Website       About       Publications        Programs      Resources       What's New
IDEAS, NEWS AND RESOURCES  | January 2017   
We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletter which includes constructionist ideas and practices as well as news and resources from the Taos Institute.
Brief Encounters with The Taos Institute

January 2017

This month we welcome  Ken Gergen, President of the Taos Institute,  as he reflects on the Taos Institute accomplishments  in 2016 and looks forward to 2017. 

The Taos Institute: Bounding into the New Year
It's the time of year to contemplate our footsteps: where have we tread, and what is the path ahead? Our formal mission as a non-profit is educational, with a specific investment in the synergies between social constructionist ideas and professional practices. In pursuing these aims, the past year has made one thing very clear: we are enriched primarily through our relations. This was most clearly apparent in Taos' first entry into collaborative healthcare: A November conference in Cleveland bringing together practitioners from across the healthcare spectrum to share their innovations. The enthusiasm was awesome. The power of sharing was also clear in our collaborative conference on education in Norway in April. After a rousing introduction by our sponsor, The Crown Prince of Norway, educators from around the world traded their ideas and practices - not only with each other but with a cadre of students from a nearby school.  Then, at our Summer Institute - with the Attractor consulting firm in Copenhagen - dozens of organizational practitioners and scholars shared their ideas and innovations with each other.
This spirit of mutual sharing has pervaded so many of our activities. The PhD program for seasoned practitioners continued to prosper. The program is now offered in six European universities, and we are so very proud of the six participants who earned their PhDs this year. Our International Certificate Program in Collaborative Practices ( ) continued to expand, and is now offered in 11 countries.  WorldShare Books - which makes books available free for downloading - added 13 new titles to their offerings ( ). The topics ranged widely, from therapy, social construction and spirituality. WorldShare Books are now published in 8 languages.
We try very hard to make sharing easy and without cost. This was accomplished virtually this year with a two-day conference on relational research followed by three virtual global meetings and dialogues to build an international network of relational research practitioners. We hosted four "A Week in Dialogue with the Authors" events which included webinars where participants could "meet the authors" of significant books. In addition to these open conversations, we also added to our online courses in social construction, two additional courses, one on relational leading and another on scholarly writing. And, of course, the Positive Aging Newsletter ( ) continues to go out to thousands, now in 7 languages.
These footprints do seem to set the path for the coming year. Already the plans have been made for the Third International Conference on Collaborative and Dialogic Practices ( ), coming up March 30-April 2, in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Further plans are in motion for conferences this summer both in Copenhagen and South Africa. And then in November, we will again collaborate for a conference on education in Copenhagen. We will put out information about forthcoming on-line seminars, webinars and the like in this Newsletter. But we also recommend an occasional visit to our brand new website ( ); new resources are constantly added. 
With the shifting political tides, we here in the United States are feeling a renewed commitment to the kinds of relational, dialogic, and collaborative initiatives we represent and support. There is also good reason for us to join hands globally. The challenges are enormous.
                                                                                                        Ken Gergen, Taos Institute President

Remembering John Shotter

On December 8, 2016, after a long illness, John Shotter passed away.  There are no words that can express the great sense of loss that so many of us feel.  As a community of practitioners and scholars devoted to enhancing relational ways of being in the world, John was a beacon unlike many prolific scholars; he was a complete and dedicated academic, writing heady tomes, sprinkled with quotes from philosophers, scientists, and literary lights, while also firmly holding in view the challenges of daily life.  His interest was in "touching" our everyday lives and....that he did!  The arch of academics and practitioners with whom John had a significant connection is simply astounding. A most generous man, John remains close to our hearts, to our lives, and to our work. His influence and inspiration will long remain with us.  John, our gratitude is profound.
The John Shotter Memorial Fund

John Shotter's death on January 8th was a profound loss for the scholarly world, for the Taos Institute, and for many of us personally. To honor him, to insure the continued availability of his writings, and to sustain his legacy, the Taos Institute is establishing a memorial fund. These funds will be used primarily to support scholars and practitioners whose work applies and/or extends the rich body of ideas with which we have been blessed. We invite you to join this effort. We may have lost John's presence, but his ideas remain vital in their potential.

To make a contribution to the John Shotter Memorial Fund, please go to: 

For more about John Shotter, his writings, books, articles, and videos, see: 

Taos Institute Events and Gatherings  - The Many Ways to Get Involved.....



3rd International Conference of Collaborative 
and Dialogic Practices 
Conversations with and among Education, Research, Health, Social Practices, Psychotherapy...

March 30 - April 2, sponsored by ICCP and TI, 
in the Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain
A tri-lingual conference - Spanish, Portuguese, English 

New Conference Announcement: 

Save the Date: July 10 - 12, 2017

Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Institute for Transdisciplinary Development (ITD), in collaboration with Taos Institute, proudly announces 'Succeeding in Africa: Social Construction in Action' to be presented in Johannesburg South Africa in July 10-12, with pre-workshops on July 9th. More than one billion people live on the African continent. It is a continent that challenges its people, amongst others, to eradicate hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, address fundamentalism and its effects on conflict and relationships as well as to achieve global partnerships for sustained development. 

