Conversation and dialogue are not simply the means that educators and animators use, but are also  what educators and animators should seek to cultivate in local life. They may be approached as relationships to enter rather than simply as methods. We focus on the thinking of four people in particular:

Paulo Freire – with whom the notion of dialogue has been linked as an educational form;Hans-Georg Gadamer – the philosopher who uses the metaphor of conversation to think about how we may come to understand the subject matter at issue; andJürgen Habermas – the social theorist who argues for the need for ‘ideal speech situations’ in fostering both understanding and a humane collective life.'[A] humane collective life’, he said (1985: 82), ‘depends on vulnerable forms of innovation-bearing, reciprocal and unforcedly egalitarian everyday communication’.David Bohm – the eminent physicist and friend of Krishnamurti, whose example and practical proposals for dialogue have met a response from a number of different areas – but particularly those, like Peter Senge, who are concerned with organizational development.