Q. What is Social Dreaming?

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Q. Why participate in a Social Dreaming event? 

Social Dreaming is a learning experience resulting in new knowledge and new considerations. It is often enjoyable, eye-opening and exciting as participants learn to think laterally and divergently, disrupting the usual ways of goal-orientated thinking to innovate and find new knowledge.

Q. Aren’t dreams private?

Since Social Dreaming focuses on gaining knowledge of the world around us, the individual is not considered—the focus is on the dream and not the dreamer. People have long used dreams to make meaning and solve problems of living in the world. Focusing on the individual’s dream has been a privileged prejudice for most of the last century. In Social Dreaming, dreams come from and through the individual, reflecting our shared social unconscious. 

Q. I’m worried about sharing my dream – should I be?

No, our dreams are treated as belonging to all participants—no interpretations or judgments are made. Dreams are never examined from an individual perspective. Again, Social Dreaming is different from presenting a dream in a therapeutic situation, dreams are presented as representing some aspect of our social world.

Q.  How does it work?

A number of people come together to form a matrix in which they share their dreams. People begin to associate to the dreams, perhaps relating to other dreams and real life situations or in the process of searching for other meaning. What follows may feel as if it mirrors the process of dreaming itself. The mind enters a space freed from rationale, logic and analytics as the matrix participants enter a “multi-verse” of meaning. The matrix is fueled by dreams, associations, feelings and the discourse of the participants and hosts.

Q. What kind of people go to a Social Dreaming event? 

Anyone can benefit from a Social Dreaming event. Many can from for-profit, nonprofit and governmental organizations, including educationalists, business leaders, organizational consultants, artists and all creative workers.  All share the same desire to explore new ideas and experiences to discover new meaning. 

Q. Can anyone be a Social Dreamer or do you need expert knowledge?  What do you need to be good at Social Dreaming?

Anyone can join a Social Dreaming matrix. While some might find its unstructured process challenging at first, most of us have the capacity for reverie, can be comfortable with not knowing, and can muster the courage to be immersed in doubt and uncertainty.

Q. Who are the organizers?

The organizers are called "hosts", who are experienced in Social Dreaming. The host’s role is to contain the space and ensure that dreams, associations and working hypotheses continue to emerge throughout the process. The further role of the host is to facilitate the post-matrix dialogue or event. 

Q. Can it be compared to anything else?

Social Dreaming is often thought of as the the re-discovery and relocation of the skills of early peoples, such as the Australian Aborigines, the Senoi, and the American Indians (Brody, 1981, Maps and Dreams, London: Faber and Faber). Many people and cultures have accessed their dreams to find what is common to all.  Social Dreaming belongs to these traditions and develops them further into the world we live.

Q. How long does it last?

A Social Dreaming event can vary, lasting for an hour-and-a-half or run for three days, as part of a larger program. There are matrices that meet periodically and can last for years.

Q. What do I gain by participating in Social Dreaming?

Social Dreaming can expand your thinking and knowledge for personal and professional development and can give you a new perspective on the organization or community in which you work and live, as well as the way you live within it.