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DIAL: the rise of cafe-based, drop-in action learning

Paul Levy and David Knowles

Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2020, vol. 17, issue 1, 155-165

Abstract: Different styles of Action Learning that have evolved from the original form by Reg Revans, the originator of Action Learning. In this paper, we offer a further development of Action Learning which we name DIAL (Drop-In Action Learning). DIAL is a facilitated or self-managed form of action learning that has the specific quality of being a ‘drop-in’ process. Participants do not need to sign up to attend, nor do they need to attend regularly. This drop-in quality has lent itself to the choice of venue being in informal meeting spaces such as cafes. This paper outlines the history of DIAL, the project to experiment with and research it (The DIAL project is based in Brighton and Newhaven in the UK), and the specific challenges and advantages of the drop-in element. That is one part of the paper and the project. The second part refers to the location of the action learning meetings. We are researching how we believe flow and creativity in the DIAL meetings is enhanced (as is the drop-in element) by them being located in non-formal meeting spaces, such as cafes and pubs. By being community-based they are also a form of social action.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2020.1712857

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