2009 ETO Program

4th Annual International Conference on

"Engaging The Other:"

The Power of Compassion

November 12-44, 2009

San Francisco, Calif. USA

Sponsored by:
Common Bond Institute,

Co-Sponsored by:
International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA)
Transpartisan Alliance
Meridean University

Supported by:
Charter for Compassion, and Parliament of World's Religions

Endorsed by:  Over 100 cooperating organizations and universities

Registration is Open To All


Thursday, November 12

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Steve Olweean, MA        Greeting, Mission, Announcements:

Huston Smith, PhD         Keynote  

Michael Lerner, PhD      Keynote 

Maggie Herzig                  All-Conference Interactive Dialogue Experience


Friday, November 13


Morning Yoga Session   7:50 - 8:30 am
(bring your own floor mat)   Gabriella Yates, MA



Workshops and Roundtables  
Morning   9:00 – 10:30 am

A 1:  "Compassionate Listening: Healing Our World from the Inside Out"
To encounter The Other with compassion we must embrace the other within ourselves, cultivate self compassion. and then open our heart and listen with 'spiritual ears' - discovery that an enemy is someone whose story we haven't heard. You will be introduced to Five Core Practices of Compassionate Listening:

- Cultivating Compassion for ourselves and others;
- Developing the Fair Witness by remaining open in conflict situations;
- Respecting Self and Others by developing boundaries which protect yet include;
- Listening with the Heart - allow divergence and find a deeper point of connection;
- Speaking from the Heart with language which reflects a healing intention.
Susan Partnow, MA


A 2:  "The Power of Active Nonviolence in Social Transformation"
Many people feel powerless to bring about change. We will explore some of the examples of powerful nonviolent movements where people have brought about major social changes. What can we learn from these movements? What is the power of active nonviolence and how can we harness it to work for peace and justice?

David Hartsough, MA


A 3:  "Dialogic Practices: Engaging Self and Other"
Public dialogue invites compassion when we remain in the tension of holding our ground while being profoundly open to the other. Join workshop leaders representing diverse ways of working dialogically, as we engage in small groups then reflect on the selves and others we are bringing forth in this tension.

Linda Blong, PhD, Cate Creede, PhD, Jan Elliot, PhD, Kathy Armijo Etre, PhD, Tamyra Freeman, MA Ed, Jeff Leinaweaver, PhD


A 4:  "Media and Images of The Other"  ROUNDTABLE
What is the role of media in depicting images of The Other - currently and historically, and what is the influence of these images on stereotypes?  What is the effectiveness of using media to address negative stereotypes and polarization as a means to increasing understanding and sensitivity?

Lynn Feinerman, Edwin Rutsch, Sahar Driver, MA,
ModeraterDaniel Tutt, MA




 (Conference-wide break-out groups)
Morning  10:50 am - 12:20 pm

(All participants self-select one of several themed dialogue groups)

One of 4 opportunities during the conference for all participants to engage in open agenda dialogues to share learning, explore concepts and related issues, process experiences, network, and brainstorm practical applications and collaboration. Dialogue groups are viewed as the engines of the conference experience where collaboration and application most emerge. Each group is framed around a different general theme woven throughout the program, and dialogue occurs within the general context of that theme. Themes are repeated and participants can choose to follow one theme or different themes in each time period. In addition to facilitators, scribes in each group record content highlights. Information is compiled and posted daily to CBI's web blog, allowing participants an evolving overview of what is brewing in the community from day to day to promote deeper dialogue as the conference progresses. The information is also included in conference proceedings and outcomes, and utilized for future cooperation and planning.


~ Lunch ~
12:20 - 2:00 pm



Workshops and Roundtables  
Afternoon 2:00 - 3:30 pm

C 1:  "Jewish-Muslim Relations in the U.S.: In the Shadow of the Middle East Conflict"
As Americans embark on a new course of relationships between U.S. and the Middle East as announced in President Obama's Cairo speech, interfaith dialogue becomes even more important as a way to peace. This interactive panel discussion with a Muslim and Jewish speaker will address Jewish-Muslim relations in the U.S., Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and issues of security as minorities. Participants will learn about the common interests of Jews and Muslims as Americans and how they live and maintain their faith in a secular society.
Maha ElGenaidi, BA, Harry Cornbleet, MD


