About the Institute
Our mission is to contribute to the making of better social worlds by reflecting on current patterns of communication and building better ones. We know that the skills necessary for making better social worlds are unevenly distributed and often in shortest supply when needed most. We are dedicated to improving this situation by promoting abilities, skills, and ways of being that enable us to act compassionately, mindfully, and wisely into the complex worlds in which we live.
The Institute’s goal is best expressed as learning together how to develop and share a cosmopolitan sensibility regarding our communication practices. This cosmopolitan sensibility can be expressed in several ways, including the idea that we remain profoundly curious about, and open to, the many ways of being human, seeing each way as one reality among many, and appreciating that all are constructed in different ongoing patterns of communicating.
In all of these efforts, the goal is to shift our taken-for-granted view of communication (as a simple tool for exchanging ideas and information) to a more complex understanding of the creative power of communication. In practical terms, these shifts are facilitated using tools and models inspired and informed by the Theory of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM).
The Institute itself represents a diverse community of individuals, groups and organizations who use the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) theory to inform and enhance their work. We engage with, and learn from one another, through a variety of online and in-person forums. Individual scholars and practitioners, educators and thought leaders, and institutional advocates comprise the core of the Institute’s supporters. However, the Institute’s programs and events are open to everyone.
As the institutional home and on-going keeper of CMM’s living history, the Institute partners with people, organizations and projects that represent significant, relevant, and applicable ways to institutionalize better patterns of communication.
The public benefit 501(c)3 Institute provides:
- Opportunities for collaboration, research, and teaching, including our joint graduate student fellowship program with Columbia University and joint conferences held with like-minded organisations such as the UK Association for Family Therapy
- Professional development programs for emerging and established CMM practitioners, including our annual CMMi Fellowship program
- Development and implementation of demonstration projects, showing how we can make better social worlds, especially demonstrated in our long-term CosmoKidz and Cosmopolis projects
- Worldwide networking and information sharing most notably conducted through our Learning Exchanges and occasional webinars
- Fresh insights about CMM’s capacity to transform contemporary social issues and covered in the CMMi Press publication program
- Advocacy for the continued improvement of personal and public communication in all walks of life, through our publications, our sponsored projects and our networking
- Support for the continued development of CMM as a practical theory and as a way of being in the world
The Board of Stewards
The Institute is overseen by an international Board of Stewards. The members of the board voluntarily contribute their time and expertise to fulfilling the vision of the Institute. At various times, the members take on specific responsibilities for particular projects and activities that suit their passions and their time available. The current responsibilities include:
|Barton Buechner, PhD
|CMMi Fellows, CMMI Secretary
|Beth Fisher-Yoshida, PhD
|CMMi Fellows, AC4 Fellows, CMMi Editorial Collective
|Marit Eikaas Haavimb, MABPSS
|Arthur Jensen, PhD
|Cosmopolis-2045, CMMi Editorial Collective
|Barbara McKay, D.Psych
|CMMi Press Editorial Collective, UK/AFT Liaison
|Sergej van Middendorp, PhD
|CMMI Treasurer, Fielding Graduate University & Institute for Global Integral Competence Liaison
|Kimberly Pearce, MA
|Cofounder, President, CosmoKidz
|Robyn Penman, PhD
|Honorary Life Associate, Cosmopolis, CMMi Press Editor, Newsletter Editor
|Susan Steen, PhD
|CMMi Editorial Collective
|Don Waisanen, PhD
|CosmoTeenz Teen Fellows Project, Cosmopolis-2045
|Ilene Wasserman, PhD
|CMMi Fellows, CMMi Editorial Collective
Latest news about the CMM Institute
Applied social construction and design thinking: Implications for military contexts
Two of our Stewards, Susan Steen and Barton Buechner, recently participated in the 2023 Language, Regional Expertise and Culture (LREC) Symposium held annually by the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC). This year’s theme was Integrated by Design and Susan and Bart explored aspects of CMM-based collaborative inquiry, incorporating quantum theory and design thinking, that addressed the theme.
The Stewards of the CMM Institute met at the end of November to reflect on our hopes and goals for the work that we do individually and as an Institute. Kim Pearce reports on our reflections and outlines some of the highlights of our work for the coming year.
Welcome to new steward: Don Waisanen
We are delighted to welcome Don Waisanen to our Board of Stewards. Don is a Professor in the Baruch College, CUNY Marxe School of Public and International Affairs and is committed to supporting CMM in its defining role of advancing the forms of communication that can best address current challenges and put humanity on an upward trajectory.
Communities of practice: An important peace-building role
Beth Fisher-Yoshida is continuing her work supporting the peace-building initiatives in Medellin, Colombia. She has found that the ongoing organic development of a CMM community of practice amongst the youth and community leaders in Medellin is playing an important role.
Call for proposals for 2024 CMMi Fellows
We are inviting scholar-practitioners who appreciate the central role of communication in making our social worlds to apply for a Fellowship in 2024. Our Fellowship theme is open for 2024 and we encourage anyone with a special interest in exploring any of the many social, environmental, organisational or political challenges that we are currently facing in our social worlds.
CMM Institute Fellows Program CALL FOR PROPOSALS for 2024 Fellows
We envision the continuance of the Fellows program in 2024 with an open invitation for proposals that further increase the scope and range of the ways that CMM is applied as a “practical theory” to lead social innovation and break down barriers to change. To this end, we are open to considering applications reflecting a wide range of social phenomena that can be seen as being “made in communication,” and exploring the intersectionality with CMM and other conceptual frameworks as part of re-imagining the way we live, work, and interact.
Is co-construction an answer to moral injury?
One of the themes of the 5th annual Hero’s Journey symposium was the creation of “better pathways from wounds to wellness.” It included a panel discussion that reviewed the history and trajectory of moral injury as a construct of mental health. Bart Buechner was on the panel and offers us some of the highlights from the discussion on this important issue.
CMM Institute 2021 Fellow completes dissertation
Congratulations to Lilya Shienko, PhD, for the recent completion of her dissertation, “The relationship between personal use of social media at work and job satisfaction”, as part of her doctoral studies at Adler University. Lilya’s thesis evolved from the work she undertook as a CMMI Fellow in 2021.
CosmoTeenz comic book
Navigating mental health as a teen is hard, so we asked our teen Fellows for their help in figuring out the mess. They’ve led us to better understand mental health by sharing their heartfelt stories and we hope to pass their stories along in an entertaining medium. Find their stories of vulnerability, growth, perseverance and more in our upcoming (as yet untitled) CosmoTeenz comic book.
The Sisanda FunDaytion: Connecting and building resilience through play in Cape Town, South Africa
The CMM Institute is honored to partner with Sisanda. We have donated CosmoKidz activities for their use and we recently learned about some of the specific ways in Sisanda have been using CosmoKidz to help children and families thrive in South Africa.