The 5th Annual International Conference on Engaging The Other: The Power of Compassion will be hold on November 19-21, 2010 at Sonoma State University, San Francisco Bay Area (Rohnert Park), Calif. USA

At a time when polarization is the true culprit, a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary conference addressing fear-based belief systems, negative stereotypes, polarization, enemy images, scapegoating, and artificial barriers of distrust that divide us.

Overall Goals of the Conference are to:
– Raise the level, depth, and breadth of public dialogue and awareness on core issues. The conference examines dimensions and dynamics of “The OTHER” on individual and group levels, and considers how enemy identity is formed, perpetuated, and manipulated.

– Identify and compile fundamental questions, dilemmas, and implications for further deep inquiry and examination in an expanding public dialogue, and to challenge embedded negative belief systems that promote adversarial perceptions of the “The Other.”

– Tap our shared wisdom, compassion, and responsibility as a community – from the local to the global – in developing practical applications. Participants are encouraged to develop and share practical recommendations and strategies for applying results to the current state of local and world relationships to promote increased understanding, sensitivity, and compassion as a means of countering and neutralizing hostility, particularly inter-group hostility.

– Create Networking Opportunities to promote collaboration, action planning, and next steps following the conference.

– Formulate findings and products to make available to all – through publications, media, the Internet, educational curriculum, networks, community based dialogue groups, etc.


An outstanding pool of over 55 Presenters and Facilitators gather with extensive experience in addressing concepts of The Other from diverse perspectives – social, cultural, psychological, political, spiritual, philosophical, ecological, and economic.

Structure of the ETO Conference. A 3 day program of:

1. Keynote Speakers
2. Topical Plenary Panels with leading speakers on theory, philosophy, and historical aspects
3. Concurrent Break-out Sessions of Workshops and Roundtables
4. Daily Facilitated Dialogue Groups to engage concepts, invite diverse perspectives, and explore practical applications.
5. Video Addresses by Leading Visionaries
6. Interactive All-conference Experiences
7. Resource and Networking Hub
8. Morning Yoga sessions
9. Evening Performances, Social-Cultural Events, and Community Activities.
10. Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala Ritual
11. Exhibits and Displays
12. Rich Networking Opportunities
13. Cross-cultural Community. Participants experience the conference program and community as a living learning laboratory, to explore conference themes and create a common ground of reference essential to engaging and integrating formal learning.
14. Final Action Planning Process for next steps beyond the conference.

Some Examples of Areas of Inquiry to Explore Within the Program:

– The Other – as humankind’s oldest and most resilient foe.
– Our shared identity as The Other.
– The role of inherent sin and exclusive dogma in requiring the presence and embodiment of innate evil in the world, and vilifying an ever-present Other as it’s expression.

This ETO Conference series occurs in conjunction with an edited book in progress titled “Engaging The Other”, examining psycho-social concepts of “The OTHER” from a multi-cultural perspective, and raising important questions for fuller exploration. It is also programmatically linked to other international conferences, including the International Conference on Conflict Resolution(ICR), held for the last 16 years, and the International Conference on Religion, Conflict, and Peace(RCP). and a new conference series being launched in Israel in July 2011. Like the ICR Conference, the RCP Conference, and edited book, the ETO Conference is a cross-cultural collaboration for global representation.

“Engaging The Other” Curriculum Project: A planned effort growing out of the ETO Conference series for conducting ongoing “Engaging The Other” programs in various locals to nurture capacity for sensitivity, understanding, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity. The curriculum will be designed for all age groups, to be socially and culturally sensitive, and made available to schools and universities, NGO’s, community organizations, religious organizations, government agencies, political groups, etc.
Public Education: In line with this effort, program concepts will also be promoted to the general public through established and alternative media in various formats for wider public awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

More information and registration are available on

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