C 2:  "Interrupting Patterns of Polarization: A Systemic Approach to Fostering Dialogue Across Divides"
Expressions of passionate moral and political commitments seem to cue the chorus of those who disagree, often leading to polarizing conversations. This session will use presentation and small and large group discussion to explore approaches to reversing polarization including PCP's approach, which draws on family systems theory...
Maggie Herzig


C 3:  "Search for Common Ground: Practical Approaches to Inner and Societal Transformation"
This presentation will highlight key underpinnings from Search for Common Ground's 27 years of experience in transforming conflict -- from inner transformation to transforming entire societies. It will examine separation as a root cause of conflict and compassion as a practical means for bridging differences.
Philip M. Hellmich 


C 4:  "Empathy - Can You Stay and Stay?"     ROUNDTABLE
In the face of accelerating social and political polarization, we can learn to care for ourselves so we can stay present and participating in difficult dialogues, reaching the human being behind the position with sustained empathy and compassion. Demonstrations, role plays and discussion.
Meganwind Eoyang, BA


C 5:  "Economic and Environmental Sustainability"     ROUNDTABLE
How can we transcend greed, power, and scarcity thinking to insure economic and environmental policies and practices that work for the good of all?
Osprey Orielle Lake, MA, Dave Belden, PhD, Steve Bhaerman, MA, Mutombo M'Panya, MA,
Moderater: John Glaser, EdD




 (Conference-wide break-out groups -* See complete description in SESSION B)
Afternoon 3:45 - 5:15 pm
(All participants self-select one of several themed dialogue groups)


~ Dinner ~
5:15 - 7:00 pm


6:45 - 7:00 pm:
Swami Beyondananda the “Cosmic Comic.”


7:15 - 8:45 pm

"Hate and Scapegoating as Barriers to Engaging The Other"-
The great work of social healing and cultural transformation requires a deepening engagement with the other. The effectiveness of this engagement necessitates we respond to the dynamics of hate and scapegoating in creative ways. Paradoxically, there are cultural taboos regarding speaking directly to the ways in which hate and scapegoating have a pervasive impact on our lives. Panelists will bring distinctive perspectives to the challenge of guiding communities, organizations and nations through the quicksand of hate and scapegoating
Corinne McLaughlin,  Sharif Abdullah, JD,  Sal Nunez, PhD,  Kenn Burrows, PhD
ModeraterAftab Omer, PhD


EVENING EVENTS (concurrent options):
8:45 - 10:30 pm

1) "Indigie Femme": The World Wheel Journey Special Performance:
Tash Terry, Elena Higgins, and Vijali Hamilton

2) ETO Dialogue Cafe'


Saturday, November 14


Morning Yoga Session   
7:50 - 8:30 am
(bring your own floor mat)   Gabriella Yates, MA



Workshops and Roundtables  
Morning 9:00 am - 10:30 pm

E 1:  "Forgive for Good"
In this workshop the rudiments of the forgiveness training from the Stanford Forgiveness Project will be presented. Forgiveness will be defined and offered as a way to increase the ability to communicate with a marriage partner, business partner, or someone with whom one is in conflict.

Frederic Luskin, Ph.D


E 2:  "The Practice Of Engagement: 12 Steps To Inclusivity"
Engaging the Other" is not just an idea… it's a PRACTICE. It involves correctly seeing oneself, and piercing the illusion of separation.

In this session, Sharif will lead participants in the practical, moral and spiritual aspects of inclusivity and living an authentic, courageous life.
Sharif Abdullah, JD


E 3: "Story as Entry to Relationship and Change"
"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard." Change begins with Story and compassionate listening to discover the "other's" humanity. Diverse exemplars share personal narratives with quality communication. Then participants in pairs are guided in rich personal experiences with a new quality of listening and discovery rarely experienced. Participants are gifted with printed how-to Dialogue materials and two instructional DVDs, and leave with new skills and confidence to convene successful circles of diverse youth and adults where they live

Libby Traubman, MSW, Len Traubman


E 4:  "20,000 Dialogues"
One of the great conversations of our time revolves around how mainstream Americans and the Muslim world come to understand each other in the next few years. The mis-understandings around this are the basis for enormous challenges in our society, our foreign policy, our economy, our sense of security, our world. This session will present 20,000 Dialogues, a "bottom up" approach to interfaith dialogue. Participants will engage in group discussions, watch selected film clips, and leave with practical tools for dialogue in their living room, congregation, and community