This conference aims to create the context for both large and small group dialogue with the intent to harvest new learnings about how people together - across disciplines and in participation with local knowledges - can co-create innovative practices to address complex challenges successfully. We will focus on the successes of Africa and look into the future of Africa through 'possibility lenses'. It is about witnessing the tenacity of Africans to co-create life-giving possibilities and opportunities in the face of complex challenges and to take these stories of possibilities into the future. By attending this conference you will have the opportunity to join actively in this conversation and reap the benefits of collaboratively exploring and understanding how transdisciplinary, relational approaches can contribute in making a difference in the lives of the people you journey with.

This conference is open to everyone around the globe, and we hope you join us for this 
exciting and important conference. 

The call for proposals is available at: 

For more information see the developing website at: 



Taos Institute Workshops
  • Social Construction: Premises and Practices | Online workshop - April - May, 2017, An Online Workshop, with Celiane Camargo-Borges and Dawn Dole 
  • Relational Construction, Inquiry and the Art of Transformative Change  |  May 10 - 12, 2017, with Dian Marie Hosking and Sheila McNamee, in Herefordshire, England
  • Social Construction, Relational Theory and Transformative Change Practice  |  June 2-14, 2017, with Ken and Mary Gergen, in their home in Wallingford, PA
For details about these workshops and to register visit:

Friends of the Taos Institute Workshops and Events
  • 2nd Annual Meeting of the Collaborative Care Learning Network - February 23 - 27, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. See:  
  • Discover Development NYC -  A symposium, workshop & exploration of New York City's Development Community with Lois Holzman,  May 19-21, 2017. See: 
********************* ******************************************************************
Other Learning Opportunities
For practitioners who wish to reflect on their professional practices, and/or to explore new departures in theory and practice, we offer the opportunity for a two-year program of study. The program is designed to enable seasoned practitioners to enhance their understanding and practical capabilities in their particular profession. See: - The specific areas of practice in which the diploma will be awarded include: 
  • Education
  • Mental Health
  • Organizational Development
  • Healthcare  
  • Community building
  • Taos Institute PhD Program
The Taos Institute Ph.D. program is designed for seasoned professionals who wish to pursue a line of inquiry that will enrich their endeavors and speak to the concerns of a broader audience of scholars and practitioners. The grounding orientation of the program has its roots in social constructionist theory and practice.   

Applications for the Fall 2017 semester are due by February 15th.  For more information:


International Relational Research Network Meeting and Global Dialogue

January  25, 2017  
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM US Eastern Time

What: We invite you to join with us in conversation to continue to create a space for an international network to generate conversations and collaborations around relational research.


Explore - Engage - Dialogue - Share - Create

  • What is relational research to you? How is relational research influencing how you think about and do research?
  • How does having the 'relational' as central in your research, change or affect your research design and process?
  • How do you see yourself as a relational researcher? 
  • What are the opportunities for collaboration and learning?
To register for this next meeting and dialogue - go to: 


FREE Downloadable Books 
We are thrilled to bring you all the WorldShare Books and we hope you will  take a few minutes to download your free copies today.  

New Book: 
Donate to the Peggy Penn WorldShare Books Fund 
This fund helps to cover the expenses of offering these online books free of charge to anyone in the world. 
by Emerson F. Rasera
Taos Institute Publications, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-938552-31-1

For more information
70Candles! Women Thriving in their 8th Decade

Recently featured in the 
New York Times and the 
by Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole
Taos Institute Publications, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-938552-35-9

by Glenn E. Boyd
Taos Institute Publications, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-938552-22-9

For more information

Sign up for this free newsletter in the following languages:
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Danish
  • German
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Portuguese

By focusing on the positive aspects of aging, and the availability of resources, skills, and resiliencies, research not only brings useful insights into the realm of practice but creates hope and empowers action among older people. By moving beyond practices of repair and prevention, to emphasize growth-enhancing activities, practitioners also contribute more effectively to the societal reconstruction of aging. 
Join the Taos Institute NING Online Community website
Participate in online conversations, share resources, ask questions, connect with others doing similar work. Also, we feature special events on this community website.

Join in many different forums, groups and conversations:

1. Taos Institute Europe
2. Collaborative Governance
3. Relational Learning
4. Relational Research
5. Taos Latin America
6. Intergenerativity and Innovation

and many more at:


Welcome (Bienvenidos) to the International Journal of Collaborative Practices. The Journal brings together members of a growing international community of practitioners, scholars, educators, researchers, and consultants interested in postmodern collaborative practices.

Sponsored by Taos Institute and Houston Galveston Institute

I ssue 6- Available Now in English and Spanish - 
You can make a difference...

These are challenging times, and you can make a difference by supporting the Taos Institute's efforts to bring about more promising futures.

Help us to continue our work in:
Given the perilous global context into which we are moving, we feel the work in which we are engaged is more important than ever. We hope you can join with us as we continue to develop resources to aid the global community in co-creating more viable futures.

To make your donation, large or small, go to:

The Taos Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible in the US.
The Taos Institute's mission is to bring together scholars and practitioners concerned with the social processes essential for the construction of reason, knowledge, and human value.

We are committed to exploring, developing and disseminating ideas and practices that promote creative, appreciative and collaborative processes in families, communities and organizations around the world through a social constructionist lens.

We look forward to your participation in the dialogue.  Keep up with our updates!

Dawn Dole, Executive Director
The Taos Institute
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn