After the Erasmus project which brought Dominic Barter to Provision, we also organised an event for him to share some of the ideas and skills garnered from his work around the world.
Over the last 28 years, Dominic and his colleagues in Brazil have been developing successful new ways of arriving at liberatory ends through liberatory means. Guided by the work of Marshall Rosenberg their dialogical social systems have been applied in contexts from gang-controlled favela shanty towns to family businesses, in contexts as diverse as civil wars, school systems, environmental disasters, online communities, churches and government and have inspired and supported programs in over 50 countries.
A doorway into this work is to look at how communities, groups, organisations and families respond to the emergence of conflict. That is, how we build justice systems designed to strengthen social cohesion, rather than separate and punish.
This event started with a Friday evening over view of Dialogical System Design, including images and stories of different systems designed dialogically, such as the Beta Space high school and the network of Empathic Support Systems helping people in crisis situations. over the last 28 odd years.
On Saturday and Sunday we continued with two introductory, interactive days of demonstration and experiential learning presenting the Restorative Circles approach to justice.Though the name is now sometimes used in a more generic sense, here Restorative Circles refers to the community process for supporting those in conflict developed in the favelas of Brazil in the mid 1990s.
A number of people from our village, our region and the national Romanian NonViolent Communication community were able to join us and the feedback has been very positive and there have already been a number of requests for Dominic to return as what he shared has been deeply meaningful and helpful for supporting our systems for supporting one another at these different levels.