The 2018 edition of the Fireflies Dialogues, focusing on Dialogue, Reconciliation and Healing, will be held from 8-11 February, 2018 at Fireflies Intercultural Centre in Bangalore, India.

The Fireflies Dialogues happen yearly through Pipal Tree’s Meeting Rivers programme (Bangalore, India) and Dialogues en Humanité (Lyon, France). The Dialogues create opportunities for thinkers, artists, activists, students, journalists, policy makers, bureaucrats, scholars, and more to create change towards sustainability through knowledge-sharing, interaction, and participatory processes.

In this year’s theme, Dialogue, Reconciliation and Healing, we seek to explore the potential of dialogues in bringing about sustainable futures. To learn more about the 2018 topic, please refer to the concept note given below.

As always, we seek to cultivate a diverse group of participants who aim to share and apply the knowledge and inspiration they gain from the Fireflies Dialogues in their personal/professional lives, communities, and beyond to benefit a national and global citizenry.

To register for the Dialogues, please fill out this form by January 10, 2018. As usual, food and lodging will be provided free of cost for this event.

If you know of a person or group of people who would be interested in attending the 2018 Fireflies Dialogues, please share this announcement with them.

If you have any queries regarding the 2018 Fireflies Dialogues, please email us at events@pipaltree.org.in.

With warm regards,

For the Organizing Team

Siddhartha and Gopal Krishna

CONCEPT NOTE

WILL DIALOGUE FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES WORK?

Efforts at creating a different, more humane, more sustainable planet appear to be incredibly difficult. Entrenched vested interests or deeply held prejudices and beliefs that individuals and communities hold seem to stand in the way. Marx and his followers believed that the way forward was to mobilise along class lines and defeat the bourgeoisie, using violence where necessary. Gandhi, on the contrary, did not see the adversary as the enemy. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate to mobilise people against policies that he felt were unjust. But he did not believe in violent change. He was history’s foremost politician who advocated nonviolent non-cooperation as a form of struggle. He confronted his opponents, but always kept the channels of dialogue open. He believed in honourable compromise, each side giving a little after considering the other’s point of view.

So many of us today see the utter futility of violence to bring about meaningful change. Even if we do not agree with everything that Gandhi did or spoke, we are convinced by nonviolent dialogue. So then the question is: Are we using the potential of nonviolent dialogue to its limit in our endeavours to create a sustainable society?

Are we dialoguing with religious leaders, be they fundamentalists or others, who might feel that they have had a raw deal in the past and must now take advantage and persecute their real or imagined persecutors, who might be the great-great-great-great-great grandchildren of their oppressors? Must the children pay for the sins of the fathers?

Are we dialoguing with politicians, intellectuals, bureaucrats and panchayat officials who could so easily contribute to the meaningful implementation of programmes that could help the poor and marginalised? Are we dialoguing with them on Climate issues?

Would dialogue work? Would reconciliation work? So much healing needs to take place in India and other parts of the world. Dialogue and reconciliation are the first steps towards healing.

This will be the theme of the next Fireflies Dialogues. If we believe that dialogue will work there is hope ahead.

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