Praxis is what happens when we are in a room together. After having made sense of a problem or agreed on a theory of change, what actually needs to be practised to affect change towards actualisation and transformation or desired futures?
Of all the major challenges the world faces, the decay of civil public discourse is among the most consequential and distressing. Without an unpolluted epistemic commons, sustaining a shared commitment to truth, knowledge and understanding that transcends the advancement of particular interests, we will be unable to address collective action challenges of all kinds.
The issue at stake is not merely instrumental, however. One of the things that makes us human is the capacity to be with other people and listen, speak and be heard in a context where sentences are not weapons for factional agendas, but beacons of shared meaning. If we cannot talk together well, and try to understand each other better, our humanity as such is under threat. The Antidebate project seeks to remedy this breakdown in civil discourse.
Find out more here.
Gregory Bateson once said: ‘we can never be quite clear whether we are referring to the world as it is or to the world as we see it’. The role of metaphor within this matrix of perception, that is, as a mediator of intersubjective experience, is fundamental, and yet it remains largely ambiguous in our collective awareness.
Understanding the role of metaphor is an increasingly important task in today’s narrative clutter. If what we need is a new story, a story of transition and transformation, then we ought to look at the conditions in which these stories and metaphors arise.
The imagined is what we create. In improvisation, we create what we imagine in the moment, collectively. If we are to access the collective imaginary, improvisation has much to teach us about bringing our individual perspective and adding it to the collective so that we might embody our perspectives and allow something to emerge from that space.
Improvisation asks us to collaborate, to let go of what we personally imagine the end result to be, whilst still bringing our full selves. It is by its essence, post-tragic, as we must see what we thought would be brought into being disappear, while continuing to move forward and expand all that we hold within us.