Listening Post™ Format

Jigsaw9First, participants share preoccupations arising in the various roles they have in society – as members of organisations, clubs, workplaces, families and so on. They then try to identify the underlying themes emerging from their discussion. Finally, they work together to develop hypotheses accounting for the societal dynamics at work both conscious and unconscious.

Part 1: The sharing of preoccupations and experiences

In this Part, the group discussion is unstructured: no agenda is set or issue identified beforehand. The aim is to obtain an authentic representation of society at the given time. The process enables participants to speak of their pre-occupations and experiences of society from their various societal roles in a free flowing and unhindered manner.

Part 2: Identification of major themes

In this Part, participants collectively try to identify the major themes emerging from Part 1. This Part acts as a sort of transitional space and enables participants to put a boundary around the material from Part 1 which will be the subject of analysis in Part 3.

Part 3: Analysis and Hypothesis formation

In this Part, participants are working more with what might be called their ‘psycho’ or ‘internal’ worlds: the collective ideas and ways of thinking that both determine how they perceive the external realities and shape their actions towards them.

Understanding Society