Overcoming Polarized Narratives

Applied ICDOn January 27th 2021, as part of Fielding Graduate University’s first Alumni Conference themed Global Leading and Learning in the Next Decade, Coordinated Management of Meaning Institute (CMMi) board members co-organized a panel dialogue on “Overcoming Polarized Narratives.” Four of this year’s CMMi Fellows shared their work in this theme, and four board members set the context.

In the context of global leading and learning in the next decade, we can say that overcoming polarized narratives is a key competence for leaders in the context of the relationships that they facilitate with their organizations, be they single entities, communities, networks, nations, or international cooperatives. From a communication perspective, we see the constitutive role of metaphor in overcoming polarized narrative as critical. In addition to watching the video, it is possible to also download slides.

Moral Foundations, Moral Conflict & Moral Injury Webinar

EventsMoral Foundations, Moral Conflict and Moral Injury: A Communication Perspective, CMM Institute, Webinar, November 4, 2020, 12 to 1:30pm EST.

As a follow-on to the 2020 CMM Institute Virtual Learning Exchange, participants are pleased to present a special topic webinar on the ways that CMM concepts and heuristics can help to better understand the conflict among competing and conflicting moral frameworks, and potential impact on social justice, mental health, and the enactment of democracy in our social systems and institutions.

The format organizers envision is to provide several short introductory presentations covering various forms of moral conflict. These may include: moral foundations theory; moral conflict and conflict resolution; metaphors of war and combat in new media (and alternative metaphors to these, such as jazz improvisation); and impact of “moral injuries” of military and veterans caused by failures to prevent harm and episodes of perceived betrayal. This will be followed by a guided open discussion of ways that CMM theory and heuristics may be applied to identify, analyze, and possible re-imagine these and similar conflicts of meaning.

Email your RSVP to Barton Buechner, and you will receive information about how to register via Zoom.

CMM Institute Learning Exchange 2020 (Online)

EventsCoordinated Management of Meaning Institute 2020 Learning Exchange: Beyond polarized narratives: Engaging CMM to create better social worlds, September 11-12, 2020 10am-4pm EDT (Online).

Organizers have an exciting plan for convening a virtual Learning Exchange centered around thirteen CMMi 2020 Fellows’ projects.  The entire CMM community is invited to be a part of it! When they chose the theme for the 2020 CMM Learning Exchange, “Beyond Polarized Narratives”, they had not anticipated the global pandemic and other dramatic developments in our social worlds. Anticipating the next turn, the importance for transcending polarized narratives should take on an even higher priority, and more considered attention. Each of the 2020 CMMi Fellows’ proposals invites attention to pivotal facets of this complex and significant social challenge, and will help shape the dialogic exploration in this year’s Learning Exchange.

If you have any questions please contact Ilene Wasserman   or   Beth Fisher-Yoshida.

The CMMi Press: A New Initiative


The CMMi Press will become the publishing arm of the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution.
CMMi Press

The Institute is committed to making better social worlds through paying particular attention to the quality of the communication patterns in which we participate. The CMMi Press will publish books that promote this approach with the intent of inspiring better communication practices for making social worlds we would all want to live in.

Their first publication, Making Better Social Worlds: Inspirations from the Theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning, has just been published. Robyn Penman and Arthur Jensen have written this book as a companion volume to the Cosmopolis2045 website and it serves as a fitting flagship for the new press promoting the making of better social worlds. Penman and Jensen are also planning a second volume on A Cosmopolitan Sensibility.

If you have a publishing idea or a manuscript in preparation that you think will fit the aims of the Press, please contact Robyn Penman, commissioning editor.

New Website Launched: Cosmopolis2045

Applied ICDNew website launched by CMM Institute: Cosmopolis2045.

What if a whole community treated relationships with other people as if they really mattered? What if a whole community took dialogue and deliberation seriously? And what if that community tried with all their hearts to bring about a better social world in all the myriad of ways we engage in communication with others in our world? These were the questions asked by a group of scholars and practitioners sponsored by the CMM Institute. The Cosmopolis2045 website is their answer.

