ABOUT THE DUVERSITY

The DuVersity was founded in 1998 by Anthony Blake and Karen Stefano to further the principle of integration without rejection. This principle was developed by the polymath John G. Bennett to open minds to the challenge of embracing multiple kinds of information, transcending specialist confinement, which could then lead to a new way of thinking and understanding. It involved creating bridges between the ‘esoteric’ and ‘mainstream’ mentalities. Bennett was a leading pupil of the radical innovator George I Gurdjieff, while also having a career in industrial research and developing new ideas in natural science and philosophy. He argued that all our knowledge is incomplete and uncertain.

The work of the DuVersity is also centred in dialogue as it has been investigated and furthered by the work of Patrick de Mare and David Bohm. This is because we feel it is of crucial importance for us to learn how to talk with each other and not rely on teachers and authorities. Democracy is fragile and precious and requires that we become able to think together in a way that preserves and even enhances individual differences.

The DuVersity has developed a unique method of self-learning called Psyche Integration that embodies a distillation of techniques taken from the fourth way of Gurdjieff and some more mainstream developments in psychology, such as the active imagination of Jung and the social dreaming matrix of Gordon Lawrence, as well as the median group approach of Patrick de Mare. It involves also techniques of thinking and understanding that draw on Bennett’s researches into learning and the work of Edward Matchett, who spent his life working on the integration of spirituality with practical demands of design in many spheres of human endeavour.

Its concern with methods of thinking includes: the systematics developed by John Bennett and also his invention of structural communication, which has become LogoVisual technology; an archival project on video-conversations made with pioneering thinkers from many schools; a series of seminar-dialogues, and logosafaris (journeys of meaning) that have ranged from Peru and Egypt to the South West of the USA (Peublo and Ute sites) and Enchanted Albion.

The DuVersity is linked with a number of individuals and groups, covering a wide range including Native American wisdom and systems thinking.

 

We maintain an e-mail list and a postal mailing list for your convenience.
Let us know if you would like to be added to either. We welcome your suggestions, contributions and questions.

The Mission

The DuVersity is concerned with the importance of diversity for the development of human intelligence. It seeks to improve communication in groups, encourage multiple viewpoints on the same reality, understand how thoughts arise, and have insight into the way cultures arise and are shaped by their encounters with each other. DuVersity is a universal phenomenon, beyond questions of race and gender.

The DuVersity is not identified with any religion, ideology, political view or scientific theory. It has developed its own specific tools for its research and educational programs.

The DuVersity has historical roots in the Systematics method mainly developed by the philosopher John Bennett in the 60's and in the Dialogue process promulgated by the physicist David Bohm and the psychotherapist Patrick de Mare in the 80's. It has been applying its ideas to the design of new kinds of conferencing, as in the series held in Baltimore since 1997. In 1995 it developed a new system of structured conversation. In 1998 it initiated a new area of study, the study of arrangement or pattern. In 2000, it began its series of working group seminars, based on many years of investigation into transformative education.

The program of the DuVersity includes both research and education. It sets up dialogue groups, gives courses in corresponding and affiliated methods and organizes seminar-dialogues on wide-ranging themes. It furthers research into methods of thinking, inter-disciplinary studies and cross-cultural communication.

The Program

  • The DuVersity conducts fundamental research into the dialogue process.
  • The DuVersity publishes, electronically and otherwise, information on its methods for the general public.
  • Publications associated with the DuVersity cover such topics as psychology, group process, time, intelligence, the enneagram, uncertainty and systems.
  • The DuVersity is conducting a series of video-conversations with creative people of diverse backgrounds. These will provide data for a study of thought-patterns arising in conversation. Some of them will be made available to the public.
  • The DuVersity has acquired expertise in how to combine different modes of learning - involving the arts, movement, mental process and dialogue - in a mutually effective or synergic way. It seeks to introduce the approach to educational establishments by giving free demonstrations involving their students.
  • A major cross-cultural study of the roots of thinking under the title 'The Book of the World' is underway, a project likely to take several years.
  • The DuVersity will expand its program of organizing conferences as seminar-dialogues and aims to tackle the problem of 'creativity-barriers' by bringing strong minds together in structures that overcome their mutual separation.
  • The DuVersity supports individual initiatives in the arts and sciences, which contribute towards dialogue and synergy.
  • The DuVersity sponsors 'playshops' facilitated by Karen Stefano based on the work of Jungian analyst Dr. Edith Wallace, in which through work with tissue paper collage participants discover new significance and meaning in themselves and their world.

Membership

The DuVersity was formed as a non-profit organization in late 1998 and is now looking for members willing to support its work and aims.

Members will receive a Newsletter three times a year and have privileged access to DuVersity data. Members will also receive support in initiating dialogue groups in their locales.

Annual membership falls into three categories

Student $50

Standard $100

Supporter $250

Student and standard members will receive 10% discount on all publications. Supporters receive 10% discount on publications as well as seminars.

Membership fees go towards our administrative expenses in providing information for the public and maintaining our work. The DuVersity welcomes donations - of both money and services - from individuals and organizations. It is also seeking to attract funding for its projects.

Checks should be made out to The DuVersity and sent to

The DuVersity, Karen Stefano, 25 Homewood Court, Charles Town, WV 25414, USA.

Membership fees and donations are tax deductible.