The Worldsalon Approach

As anyone who has ever been involved in targeted innovation – for example in product development or marketing – knows, brainstorming is never enough. A structure is needed to turn new ideas into feasible concepts. Such a structure also exists in the World Salon. It serves to move together from the first idea to feasible solutions. Every world salon therefore follows a similar scheme. An essential component is a certain form of group work, which I have not invented myself, for the sake of conciseness, but call “Worldsalon Approach”. My thanks go to Insa Sparrer and Matthias Varga von Kibéd, who have significantly advanced this method. Anyone who has ever experienced a topic can roughly imagine in which direction the method goes. Worldsalon Approach

As you can imagine, the development of ideas in the Worldsalon is something that can only be described inadequately in writing and one must actually have experienced. Why do I describe it here anyway? Well, I have the wish and hope that it will inspire and encourage others to think again in their respective circles and develop feasible concepts for the future.

The “Worldsalon Approach”, which I outline in the following box, provides the framework for finding solutions together in the groups. These are structured steps of problem solving on the basis of questions.(1) The approach can be applied to all kinds of problems in politics and organizations, from environmental degradation to the cessation of wars to issues of future world order and social peace. For group work to function properly, however, it is necessary to identify a specific topic. This may well be a “big” topic, such as world peace. But it can also be more limited, for example dealing with the new forms of artificial intelligence. It is important that all participants in the group have understood what the topic should be and are able to deal with it.

Problem solving in the group according to the Worldsalon Approach

After the following steps, the individual groups in the Worldsalon proceed to find concrete solutions. Only the mental framework of the procedure is shown here. In the practical application further elements belong to it.

Step 1: Carrier

Who’s got the problem? Alternative: Who asks the question? So: Who is the carrier?

Step 2: Hurdles

What obstacles and barriers exist on the way to a common solution? (An obstacle is a rampart if it prevents me from having to deal with something behind it.)

Step 3: Resources

What untapped skills will help us achieve our goal?

Step 4: Hidden profit

What good will it do us if we go on like this?

(No system can stabilize for a long time without gaining something from the existing problem.)

Step 5: Future task

Which new problem follows the solution of the current one?

When our problem is solved, a new one often follows. For the problem structure it is important to know which one it is.

© Christina E. Zech, Zurich 2018

(1) Cf. Matthias Varga von Kibéd, Insa Sparrer, Ganz im Gegenteil, Carl Auer, 2001, p. 112 ff.

Detailed information on the Worldsalon Approach can be found in my book WELTSALON Future-oriented concepts for a peaceful and ecologically intact world (in German).

The Peace Constellation

Peace constellations are the “physical” variant of the political constellation. I use them specifically to deal with complex conflicts between social groups. This dynamic, well-founded and solution-oriented method has proven itself in psychotherapy for solving intergenerational conflicts. In the meantime it is also successfully used in complex social conflicts.

Procedure

After a short clarification discussion in which concerns and general conditions are clarified, the operator selects representatives for the individual system elements from among the role players present and presents with them the relationship structures that represent his image of the problematic actual state. The constellation leader supports him accordingly. Thus the “problem picture” becomes clear.

Now a first questioning of the representatives is carried out: Which feelings, sensations and needs can be felt at the moment? This survey often provides astonishing clues to the current state of the respective system.

Based on the perceived need for change of the representatives or the constellation manager, a change process with changed positions begins which leads to a new state which is perceived as satisfying as possible by all representatives involved.

The operator observes this process from a good place, in order to integrate this often very effective solution picture well. After all, it is a matter of bringing the process to a good end and anchoring it deep into the depths through an appropriate transfer.

Peace constellations usually last between two and four hours. These are intensive sessions in which extremely enlightening insights can be gained for all participants. The depth of the method is best revealed in one’s own experience. See the video example about the Middle East here.