The world needs new ways of creating dialogue: dialogue that acknowledges and bridges differences without willing them away or promoting one approach above others.
Since we are all part of the problems that we face, we all need to engage in how we discover together the solutions that are needed.
The starting point of Co-operative Inquiry is the importance and validity of personal experience, the authentic expression of what one finds inside oneself in relation to the inquiry.
Rigour and validity are not overlooked. Most people who persevere with Co-operative Inquiry approaches want to go far beyond the purely subjective response and seek to evaluate the similarities and differences of their explorations against those of others and to share the understanding and significance of what they are doing.
About Co-operative Inquiry at Oasis
We have been engaged in Co-operative Inquiry since John Heron introduced the methodology to us in 1996.
John, formerly Director of the Human Potential Research Project at the University of Surrey, and now at the South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry in New Zealand, pioneered many peer-based approaches as well as designing the method of Co-operative Inquiry with his colleague Peter Reason.
We have worked closely with John on numerous inquiries and programmes, beginning with an inquiry into Integrated Practice and Holistic Learning in 1998, and continuing through visits to the Centre for Human Inquiry, evolving the inquiry approach with groups and in workshops.
Other notable inquiries include the Foundation Programme in Transpersonal Learning, which led to the foundation of the Transpersonal Learning Community, a peer-based community model of exploring transpersonal experiences; and inquiries into Integrated Practice and Holistic Learning, Transformative Living: Transforming the World through Transforming the Self, Peer Learning, Primal Theatre, Difference, Co-creation and The Space Between.
The first diploma in Transpersonal Development was offered by Oasis in 2003, a peer learning community-based programme with an optional second year as Co-operative Inquiry.
In 2005 we held a year-long UK Leadership Inquiry as a contribution to the UN Inquiry into leadership with a group of CEOs, senior managers and consultants. This continued as the Collabor8 group and members continue to meet to inquire into collaborative working.
Current inquiries include the four-year co-operative inquiry into Whole Person Learning with subgroups inquiring into the transpersonal, creativity, and expressions of womanhood as fuel for development and change.
We have also held collaborative inquiries with UK businesses into globally responsible practice, diversity, creativity and citizenship.