Past Social Dreaming Projects

2014 Global Social Dreaming Research Day

On December 15 and 16, 2014, the Research Committee of the Gordon Lawrence Foundation for the promotion of Social Dreaming organised an exciting event: a Social Dreaming global dream research day. Two parallel Social Dreaming matrices in academic conferences were held, one in England (hosted by Julian Manley) and the other in Denmark (hosted by Jonathan Gosling). During these conferences, we collected global dreams via audio files sent to a website. Our aims were to:

  • Make available to members of the matrix the ability to contribute and ‘hear’ dreams from a specific time across multiple spaces
  • Compare and contrast the dreams on the three sites—England, Denmark and ‘global’—to see the extent that these dreams compare or contrast according to location
  • Evaluate the use of audio files as a means of collecting dreams with a view to developing new ways of conducting social dreaming on-line. The results will be published in an academic journal after the event.

As Yang as it Gets: Whistleblowers as Archetypal Heroes in Contemporary Society

Researcher/s: Hilary

Abstract: Whistleblowers often report that they “had no choice.” Aside from a few psychoanalytic studies, scant whistleblowing research goes beyond a post-positivist correlative approach quantifying socially constructed psychological or organizational variables to identify likely antecedents to whistleblowing. Studies ignore the meaning of what the whistleblower is resisting, consequently missing what might motivate whistleblowing. Organizational scholarship has begun to use Jungian interpretation; the author hypothesizes that this irresistible impulse is due to whistleblowers having a greater sensitivity to Jung’s collective unconscious, whence a ‘hero’ archetype is emerging. Implementing Flyvbjerg’s phronesis which marries pragmatism with critical theory, she plans to analyze medical whistleblower narratives and dream reports using psycho-social interviewing and panel methods. As theorizing in this field is thin, the study draws on work from other fields; the logic of abductive reasoning, organizational writing on sense-making, Jungian archetypology, evolutionary psychology, narrative inquiry and Social Dreaming and Listening Post methodology.

Keywords: whistleblowers, Jungian archetypology, narrative inquiry, Listening Post, social dreaming, evolutionary psychology

Institutional affiliation: Open University School of Business UK

Designing an electronic dreaming interface

Researcher/s: David Patman,

Abstract: The social dreaming matrix invites participants to contribute dreams face-to-face and interpret their meaning for the group using non-directed thinking methods such as free association. This work will look at the possibility of augmenting the in-person matrix methodology with an ‘electronic dreaming interface’ (EDI). The EDI is not intended as a substitute for or replication of a social dreaming matrix in virtual space, but as an extension to enable participation by group members who are not physically present. The EDI builds on the principles of social dreaming which Lawrence outlined and acknowledges the importance of distinguishing between an electronically-mediated text-based context and one in which communication is primarily verbal and visual—this research will begin to explore the potential value of using electronic digital technologies to extend the user experience of in-person social dreaming practices via the Internet.

Keywords: digital technology, interface design, internet, ICT, electronic matrix

Institutional affiliation: Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Researching recovery from drug and alcohol addiction with visual methods

Researcher/s: Julian

Abstract: This research aims to develop some of the features of Social Dreaming to facilitate the expression of complex ideas and feelings of people in recovery from addiction. The Visual Matrix (VM) employed as a development from the Social Dreaming matrix has been conceived as a way of focussing on the research subject by concentrating on associations and images rather than prioritising dreams. The subject matter of the research is framed by photographs at the beginning of the VM. The participants are encouraged to allow images, thoughts, and feelings regarding their recovery journeys to emerge and to express these to the matrix, in the same way as in a matrix. The use of the VM is currently being developed by the Psychosocial Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire.

Through a series of workshops with different recovery agencies, the research aims to understand participants’ thoughts and feelings about their recovery journeys. People in recovery from substance misuse will often have trouble expressing difficult and sometimes painful thoughts and feelings related to their circumstances. The VM aims to provide a forum for such expression. The aims of this project are to: 

  • Research a drug and alcohol recovery programme that engages participants in visualisation and reflection on their addictions
  • Further develop the innovative Visual Matrix methodology that has been developed from Julian Manley’s Social Dreaming Phd research.

Keywords: Visual Matrix, addiction, visual methods, association

Institutional affiliation: This research is funded by the Richard Benjamin Trust and ends in the Fall of 2014.