"Dialogue is for the brave"

July 24, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

This is one of the teachings that he brought Alfredo Zamudio to Chile. The international consultant of negotiation and mediation of conflicts in territorial spaces, which currently directs the  Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue In Norway, he participated in a seminar on July 23 and 24 organized by the Colunga Foundation.

Seminario con Alfredo Zamudio

The meeting, held in collaboration with the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue and with the support of the Government of Norway, convened more than 150 people during the two days.

One of the main difficulties in establishing a communication is distrust. “Dialogue rebuilds trust and human collaboration. The dialogue is for the brave, those who still believe that collaboration and conflict transformation is possible, ”said Alfredo Zamudio during the talk "The reunion in violent times".

The objective of the meeting was to contribute to the development of the dialogue capacities that civil society requires to respond to the changes and challenges of these times. Segregation, weakening institutions and polarization pose a scenario where civil society organizations can make a significant contribution by facilitating dialogue between actors who have lost the ability to meet.

To do this, Alfredo handed over the keys to the Nansen method to overcome prejudice, fear and hate. Something they discovered is that the reunions are in phases:

  1. Agree on the crisis in the community.
  2. Tell your own story.
  3. Listen to the story of the other.
  4. Know how we got to that crisis.
  5. We wonder what we do.

In order to achieve all phases, it is important to create a safe space to create the necessary trust generated by the dialogue. “The constructive dialogue tries to create the situation so that the parties understand their needs. Conflicts at the micro and macro level, ”said the international consultant. 

And he delivered a small equation that helps meet the objectives of the dialogue: “Dialogue, trust and collaboration need time. If these three factors work, it can lead to better solutions. ” 

In the talk, they also participated Ludmila Palazzo, UNICEF's child protection specialist, who provided data on the violence that children experience in Chile every day and gave special emphasis to the need to incorporate dialogue tools into our society.

“For me the biggest impact of violence on children is learning. When I am teaching a child that educating is something I do violently, the child will learn that and will confuse affection with violence all his life. We therefore have a violent society, ”said Ludmila.

While the panelists Rafael Vargas of the Municipality of La Pintana; Cecilia Moreno Soccer Foundation More e Ismael Diaz from the Agency for Sustainability and Climate Change, delivered their testimonies about work experiences in territories that are in conflict. The panel was moderated by Aleka Vial, Executive Director of the Hypatia Foundation. 

Dialogue Training

On both days, intensive training was also carried out at Fundación Colunga, where 30 people from the world of academia, civil society, government and companies were able to receive tools to prevent and transform conflict situations.

Some of his motivations to participate in the workshop were: be an instrument of peace, connect with the human, find something in common, transform communities, social justice, facilitate dialogue, create a more loving Chile, build bridges, learn, among others. A "together to transform" with willingness to dialogue.

The pedagogical approach of the workshop was based on respect for the knowledge and skills of the participants, which does not depend on formal education, but on personal experiences.

“In situations of conflict or disputes, communication is based on fear, prejudice and competition. We easily enter into a rhetorical conversation, where we launch arguments against each other. To move towards productive collaboration, those who are involved need to find new ways of relating to each other, so that they can understand the beliefs, meanings, values, fears and strengths of others, and themselves, ”says Alfredo Zamudio

"Three important factors are required for social change: knowledge, capacity and political will," says the international expert

A visit that leaves us with various lessons on the importance of putting dialogue as the first option in conflict situations, as a way of rebuilding trust in our country and in communities.

And he left us with a necessary reflection on peace: “The peace It is not only the absence of conflict, but it is human collaboration. The human being wants to live without conflict, but there are many motivating factors that press to opt for violence as the only language to transform what lies ahead. Peace is about finding another language, doing it differently. ”

The visit was carried out in collaboration with Glocalminds, The Kairos Project, Focus, the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue and had the support of the Norwegian Embassy in Chile.

Relive the talk:

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