Catalyzing a Democracy Gestalt – From Critical Mess to Critical Mass: Oliver Escobar

Catalyzing a Democracy Gestalt – From Critical Mess to Critical Mass: Oliver Escobar

Oliver Escobar was raised in a country governed by a dictatorship. Now he is making a life work in democratic research, teaching, and advocacy. He says many or most of our democracies are very underdeveloped. They focus on just a few practices, elections and party politics, which are important but very limited aspects of democratic life. That underdevelopment may have played a role in bringing about what is now a time of great upheaval. That upheaval might in turn serve up an opportunity for renewal.

Oliver says democracy is very personal. It’s about the conditions of possibility for meaningful lives. And it’s not so new as we typically think. In this episode we talk about the indigenous nature of democracy, a practice that reaches all the way to the beginning of culture, long before the dawn of western civilization. Democracy is not a story that belongs to a few countries, it is a story that belongs to humanity.

There are people all around the world who are living in or into deeper democracy. And yet, their stories are not ones we hear. We ask and explore why. Why when there is a more whole way of life alive and well in communities all around the world, do we not hear their stories?

What would it take to go from what Oliver calls a critical mess, to a critical mass?
 


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Writer Bio

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Peter Pula

Peter Pula has been exploring the pathways to social evolution since founding the Grassroots Review in his hometown of Peterborough in 1992. Since then he has served on the boards of civil society and arts organizations and served as board president on two of them.

He has been actively involved in federal politics and led a corporate communications firm. Axiom News was incorporated under his leadership in 2009 and went on to establish the practice of Generative Journalism in an international arena.
 
In 2015, Axiom News founded and funded the Peterborough Dialogues in its hometown. The Peterborough Dialogues hosted over 350 deep community dialogues, established and refined hosting arts, and has had lasting impact in the Peterborough community. For this work in community, Peter was awarded the 2017 Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Award by Fleming College after being nominated by his peers and members of the community.

Peter works in support of deep democracy and passionately but lightly-held spaces for citizen-led community development. He believes that artfully hosted dialogue and generative media making are together a necessary social innovation for cultivating local-living abundance.

Peter is an artful dialogue host, newsroom director, team leader, mentor, trainer, and consultant. He can be a supportive force in the cultivation of initiatives in your community, network, or organization.

He has been invited to host dialogues, summits, workshops, and learning circles in Canada, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently in France.

If you would like to enjoy an exploratory conversation about engaging Peter in appropriate ways to enliven or enlighten your initiatives, you can reach him directly by writing to peter@axiomnews.com.

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