telematics since the word was coined in 1980 and distance learning and global conferences in the internet during the last 10 years will be “harvested” to bring together the best and brightest ideas for Peace and Dialog.

Alexander Christakis

Is a pioneer in global problem solving and conflict resolution, was in the original team to establish the Club of Rome in the late 60ies, worked with modern and indigenous cultures, and presently focuses beside other projects on the Cyprus Peace dialogues.

The achievements and work done around Doxiadis, The Club of Rome, the US OTA, and Society for Contemporary Problems fill books which are worth recommending.

For more please see:

Work areas: 1, 2 above.


Farah Lenser

Works as journalist and facilitator, is a social scientist and focuses intercultural-interreligious qualitative research and practice since the early 90ies. She was in the original team to establish the International Peace University in Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down and co-ordinated the team in 1995. A hallmark event in large-gathering dialogues where she introduced “magic round tables”. Samples of her expertise and coverage of some events she facilitated can be found here:

Farah was invited by Anthony Judge to the “School of Ignorance?” David Bohm influenced exercises of eliciting the inner voice and subsuming and resonnating in groups. See her personal page and

Work areas: 2, 4


Heiner Benking

Has a background in international projects and decision making since the mid 70ies, and multi-lingual multi-cultural harmonisation since the late 80ies. He “found” the magic round tables dialog method, was asked to look into Leadership and Peace-making with Johan Galtung by Panetics Founder Ralph Siu, is the “brother in co-creation” of Barbara Marx-Hubbard, and founded the open-forum Dialogues with Farah Lenser. He contributed to the Consultative Mediation “cook-book” in the early 90ies, collected dialogue and participation methods for Robert Jungk’s 80ies birthday (1993), and contributed UNESCO’s Culture of Peace in 1997, the UN’s Dialog of Civilizations in 2000. Studying the early steps of the Club of Rome in the early 70ies he helped Ervin Laszlo to establish the Club of Budapest as the outcome of the International Peace University in 1995. He is in the board of International youth organisations and focuses beside dialog and reconciliation, on multi-lingual/cultural knowledge organisation and decision making or governance, on basic education and orientation making use of shared “mental models” in a “cognitive panorama” forming an embodied global covenant. He is member of the Academic Board of the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics and presently serves as secretary of the Tagore-Einstein-Council and the Council on Global Issues, working part-time for International Youth Community Services.  -  selected publications: WORLD FUTURES:, GLOBAL COVENANT 2003, World Unity Days 2006

see also Ralph G.H. Siu and Panetics:

Work areas: 3-6




To be consulted and invited:

Barabara Marx-Hubbard: helped create: SynCons, Future Studies and Co-creation

She is one of the great elders and visionary pioneers in the fields of conscious evolution and future studies. A colleague of many 20th century pioneers like Abraham Maslow (founder of Humanistic Psychology) and Jonas Salk (creator of the polio vaccine), for decades she  co-founded leading-edge organizations like the World Future Society and the Association for Global New Thought;  co-produced more than two dozen large conferences to uncover innovative synergies for whole-society evolution; promoted Soviet-American dialogue;  wrote a number of books including Conscious Evolution, Emergence, and The Evolutionary Journey; and had her name placed in nomination for US Vice President on the Democratic ticket in 1984. In the 1970s, Hubbard organized and co-produced twenty-five 'Syncons' ('synergistic conferences'), and the multimedia 'Theater For The Future'In the 1970s, Hubbard organized and co-produced twenty-five 'Syncons' ('synergistic conferences'), and the multimedia 'Theater For The Future'.

Work areas: 4-6


Anthony Judge, Founding Editor of the International Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, about 40 years Assistant Secretary‑General. Functional role as Director of Communications and Research.. See: and

Influenced by the David Bohm Dialogues he initiated and managed the School of Ignorance? Over the years. The Matrix used below was “borrowed” from earlier Scholl of Ignorance? Gatherings. This link to help possible participants decide if they should join is highly recommended: why attend?:

Work areas: 1-6


LaDonna Harris see also (Jacky below)

Is founder of Americans for Indian Opportunities (AIO), She collaborated over 10 years with Alexander Christakis and is part of the original IM team of John Warfield. Structured dialogue processes provided culturally resonant means through which Indigeneous people have been able to identify and articulate their core values to broader audiences, especially the four R’s (Relationship, Responsibility, Reciprocity and Redistribution). These Four R’s form the core of an emerging concept, Indigeneity. The dynamic inclusivity of this value cluster has much to contribute to global discourse as we go about the task of constructing global agoras, the dialogic spaces of optimal learning of the 21st century.

see also the Inerview Christakis/Harris:

Work areas: 1,2,4,6


Jacqueline Howell Wasilewski 

is a Professor of Intercultural Communication at the Division of International Studies at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Japan, and a specialist in the dynamics of multiculturation and in the use of structured dialogue processes in the management of complex issues.

Please see her book, together with H. Ned Seelye, Between Cultures: Developing Self-Identity in a World of Diversity (McGraw-Hill, 1996).  Please see her paper on Interculturalists as Dragon-Riders in the Journal of Intercultural Communication, SIETAR Japan, No 4, pp. 75-89, 2001. Please see furthermore her thoughts on Consensus-Based Decision-Making in a Global Society, adapted from The Asiatic Society of Japan Bulletin No. 1, January 2002, compiled by Prof. Hugh E. Wilkinson and Mrs. Doreen Simmons. •  The Coe Boundary-Spanning Dialogue Approach (BDA) Project: Background & Previous Outcomes, Tokyo: International Christian University, Division of International Studies & the Graduate School of Public Administration, 2005 •  Structured Dialogue Processes, Tokyo: International Christian University, Division of International Studies & the Graduate School of Public Administration, 2005.

more at:  

(Jacky brought together Alexander Christakis and LaDonna Harris (above)

Work areas 2,3


Walter J. Bogan

Walter participated with Margaret Mead in the World Council of Church's conference in Zurich on "The Impact or Western Technology on Developing Countries" in 1969 and represented SIPI as an NGO at the UN in preparation for the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and was elected chairman of US based NGOs participating in the Stockholm Conference. In Washington Alexander N. Christakis introduced him EKISTICS and his work with Hasan Ozbakan on the first Club of Rome Report and to John Warfield and their work on ISM. We collaborated on environmental education for over ten years culminating in Designs for the Future of Environmental Education (USDOE Publication).  

In 1980 he left the Department of Education to join the AAAS where he developed and became Director of a Center for Education of Global Change just before Rio 1992 and became Agenda 21 the bridge for his re-entry into the conversation on Sustainable Development.

In 2006 he directed the Newark Public School and University Heights Science Park and the Science Park High School to prepare urban minority students for entry into the health, science and technology careers of the future and currently develops a Digital Media and Spatial Literacy Academy

see also:

Work areas: 1,2,5,6


Johan Galtung (see Benking and Siu above)



to be continued….



















































































To be completed, expanded and continued – first to be negotiated estimates by Heiner Benking


The challenge is seen in bridging differences and going beyond the need to agree towards new forms of comprehension. For more see the work of Anthony Judge on this.