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London – dialogue as partnership, ebbf breakfast in collaboration with the Impact Hub King&#82

In the run up to the

next ebbf international learning event a number of local events are taking place around the world on themes related to #consultation – here is a thought-provoking invitation article from the organisers of the first ebbf london event that will take place on Wednesday 2nd of March at 08:00 am.

Jelena Hercberga writes:

“Did you know that since the 1970s we have dramatically increased our usage of the words ‘partner’ and ‘partnership’ (according to Google Ngram Viewer)? At the same time, we, as society are far from building truly equal and effective partnerships in real-life scenarios, be it between genders, different age groups, different faith communities, business partners, cultures, governments or across the above-listed groups all together.

I recently came across what could be an explanation to this contradiction: why have we started devoting more attention in public narrative to partnership, yet fail to ensure it in real life? Apparently, it is due to our inaccurate perception of what partnership really is about.

Two LSE professors, Sandra Jovchelovitch and Emma-Louise Aveling, argue that our society has been misguided by the idea …

that the primary focus of a dialogue between partners is to agree on a set of joint actions between its participants. A dialogue that is to say has been seen as a tool for further actions, a tool for future partnership.

The authors criticise this approach by saying that a dialogue itself should be seen as an evolving practice of knowledge transfer, not as a tool for future actions but “as part of the intervention and definition of success”.  So, partnership is happening already when we engage in a dialogue, when we exchange with ideas, thoughts, arguments, complaints etc. The authors see partnership as a situated encounter between the different knowledge systems of concrete partners.

Does it sound too academic?

Think about your “normal” everyday life. Chatting to people with no particular purpose seems such a life affirming activity (in particular here, in the UK, I should add).

Why then in our professional lives “joint actions” (or more accurately a plan of actions) has become the presumed measure of quality of the partnership/interaction that we struggle to justify without tangible “outputs”?

So, with an idea in mind to experiment with our understanding of partnership, we will be collaborating with Impact Hub King’s Cross to co-create a space where a diverse group of people, representing different sectors and industries (from large corporations to start-ups, via public bodies and civil society organisations) can exchange with ideas, debate and think together about socially important issues, share their options and knowledge, understand the issue as well as each other better.

The overarching theme of the series will be collaboration and partnership (who could have guessed? :). Over the next five months we will be exploring diversity, conflict, trust and other topics with the aim to understand why do we need to collaborate and how we can start doing it better to create social change.

Our first discussion will take place on the 2nd of March at Impact Hub King’s Cross, 8-9am. 

Come and join us for a cup of coffee / tea, a pastry and contribute to make our conversation more meaningful.

To book your place and learn more, please follow the link: or simply talk to me.

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