Feedback from the Intensive Dialogue Workshop for Practitioners
I found the content and the strategies very useful, and I don’t think you are selling yourself very well. I have seen institutions within t the international system that supply training, they over-promise while you under-promise. For the theoretical presentations, I think they can be mixed better with practice sessions. As for the content it’s very practical which is good. I don’t think that there are many other institutions out there creating this kind of non-imposing, non-forceful and yet extremely useful course. That’s a niche, and when building your niche I think you can expand because this is badly needed. Expanding into other countries would require knowledge about their specific conflicts, as conflicts would vary from region to region, but I believe dialogue would be very useful and applicable. Happy to collaborate with the Nansen in any way possible. Great work!
-Diego Osorio, international advisor and consultant
I was surprised that in the very short time we were here, we became a close-knit team. This was one of the best experiences here, and emotionally rewarding. The most important thing I realised from this course is that in the world we live in today there is no time for dialogue. Dialogue training is really, really important, and that is what I’m going to share with my colleagues.
-Yaroslava Tulku, International Committee of the Red Cross
This has been an extraordinary experience, I think this gathering of people from many parts of the world with incredible range of expertise is a gift. I am very impressed with Christiane and Tatiana´s skills as facilitators. It takes skills to handle such a diverse group as this. To be able to synthesise the things they have done in the past and tailor it so that it fits with everybody in the group, making sure that it’s a good fit for everybody is not easy. The conflict mapping we did was extraordinarily useful both for the real-life situation we’re dealing with, and generally professionally for work purposes, but also personally. You’ve opened up a new level of internal dialogue in me. As a writer I already had an inner dialogue, but you have given me new frames for that dialogue. This is a community of people I very much wish to maintain a relationship with.
-Lori Amy, co-founder of the NGO OTTOnomy
This was an incredible experience for me, seeing as most of what I deal with is business, and relations in business is totally different. Here I felt I was being part of something special, something very well prepared, and I can’t wait to see what I can do with all the things I learned. It has been a great experience.
-Agata Rzedowska, Praeceptor Foundation
Before I came I was a bit unsure about my participation in this group because I don’t consider myself an experienced practitioner, so my goal was to learn a lot and from there maybe become a practitioner at some point. But then I came here and the 1st person I met was Christiane, and when I spoke to her I realised that this is a place where everybody is considered to be equals, there was no difference in who was considered to be experienced and who wasn’t, all contributions were valued equally and that created such a safe space for me to be able to contribute to the group. What I take with me from this experience are tools that I can use to bring myself forward, create some changes I have been thinking about but didn’t know how to achieve, and a way to materialise it. I also very much appreciated the group dynamics which was unexpected but very nice.
-Laura van Esterik , Norwegian Refugee Council
I came to listen, learn and share, and I must say this has been most thought-provoking as well as emotive, and I liked the connecting spirit of the team, which makes this experience a game changer in the work that I do. It has not only sharpened my skills, but it has also broadened my visions of what dialogue dynamics looks like, and I would like to thank you very much.
-Mukhtar Abdi Ogle, Department of Strategic Initiatives, Cabinet Affairs, Kenya
This workshop has flown by. It was a very productive, I have learned a lot and I take with me only good memories. Thank you!
-Denis Kantselyaruk, DenSoft (РТС)
Thank you for broadening my knowledge about dialogue facilitation. Thank you to all the participants in the group, I am grateful that we managed to understand each other in spite of the language barriers. When I return I will share what I learned with my colleagues.
-Svitlana Petrova, Centre of Law and Mediation, NGO, Ukraine
I would like to thank the group for sharing their experiences, and when I return to Kenya I will use the things I learned here to facilitate dialogues. I enjoyed the group work and the tasks, and the role-playing because they helped me assimilate the content of the course, but there should have been more time allocated to reflection on and absorption of the things we’ve learned. I was also very happy with the food at the hotel where I stayed, it was tasty and they offered halal options, and it gave me the energy to get through the long days of the workshop.
-Faizah Latif Hassanali Sidi, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
I was very happy to have Alfredo pick me up at the train station. When I was travelling to Lillehammer I assumed I would have to get a taxi and find my own way to the hotel so that was a very nice surprise. It made me feel I was among family. And I would also like to thank the facilitators for the methods, techniques, and tools they taught the group. These tools will go a long way towards helping me in my work. I really appreciated the listening exercise and learning about the importance of stating my own needs to avoid misunderstandings.
-Myat Min Thu, UNICEF
To be able to create a participant-oriented process and be able to include everyone takes exceptional skills of the facilitators. This was a large group and it’s amazing how effortlessly it developed into a community. Then there is the friendship, it is amazing how people from such different backgrounds, contexts and experiences are getting along. It is also good to be able to learn tools that enables us to aid others in putting bitterness and conflict behind them, and not pass it on to the next generation.
-Rev. Samuel Kobia, Executive Office of the President, Kenya
Much of what I’ve learned in the workshop is applicable both to personal life and work setting. Learning about how to preserve people’s dignity in a conflict has been an eye-opener to me. Listening to the stories of the participants in the group, their efforts and challenges in the area they work was so precious and life learning to me.
-Gasper Gjeluci, The National Democratic Institute (NDI) office in Albania
I came to the workshop without any expectations, wanting to see where the journey would take me. Most of the conversations regarding techniques and the approach is not too relevant to the work I do. I work as a lobbyist, and the pace is extremely fast. You need to understand your objectives, and you can’t really afford to reflect too much or you might lose opportunities. Some of the things I’ll take with me from the workshop is to put aside some of my assumptions, such as the impossibility of putting aside time for reflection.
-Julien Vaissier, NRC
I like that the facilitators were very sensitive to the needs of the group. If we needed to get out and get a bit of fresh air, the facilitators would allow for that, they would also alter the schedule as needed and always place the participants needs first.
-Peter O’ Sullivan, UNHCR
When I came here, I brought with me my view of the world’s which was quite small. Listening to the stories shared by other participants makes me understand how small I am, but that my story and my contribution still is important. Other people’s stories is like a window to a bigger world, they help me lift my eyes, widen my perspective, and see beyond my own world. This knowledge makes it easier to confront my small reality and live in the larger one.
-Elvis Kazazi, OTTOnomy
In areas of conflict, it is easy to start dehumanizing each other. When that happens people can do all sorts of things to each other. What I have taken with me from the workshop is that it is possible to see each other as people again.
-Josep Zapater, UNHCR, Head of Sub-office, Lebanon
Both the workshop and the logistics surrounding the workshop has been very well organised. The website, peace.no, is also a fountain of information and downloadable documents, and is a great source of further reading.
-Luis Hernando Aguilar Ramirez, Knowledge Solutions