Daniel Tutt, MA


E-5:  "The Tibetan NonViolent Action Movement"
Over the last 50 years under the leadership of HH the Dalai Lama, and with recent events in particular, the Tibetan freedom movement has been a movement of nonviolent action, requiring wisdom, compassion, focus, networking and, most importantly, unity. This session explores the beliefs, perspective, and skills necessary to address these challenges. It also demonstrates the necessity for such a movement, with members trained in nonviolence and a deep clarity of purpose, and for raising awareness of central issues, objectives, and requirements by highlighting it in the media to bring constructive international pressure for a positive resolution. Based on the belief that Nonviolence is the only way to resolve any kind of conflict, and with the continued leadership of HH the Dalai Lama, this approach will be shown to be the most viable path to success in resolving the Tibet issue and leading to a new, more compassionate world.

Geshe Gendun Gyatos, Tashi Wangdu



Workshops and Roundtables   Morning 10:50 am - 12:20 pm

F 1:  "The Power of Transpartisan Dialogue"
How do we walk-the-talk of unity when it comes to dealing with "Conservatives" or "Liberals" in our own community? Do we have the courage to speak our truth and to deeply listen to the truth of others, not halfway around the world, but in own own family or down the street? What practical benefit is there in building bridges across political divides in a search for solutions that truly, authentically "work for all", left, right, and center? Come explore these and other challenging questions with leaders of the emerging transpartisan movement in American politics.

Joseph McCormick, Amanda Kathryn (Hydro) Roman, Debilyn Molineaux, Walt Roberts


F 2:  "Knowing Yourself & Honoring the Other: Seeing the Paradoxes"
Attendees will be introduced through experiential activity and case study to 5 paradoxes that may form the basis for engaging others across difference. In dialogue, participants will consider innovative strategies for addressing these paradoxes. The presenter offers insights from her book: Transnational Leadership Development (2009).

Kathy D. Geller, Ph.D  


F 3:  "Awakening to Awe: A Path to Personal and Social Renewal"
The presenters will stimulate a dialogue about the power of awe--the humility and wonder, bigger picture of living-in our every day lives. Drawing in part from their book "Awakening to Awe," the presenters will illustrate how awe can transform emotional pain.

Kirk Schneider, Ph.D., James Hernandez


F 4:  "Intergenerational Wisdom – Connecting Youth and Elders through Interfaith Dialogue"
Using a Dialogue Process and Appreciative Inquiry, this interactive workshop will engage participants in an intergenerational dialogue to explore their deeper truths connecting spiritual wisdom with 21st century vision. “Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually…live your way into the answer.” -Rilke.

Sarah Talcott


F 5:  "Difficult Dialogues: Reaching Beyond the Veil of Stereotypes"  ROUNDTABLE

An exchange of experiences among individuals actively engaged with dialogues between polarized groups and communities to co-create bridges of understanding and reconciliation. Members share personal stories - initiatives, difficulties, successes, lessons learned, hope, and unique rewards of this challenging work.
Spring Cheng, Ihsan Alkhatib,Esq, MA Andrew Benson Greene, BA, Huda Abu Arqoub, MA,
Moderator: Eryn Kalish, MC


~ Lunch ~
12:20 – 2:00 pm


2:00 pm - 3:45 pm

"Building Cooperation Across Political Divides"
The tone of political discourse is rapidly deteriorating. Many are deeply concerned that our inability to engage constructively across ideological divides is paralyzing the policy process at all levels. This panel will bring together a handful of leading practitioners who aim to deepen listening and respect with their political adversaries. They will speak about their beliefs and commitments across ideological lines, ask each other genuine questions, and engage in meaningful conversation. During this interactive panel-conversation, you will have a chance to learn how conservatives and liberals think and what they care about, as well as ask questions. Don't be surprised if you leave the session with your images and sets of beliefs about each other challenged.
Joan Blades,  Michael Ostrolenk,  Amanda Kathryn (Hydro) Roman,  Max Pappas
, MA

Moderators: Susan Partnow, MA and Joseph McCormick

(* One of the concurrent dialogue groups immediately following this session will be designated  to carry on processing the panel experience for those who wish to continue this dialogue
Dialogue Group
Facilitators: Maggie Herzig and Mahvash Hassan, MA)



(Conference-wide break-out groups)

Late Afternoon  4:00 - 5:30 pm

(All participants self-select one of several themed dialogue groups)

( * See complete description in SESSION B )


~ Dinner ~
5:30 - 7:00 pm


Keynote: Michael Ostrolenk
6:40 - 7:00 pm


7:15 - 8:45 pm

"Next Steps For A New Beginning: Practical Measures for Healing Stereotypes That Divide"
What would it take, in practical terms, to realize the intent espoused in President Obama's Cairo speech in our personal lives and as a society? A dialogue exploring concrete next steps for healing negative stereotypes between the US (& West in general) and Muslim societies, within the US and globally.