The Cosmopolis2045 website depicts an imagined community set in the future (circa 2045) in which residents and leaders of the community have adopted a communication-centric view of how their own and other social worlds function. This website offers an intriguing look at a possible near future in which dialogue and deliberation are an integral part of everyday community events and are at the heart of city functioning. The website is also an information-rich resource for teaching classes on communication, especially cosmopolitan communication and for exploring the implications of a communication-centric view for a range of educational, legal, governance, and associated community practices.

CMM Institute: Building CMM Communities of Practice (USA)

ConferencesCMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution, 7th Annual Learning Exchange, Creating magical moments across space and time: Building CMM communities of practice, October 26-28, 2018, Oracle, Arizona, USA. Deadline: October 18, 2018.

“The CMM Institute is sponsoring its seventh annual Learning Exchange as part of its role as a connector and cultivator of people and communities who are striving to make better social worlds. We invite practitioners, researchers and learners to come together to share our experiences with using CMM to make better social worlds and to advance our collective understanding of what is possible through CMM.

Creating is a central theme in a CMM framework: we create meanings, we create relationships, we create our social worlds. In this year’s Learning Exchange we want to pay particular attention to how we create our very own CMM communities of practice.”

CMMI CosmoKidz Expansion to 8-15 Year Olds

Collaborative OpportunitiesThe Coordinated Management of Meaning Institute (CMMI) is asking for help:

“We created CosmoKidz as one way to help young children develop relational awareness and skills. By now, we have more than four years’ worth of research to confirm what we thought: It works!

CosmoKidz only covers the age group from 4-7 year olds and now we want to go beyond. We imagine creating something for the 8-11 year olds—CosmoTweenz—and for the 12-15 year olds— CosmoTeenz. The social challenges for each of these age groups will most probably vary, and we need their own words, stories, experiences to describe what they are struggling with in their social world. This is where we need your help!

If you are close to children/young people in these age groups, either as a parent, friend, relative, or in a professional manner, and you’d like to offer ideas we’d love to hear from you. If you see this as an opportunity to work collaboratively with us we’d also love to hear from you. Our next steps offer some exciting research opportunities as well as significant opportunities for developing new teaching aids.

Continue reading “CMMI CosmoKidz Expansion to 8-15 Year Olds”

CMM Institute Fellows (USA)

FellowshipsThe CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution is advertising several opportunities that may be of interest to followers of CID this year, not just their CMM Fellows Program.

Opportunity #1:
U.S. East Coast CMM Learning Exchange

In collaboration with the MBA program at Assumption College in Worchester, Massachusetts, our first Learning Exchange will occur on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, 2018.  The theme is CMM in the World:  Cases for Social Change.  The cost is $50 and includes a light dinner and a continental breakfast.   We are soliciting case studies and envision our time together as a collaborative inquiry to strengthen our individual and collective practices around social responsibility.  For more information, contact ra.frkalATassumption.edu

Opportunity #2:
2018 Fellows Program:  Call for Proposals

In partnership with Columbia University, we are seeking innovative proposals that “take a communication perspective” and draw on CMM in ways that address patterns of inequality and that foster inclusion.  Applications are due by March 15 and notification of acceptance will take place in mid-April.  Our 2018 Fellows will present their work at the 2018 Learning Exchange in Oracle, Arizona in late October.  Fellows recipients will also receive a $500 honorarium and money toward their travel expenses to the Learning Exchange in Arizona.  For more information and for the application, contact bartonbuechnerATgmail.com 

Opportunity #3:
U.S. West Coast CMM Learning Exchange

Save the Date:  Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28.
The CMM Institute will travel back to the beautiful Sonoran desert where we have had past Learning Exchanges to explore the theme of “Building Community.”   We will provide more information in the weeks and months to come but, for now, save the date.

CMM Fellows Program Call: Conflict Transformation, Getting Past Disagreement

2015 CMM Fellows Program CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Conflict Transformation – Getting Past Disagreement

This unique fellowship program reflects a partnership among Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication & Society, Fielding Graduate University Institute for Social Innovation, and the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution.

