Dr Mannie Sher contributes the chapter: Social Spaces for Social Dreaming.
Mannie’s chapter describes the adventures of running social dreaming matrices in a variety of bounded and unbounded social spaces and the exciting opportunities presented for groups of people to experience social dreaming through which they can associate to their own dreams and the dreams of others and make links and find connections between their dreams and social, and sometimes organisational, living.
The usefulness of social dreaming provides lies in the opportunities for groups of people to share dreams and discover their relevant unconscious social meaning. Social Dreaming differs from the psychoanalytic use of dreams through the exploration of dreams in a matrix (a group), focusing on the dream, not the dreamer; dreams becoming the property of the matrix and being played with imaginatively and used as a springboard for creating new thoughts about the social environment of the matrix. Hence, Mannie’s chapter describes social dreaming at the Wellcome Library at the time of the Referendum in 2016 and to mark the launch of the Tavistock Institute’s archive at the Wellcome Library, a Leicester group relations conference, the social protest movements in London, Tel Aviv and Washington in 2011, on the Dynamics @ Board Level professional development programme and in an organisational development consultancy assignment with a manufacturing client.
Social dreaming matrices happen as part of conferences, as part of daily work in organisations, as part of teaching programmes, in open public spaces and possibly in venues still untried. Dreaming can be thought of as being a representation of a social ‘truth’ contained in the images that inhabit the unconscious minds of the dreamers participating in a social space. Social dreaming allows for the fragments of dreams to be seen as a potential synthesis of confusing and frightening social phenomena, helping to brace for the cyclical arrival of new and unpredictable social realities.
In Long and Manley’s book Social Dreaming: Philosophy, Research, Theory and Practice, the principles of social dreaming are explored to uncover shared anxieties and prejudices, suggest likely responses, enhance cultural surveys, inform managerial policies, and embody community affiliation. Including a coherent epistemology to support the theoretical principles of the field, the book reflects upon and extends the theory and philosophy behind the method, as well as discussing new research in the area, and how social dreaming practice is conducted in a range of localities, situations and circumstances.
The book is published by Routledge and can be obtained from Karnac Books.
Dr Mannie Sher, PhD
Principal Consultant/Researcher and Executive Coach
Trustee, Gordon Lawrence Foundation for the Promotion of Social Dreaming