Bohmian Dialogues with IBIS?

I’ve been wondering how one goes about engaging in a Bohmian dialogue using the tools and craft of IBIS. To review, a Bohmian dialogue is one in which you check your agenda at the door; don’t bring your goals into the room. Instead, you learn who the other participants are, most importantly, where they are coming from while you share where you are coming from, all while bathed in the light of some stated context. Leave the contests for later.

Along the way, I am discovering a variety that exists in IBIS craft: the core notion seems to be that of mapping dialogues, hence, dialogue mapping.  I am learning that there is variety in the goals to which those dialogues must submit: finding consensus, solving problems, mapping issues, mapping decisions, and more. I just invented a new one: discovery. Sure, I’ll be the first to suspect that’s not a new or unique goal; the truth is most likely that someone else invented that, I read about it, then completely forgot I ever read it. So, I make no priority claims here. I just use it for what it brings to the table.

I will make this claim: discovery mapping is a form of Bohmian dialogue. This is the process, the IBIS craft during which participants lay out answers they have at hand–they express their individual world views–in the context of questions posed by the context of the dialogue.  “Questions posed” is loaded with this meaning: these are not “problems to be solved” since labeling some situation as a problem can sometimes cause a shift in lenses used to offer responses. Instead, if something in the dialogue becomes a “problem to solve”, that branch of the tree, in my view of discovery practice, should turn into a leaf node and stop. We are interested more in creating a thoughtful foundation of the core domain world views of the participants, and not their world views about the world views of others. That’s a Bohmian dialogue with IBIS.

One can easily imagine the argument that IBIS is about issues. I’ll not defend against that argument. So?

Contesting world views of other participants, in my view, shifts the goal to another discipline within the IBIS craft.

I’d love to label the IBIS craft a pattern language. That’s another story.