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|
|Jan Elliott, PhD||on sabbatical|
|Beth Fisher-Yoshida, PhD||CMMi Fellows, AC4 Fellows, CMMi Editorial Collective|
|Marit Eikaas Haavimb, MABPSS||CosmoKidz|
|Eerika Hedman-Phillips, PhD||on maternity leave|
|Arthur Jensen, PhD||Cosmopolis, 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|
|Rik Spann, MA||Cultural Ambassador and Resident Musician|
|Susan Steen, PhD||CMMi Editorial Collective|
|Ilene Wasserman, PhD||CMMi Fellows, CMMi Editorial Collective|
Latest news about the CMM Institute
Stories Lived. Stories Told—More new podcasts to listen to
Since letting you know about this engaging new podcasts series, we have added 9 new podcasts to the list. These podcasts include stories told by CosmoKidz teachers, Amy, Nicole and Katrina; Reverend Sarah Hayden; and a past CMMi–AC4 Fellow, Alex Jagiello. Others cover the topics of Cosmopolis 2045, mindfulness, the evolution of CMM, and CMM perspectives, practices and goals. Please listen in.
CosmoKidz program: New developments
The CosmoKidz program grows and changes and is being recognized as a valuable program for helping to raise caring kids. In our recent news we can report on a significant review of the program, a new website for all our CosmoKidz resources, finalizing our research database with strong supportive data from a schoolwide program, and with more CosmoTeenz developments to come.
New Working Paper: Restorying the “white problem”
We have just published our third paper in the Working Paper series: “Restorying the ‘white problem’: Working towards racial justice, Part 2”, authored by Robyn Penman. This paper builds on the previous paper in the series, “Racial justice, relational responsivity and responsibility”. One reviewer of the new paper described it as a “powerful, practical, and a very strong application of the communication perspective to a very tough issue. I feel compelled to take your recommendations, learn more about them, practice them.”
A cosmopolitan sensibility: Compelling stories from a communication perspective: A review
A cosmopolitan sensibility: Compelling stories from a communication perspective was published towards the end of last year. Gitte Haslebo, an educator and trainer in social constructionist theory and practices for more than 30 years and a Taos Associate, reviews this edited volume of compelling stories, finding them ”rich in key CMM ideas.”
Highlights and replays of the 2021 Joint Conference
The 2021 joint conference held with the AFT, the CMM Institute and Friends of KCC, was a special conference in many ways. The collaboration between our three organisations led to an exciting showcase of just what the systemic approach developed by the Kensington Consulting Centre and the CMM approach that was deeply embedded in the training could do towards making better social worlds. If you missed the conference or just want to immerse yourself again, we have some wonderful material for you to read.
Call for proposals: CMMi Working Paper series
The CMMi Working Papers is a new publishing venture. We have already published two papers in our new Working Paper series and have a third in production. We are now calling for proposals from our broader community for publishing consideration.
Newest Steward: Daniel Walters
We are delighted to announce that Daniel Walters was recently appointed a Steward of the CMM Institute. While Daniel might be our newest Steward, he is by no means new to CMM. You can find out more from his biography.
Making CosmoKidz history in Louisiana
The CosmoKidz program at the Independence Leadership Academy in Louisiana is making news. We were recently sent a newspaper clipping of developments under the header of “Cosmic Character” and have reproduced the photos and text to share, with permission, with all of you.
Stories Lived. Stories Told: New podcast series
We have started a new podcast series in conjunction with an Inspired young graduate student, Abbie VanMeter. Abbie gives us the background for the series and what she is hoping to achieve. We invite you to read more about the series and then listen in to Abbie exploring Stories Lived. Stories Told.
CosmoTeenz fellowships announced
We are excited to announce the appointment of five inspiring young women as CosmoTeenz Fellows. These new Fellows will be working together over the next year, using their talents, skills, and creativity to bring into being something they think will make a difference to our social worlds.