CMM Learning Exchange 2015

Discovering Cosmopolitan Communication

A Crossover Dialogue between Past and Future / Theory and Practice / East and West

Cosmopolitan Communication was the theme of this year’s CMM Learning Exchange, also known as the 2015 FUGIC Forum, which took place on September 17–20th in Munich, Germany. The Institute for Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM Institute) in collaboration with the Institute for Global Integral Competence (IfGIC) organized the 2015 FUGIC Forum. Cosmopolitan communication is a communication approach developed by CMM and IfGIC researchers that views communication from the intra-personal, inter-personal, and systemic perspective.

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Photo: Prof. Dr. Kazuma Matoba of the Institute for Global Integral Competence (IfGIC), co-host the 2015 CMM Learning Exchange, giving the opening talk on ‘cosmopolitan communication”.

The forum convened educators, trainers, and researchers from around the world working in the field of conflict resolution and social development. They came together to share new techniques, to engage in reflective practice and to participate in discussions aimed at enhancing communication techniques and on cosmopolitan communication in particular – a method that incorporates diverse internal and external processes influencing interactions between people; you can learn more about it here.

“Questioning self as our identity by studying and exercising our co-dependence to the rest of the process of life

In light of the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and particularly in Munich, where the forum took place, migration and refugees became a main topic throughout the discussions.  Many participants came from working with ethnic and religious intractable conflict and on migration issues, and workshops were offered that demonstrated possibilities for conflict transformation through the use of communication tools such as CMM.  Mindfulness, reflection, and verbal and non-verbal communication as well as systems-thinking were integral concepts woven into the design of the forum; the daily schedule included presentations, various workshops, and many World café, interactive and game style activities.

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Photo: Participants in a workshop on The Oasis Game, a participative method for community development used by community members and change-makers working in local communities taking on the challenge of social cohesion, urban planning and welfare; developed by the Instituto Elos from Brazil.

The forum brought together a highly motivated group of professionals with different backgrounds and levels of experience who share a commitment to finding more holistic ways to promoting health, creating ecologically sustainable communities and organizations, and building more peaceful societies.

Kelly Tenzek, one of this year’s participants who teaches at the University of Buffalo and who uses CMM for her work in end-of-life care, said, “the connections I have made with people across the globe are invaluable, both professionally in doing the work of CMM but also personally in being able to connect to people with different experience which I think is part of cosmopolitan community.” Feeling a renewed sense of how powerful CMM is and the role of communications in general, she remarked that,

“What I am taking away is the importance of dialogue, and that this involves first treating people as human beings versus what you bring to the table.  Start with being human and then start a conversation.”

Five AC4 Fellows attended the CMM Learning Exchange with an AC4 Scholarship for the use of CMM in their projects. Projects included a wide range of topics, such as Aesthetic Experience in Leadership Learning and Women’s Strategies for Protection in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Photo: Panel discussion with the six fellows from the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) Institute, led by Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida.


Authors: Venera Kusari and Meredith Smith.

Photos provided by authors.

For more information on CMM Learning Exchange and this AC4 scholarship opportunity: http://ac4.ei.columbia.edu/opportunities/cmm-learning-exchange/2015-cmm-learning-exchange-scholarship/