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Eyben, Karin, Keys, Libby, Morrow, Duncan and Wilson, Derick (2001) ‘EXPERIMENTS IN SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN NORTHERN IRELAND’Hartford, Connecticut19-21, September, 2001. In: Society for Organisational Learning Greenhouse II Research Seminar; Pratt & Whitney, Connecticut,Hartford, Connecticut. Future Ways Programme, University of Ulster. 8 pp. [Conference contribution]

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After conflict: Generating new learning.The amount of learning and innovation possible in the midst of constantly changing levels of fear is therefore constantly constrained by questions of physical and emotional security. The primary learning task, therefore, is how to learn our way beyond fear, in a setting where adapting to and limiting the possibilities of fear is the ‘common sense’ of everyday life. Learning to successfully adapt to oppositional politics and the need to discern and respect borders and limits has been the primary concern of many fundamental social institutions over generations.While the vision of an interdependent future is widely shared, a glance at current reality reveals the gap which has to be bridged. In surviving through decades of inter-communal tension, culminating in more than a quarter of a century of daily, organised political violence, Northern Ireland is already unusual. In political terms, survival itself, and even the prospect of a shared vision of the future are something of a miracle. There is therefore a deep attachment to learned patterns of relationship that have ‘contained’ violence in all senses of the word. Through adaptation and constant flexibility most people sustained themselves, their families and their sense of cultural identity. Adaptation has also meant a learned caution, or even fear, when dealing with the political leadership of the communal enemy. Really living in dialogue with one another, in which threat is left aside and safety in one another’s hands is experienced as something which has largely occurred only at an inter-personal or small group level. Trust and safety, therefore, have to be generated as new realities rather than simply continued from the past. Our project is an experiment in how this might happen for a whole society, concentrating on some of the organisations and institutions at its core.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Speech)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Education
ID Code:12653
Deposited By: Dr Derick Wilson
Deposited On:20 Apr 2010 09:20
Last Modified:16 Mar 2016 14:51

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