From the Forefront of Constructive Dialogue and Innovative New Media
Although tensions between the so called “western” and “predominantly Muslim” societies has existed in the past and has gone through various levels intensity. Today, these tensions seem especially fierce. This has meant that issues pertaining to relationship between the so called “west” and “predominantly Muslim” societies is at the heart of many Geo-political crises across much of the globe. In an era of heightened tensions between the two societies new and creative approaches are necessary, in order to address these tensions. Rafael Tyzblat is at the forefront of an approach that uses constructive dialogue and innovative new media technology to shift the ways in which societies resolve their differences. This new approach is called “virtual exchange” and Rafael is the Innovation and Program Design Manager at Soliya, an NGO which promotes the field. He is a dialogue facilitator, who specializes on the relationship between “Western” and“predominantly Muslim” societies. He designs and leads facilitated dialogue programs between youth from North America, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East as well as within European societies between members of antagonistic communities. Rafael is also a principal with c4ccr. In this installment of our interview series we talk to Rafael who an expert in conflict resolution,mediation, and dialogue facilitation with 15 years of experience.
What are some of the websites that you visit after you get up and why?
My French newspaper and Facebook as this automatically gives me the latest news.
Tell me about a book that has had an impact on your life and why.
« Tristes Tropiques » and « Race et Histoire » by Claude Levi Strauss because they gave me a meaningful path to understanding human beings and the functioning of humanity through an anthropological perspective.
Who are your favourite authors?
Claude Levi Strauss, Maurice Auroux, Henri Laborit, Daniel Goleman...
What historical figure do you identify with?
Not sure I identify with anyone but I am definitely inspired by historical non violent figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Those who struggle to go against violent escalation
What is your favourite occupation?
Facilitating inter identity dialogue. This is my career and my life passion.
What influenced your career path?
Probably the fact that I was put in a position of mediating conflict from an early age (between parents, friends, colleagues)
What do you like about what you do?
Managing conflict is the most powerful way for me to understand how human beings work. It is a never ending learning process. And I like trying to perceive things that conflicting parties are not able to see.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
It is yet to come! I am working on finishing a book that talks about conflict resolution and explains how the French society could benefit from its philosophy and tools at different levels.