Intention: In this year’s call for fellows, the focus is on proposals that take a communication perspective and use the lens of CMM to further our understanding of conflict transformation. Proposals that can demonstrate the practical import of a communication perspective and that enrich our understanding of the value of using CMM to understand conflict transformation are particularly encouraged.

Recognition: Each Fellow will receive a cash award plus an allowance for travel expenses to attend the 2015 CMM Learning Exchange in September 2015 in Munich and present resulting work there.

Application Process: Applications can be downloaded using the “Letter of Intent” form on the CMM Institute website.

Important Dates:
– Applications are due by March 15, 2015
– Applicants will be notified the week of May 15, 2015
– Fellows will be expected to make a presentation of their work at the CMM Learning Exchange and Global Integral Competence conference, September 17-20, 2015 in Munich, Germany

For more information, contact Kim Pearce.

Definitions and parameters:
Proposals are welcome that address virtually any kind of conflict, and how it may be resolved or prevented by taking a “communication perspective.”

Conflict can be anything from a minor or major disagreement to a full- blown war, and the many levels between these extremes. One way of defining conflict is when there are needs we have that are unmet and we attribute the cause to someone or something else, as another person, organization or country, or we might blame ourselves. We can encounter conflict:
– Within ourselves as when we feel conflicted about decisions we have made
– With another person as an interpersonal conflict;
– Within our own groups as intragroup conflict;
– With another group of people or team as intergroup conflict;
– Within an organization as intraorganizational conflict;
– Between organizations as interorganizational conflict;
– Within nations and states as in civil war as intrastate conflict; and
– Between states or cultures as interstate conflict.

The communication perspective is essentially about how we make our social worlds together in communication and storytelling. There are stories we tell about the others with whom we are in conflict and this is part of the framing we give to the conflict situation. Our framing of these stories may inhibit us from being able to shift our perspective and constructively address the conflict situation.

The Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) theory offers us concepts and tools that allow us to see conflict from alternative points of view to shift our perspective and understanding of the conflict, the other person and ourselves. In this manner, we are able to transform our conflict narrative and consequently, transform the conflict. This transformation opens up a range of possibilities that were previously not available to us.

CMM/WFI/ISI Fellows program


Applications are now being accepted for the 2013/2014 CMM/WFI/ISI FELLOWS PROGRAM. This unique fellowship program reflects a partnership among Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication & Society, Fielding Graduate University, and the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution.

Description: Communication is a generative force in the construction of social worlds. In the 21st Century these social worlds are increasingly created within a mediated landscape. These new media include a variety of digital platforms, experienced via a range of devices that offer on-demand access to content, interactive user feedback, creative participation, mobile community formation around specific content issues, and the real-time generation of new unregulated content. The new media, in fact, appear to offer it all and substantial claims have been made about their capacity to contribute to and enhance our contemporary social life.

In this year’s call for Fellows, we seek proposals that take a communication perspective and use the lens of CMM to further our understanding of lives lived in new media and, in particular, address the issue of how new media impacts our capacity to make and engage in social worlds.

Proposals that focus on any of the various types of new media are welcome. These new media can include web-hosted social sites like Facebook, mobile supported technology applications like twitter, or the range of different media hosted sites for citizen engagement and democratic participation activities.

We particularly encourage proposals that can demonstrate the practical import of a communication perspective and that enrich our understanding of the value of using CMM to understand the new media context and the types of social worlds these new media are helping to make and foster.

Application Process: Applications can be downloaded using the “Letter of Intent” form from the CMM Institute. Applications are due by Friday, November 1, 2013. Applicants will be notified the week of January 5, 2014.The three institutions will conduct a blind review process and select 3 Fellows for 2014. Each Fellow will receive a cash award of $2500.00 and will have your travel expenses to the 2014 Learning Exchange paid for.

If you are invited to become a CMM Fellow for 2014, you will be asked to present your work and engage participants in your topic area at the 2014 CMM Learning Exchange in October, 2014 (specific dates and location to be determined). The three partnering institutions will also post your work on our respective websites.

For more information about the 2013/14 CMM/WFI/ISI Fellow Awards, contact Kim Pearce.

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