Michael Wolfe,  Imam Faheem Shuaibe,  Ameena Jandali,  Robert Fersh, Esq
Moderaters: Steve Olweean, MA, Mahvash Hassan, MA


(concurrent options):
8:45 - 10:30 pm

1) ETO Dialogue Café’

2) Open Mic: Sharing Music, Song, and Fun
3) ETO Conversation Gathering



Sunday, November 15


Morning Yoga Session  
7:50 - 8:30 am
(bring your own floor mat)   Gabriella Yates, MA



Workshops and Roundtables  
Morning 9:00 am - 10:30 am

I 1:  "Cultivating Compassion Through Bread Making"
Today more than ever, if we want to make our world a better place, we all need to sow the seeds of kindness and cultivate compassion. By taking the time to look around and pay attention, we will find endless opportunities in which we can make a difference. In this interactive session full of anecdotes from her personal journey to more compassionate living, Devi will use the bread-making process to illustrate how we can develop an awareness of the capacity for love within ourselves in order to build communities of goodwill and warm heartedness for all human beings.

Devi Gursahaney


I 2: "Representations of the Other Through A Western Lens: Middle East In Focus"
This interactive workshop will examine representations of the Middle East in the Western media. Through group activities and analysis of different genres, we will explore how stereotypes of the Middle Eastern "other" become internalized and shape our imaginations, our capacity for critical questioning and compassion..
Sahar Driver, MA, Mutombo M'Panya, MA, Zara Zimbardo, MA


I 3: "Recognizing 'The Other' Within"
In this experiential workshop you will engage proven practices for recognizing working with and transforming your experience of "the other" in your being. The Processes work from the body to the mind and spirit and are a fundamental aspect of Integral Transformative Practice (ITP).
Pam Kramer, MS, Roger Marsh, MBA


I 4: "Trauma and Resilience: Healing the Victim-Perpetrator Cycle" ROUNDTABLE.
Stanley Krippner, PhD., Benina Gould, PhD., Skip Robinson, PhD., Ilene Serlin, PhD.,




10:45 am - 2:30 pm
(break 12:15-12:30 pm)

We will spend time in Open Space to reflect and integrate the learnings from the conference, consider action plans, develop networks, share resources and ways to collaborate, as we find ways to put the principles we've learned and considered into practice in our lives, our work, and our communities.

10:40 - 10:55: Review of posted HUB and dialogue group materials
10:55 - 1:45: Opening Circle, Breakout sessions, and Transition
1:45 - 2:30: Conference Closing Circle: Final Words Of Refection, Insight, And Inspiration
Susan Partnow, MA


~ Late Lunch ~
2:30 - 4:00 pm


Dialogue Group Facilitation and Mediation Team Members

Carol Glaser, MA
John Glaser, EdD
Maggie Herzig
Chip Baggett, MA
Hina Pendle, PhD
Daniel Tutt, MA
Mahvash Hassan, MA
Linda Blong, PhD
Marti Roach, MSW
Len Traubman
Tamyra Freeman, MA
Sara Randazzo, MA
Libby Traubman, MSW
Kenn Burrows PhD
Lisa Montana


Special Features of the 2009 ETO Conference


  • Daily Facilitated Dialogue Groups

  • Resource and Networking HUB - a designated space where participants gather and interact
    throughout the conference intended to collect content and energy from the experience as it evolves,
    promote brainstorming and forming collaborations for next steps beyond the conference

  •  Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala Ritual - a fascinating spiritual, cultural, and artistic event.
    Geshe Gendun Gyato and Tibetan Buddhist monks from Sera Jhe Monastic University in South India:  Topten Lama, Chhiring Dorje Sherpa, Nayduk Gurung, Ram Bahadur Tamang Lama
  • Open Space Process



  • Art exhibit: Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala
  • Evening Social-Cultural Events, Experiences, And Community Activities
  • Daily Yoga Sessions
  • Internet Conference Blog In-Process Internet Blog To Post Dialogue Group Proceedings.
  • Rich Networking
  • Intentional Cross-Cultural Community
  • On-Site Mediation Service
  • Displays