Deep Democracy Stop Press
Deep Democracy in Social Activism
"The groundbreaking work of Myrna Lewis has inspired and guided the efforts of transforming democracy in Swedish municipalities and regions. Myrna's work has been used in groundbreaking projects, co-creating with small and large groups, to meet complex political issues such as human rights, conflict and societal values.' - Martin Sande, Creative leader at co-Lab by Preera.
"The Israeli-Palestinian BDS debate was quite possibly one of the best meetings I have facilitated. In the words of the student politician who had convened the event: if it had gone any better we would have solved the Middle East problem!" - Dr. Aftab Erfan, Instructor, University of British Columbia
Around the world social activists are using Deep Democracy to tackle the difficult tasks of resolving some of societies' most pressing problems. The Method, designed to include and empower, enables challenging conversations and dialogue to take place by creating a safe space as well as ensuring that all the voices and views are heard. In this way seeming impossible issues can be tackled and resolved so that tension is reduced, realistic solutions for the future found and empowerment, the core of all authentic social activism, achieved.
Examples of Deep Democracy in this space
- The Swedish government has taken democracy to a new scale of including citizens' voices in the decision making through large scale community dialogue. The Lewis method of Deep Democracy is the facilitation method used in these dialogues.
- The Method has been applied in large scale community dialogues during the Turkish and Israeli Spring.
- Dialogues on Gender issues at the UN (Italy), South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, and Australia.
- Often very tense and conflict ridden racial/tribal/ethnic tension in South Africa, Australia, Kenya, Israel, Ireland and USA.
- In South Africa a series of "conversations" has brought together South Africans from both sides of the socio-economic divide to work on tangible ways of narrowing the gap.
- The Lewis Method has proved useful in addressing issues of diversity in Australia. I have facilitated diversity dialogues in Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Darwin and Katherine in the Northern Territory.
- In India, where 8 million people's livelihoods were under threat as a result of changes in fishing rights and the decreasing supply of fish, a Deep Democracy style meeting was facilitated enabling voices to heard irrespective of caste, class and status.
- In Kenya ethnic violence, which threatens the country, is rife amongst the youth. Youth Leaders trained in Deep Democracy organized one thousand youth to successfully take part in a peace rally to protest against ethnic violence.
- In Canada, urban planners are using Deep Democracy to include the homeless in town planning. In the past the homeless would not have been included.
- In Israel soccer, a popular sport amongst both Israelis and the Palestinians is being used as a meeting ground for Israeli and Palestinian youth. The concept was a dream of two well known coaches who have been taught how to apply Deep Democracy as part of their coaching to help bridge the gap between the disparate youth.
More about Deep Democracy...