The World We Want
Celebrating Community: Learning and Living Together
Edmonton's third annual Philia dialogue in Edmonton, Alberta was held in City Hall, centred on the theme of Celebrating Community: Living and Learning Together. In this year's dialogue, participants looked at ways Edmontonians can learn and live together in order to celebrate their community and its many sectors as a whole.
A two-day event (March 10-11, 2006), each morning began with introductory remarks to frame the discussion, followed by a musical performance. A keynote address by one of the distinguished speakers was followed by commentaries from a panel of four citizens presenting a community perspective. The keynote speaker on the first day was Alan Broadbent, Chairman of the Maytree Foundation. On the second day, the speaker was Al Etmanski, President of PLAN and co-founder of Philia.
In the afternoon, participants were invited to participate in a World Café, where everyone engaged in dialogue on questions about making Edmonton a more inclusive city. Following the dialogue, the key issues and insights that emerged from the discussions were shared by each table. Each day ended with performances by talented artists.
Beyond "Us" and "Them": Understanding and Acceptance Across Difference
On March 12, 2005, PLAN Edmonton hosted its second Philia Dialogue. This time participants explored the barriers and bridges that can exist across group differences - differences that cause us to define ourselves in relation to others in terms of "us" and "them". The conference was thematically divided into two sessions: a morning session that focused on disconnection, barriers and exclusion, and an afternoon session that focused on how we might make connections and create bridges to foster a more inclusive, caring and compassionate society.
Each session began with a keynote address by a distinguished Canadian: Dr. Raj Pannu in the morning, and The Honourable Douglas Roche, O.C. in the afternoon. Dr. Pannu is the MLA for Edmonton Strathcona and former leader of the New Democrat opposition in Alberta. Hon. Douglas Roche has served as a member of the Canadian Senate, Canada's Ambassador for Disarmament, and Chairman of the UN Disarmament Committee.
Once again, a panel of community leaders responded to the keynote speakers and participants were invited to join in World Café dialogues on exclusion and inclusion. All involved in the event felt it was highly successful, and the Edmonton group is already planning next year's Philia dialogue.
Click here to download a summary report of the 2005 dialogue.
Click here to read the keynote speech by the Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C.
The World We Want: A Community Dialogue on Citizenship, Belonging and Contribution
On November 28 and 29, 2003, 120 participants gathered in Edmonton for another chapter in the Philia Dialogue on Citizenship series. The keynote speaker was Dr. Mark Kingwell, award-winning political and cultural theorist and author, and professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto.
Thirteen Edmonton organizations co-sponsored the event, and funding support was also received from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and Human Resources Development Canada. Seven representatives from various sectors of the Edmonton community served as panelists, responding to Dr. Kingwell's comments and engaging in interactive dialogue with audience members.
To encourage dialogue the organizers chose a World Café approach. This innovative model saw participants engaged in networks of conversation as they responded to three key questions on citizenship. With each new question participants moved to a different café table and a different small group, resulting in an ever-fresh and always lively series of discussions.
To download a summary report of the dialogue, click here.
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