Call for Proposals: 2020 CMMi Fellows program

   Going beyond polarized narratives

We are seeking innovative proposals for projects which show or create the potential for “making better social worlds” by going beyond the polarized narratives that have served to divide, rather than unite, communities and that have resulted in fragmented or disenfranchised segments of the population.

We are particularly looking for proposals that address ways of:

  • Bringing together people in community to help change repetitive patterns of conflict
  • Fostering curiosity and understanding as a strategy for co-inquiry and meaning-making
  • Figuring out how to go on together despite incommensurate beliefs or worldviews
  • Enhancing children’s communicative capacities for living in better social worlds
  • How a “better social world” can be created in the future through cosmopolitan forms of communication

In terms of practical impact, we are interested in proposals that address at least one different time horizon, including:

  • What can we do now?  In terms of moving beyond polarized debates and debacles
  • What can we do for the next generation? Cultivating and nurturing a “cosmopolitan sensibility” in children and teens to help move on from things that have us “stuck”
  • How might it look in the future? Imagining the possibilities in the year 2045 for managing differences, and evolving our social institutions to help expand our consciousness. we are specifically looking for proposals that contribute to developing a personal story or a site for https://Cosmopolis2045.com

We do not expect Fellows proposals to fully integrate CMM in the beginning but will expect that this will be the guiding framework as the work progresses. In particular, we intend this as an invitation to further explore your ideas around conceptual framing of “cosmopolitan communication” or “cosmopolitan sensibility.” As background, we offer several core elements as indicative of a CMM-compatible approach:

  • A basic belief: that we construct our social worlds in communicating
  • A way of looking: at the joint actions of people in relationship
  • Locus of meaning: in the joint action, where meaning is always unfinished
  • Preferred communication patterns/forms: dialogic and cosmopolitan
  • Moral driver: to bring about more productive ways for making better social worlds
  • Use (or awareness) of a set of heuristics compatible with the above; including the LUUUUUUTT, Daisy and Hierarchy of Meaning models.

For more context and literature on these and other subjects, you are invited to peruse a compilation of CMM-related literature at  https://cmminstitute.org/papers-and-books/

Requirements and opportunities

Deadline extension: 15 May

Presentation Venue: Online Webinar (details forthcoming)

Honorarium: $500 Grant per Fellow, with additional budget for research based on justification (up to $2,000)

In the spirit of co-creation, those selected for 2020 CMMi Fellowships will be invited to work with us in imagining and developing the venues for the presentation of Fellows projects, as it is unlikely that a CMM Learning Exchange will be held as a face-to-face event in 2020. We present this as an invitation to be in generative conversation with the broader CMM community.

Application and selection process


  •  Complete the Letter of Intent (LOI) and Proposal using the format appended to this announcement. Attach any supporting documents, and email the completed application package to the CMMI Fellows program co-chairs as indicated. Deadline for applications is May 15, 2020.
  •  Applications will receive a blind review by our advisory panel in May-early June 2020, after which you will receive feedback on your proposal, whether or not you are accepted as a 2020 CMMI Fellow.
  • The CMM Institute Board will make the final selection of the 2020 Fellows by Mid-June 2020.
  •  We anticipate coordinating a webinar or similar venue to present final Fellows papers sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.


More about CMM

The Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) offers a body of practical theory and a palette of conceptual models and tools that allow us to see how our social worlds and identities are made in patterns of communication. The stories we tell about the pressing social issues we face, and the others who are involved in them, can become embodied in ourselves and in our social institutions. The way we look at this communication (which we call “the communication perspective”) helps us to see what we are making together in our patterns of communication. This may help us to consider better ways of being, and of being together, and visualize other possibilities for constructing better social worlds.

The CMMi Fellowship program serves as an opportunity for scholar-practitioners to engage with a growing worldwide community that makes use of the CMM theory to make better social worlds. We do not expect prospective fellows to be well-versed in CMM at the start, but some working knowledge is helpful. Participation in the program can expect to make connections and support to further grow your knowledge and context.

Cosmopolis 2045 and Cosmokidz: Two programs offered by CMMI are specifically geared towards envisioning and enabling a future where citizens are equipped with the tools and practices of CMM, particularly those related to “Cosmopolitan Communication.” This year, we anticipate a special emphasis on Fellowships that either further develop or pioneer the use of Cosmokidz resources in teaching, or expand our vision for a “Cosmopolitan future” by applying CMM to particular aspects of society.

To help you prepare your Fellowship application, you can learn more about CMM theory and resources, and both the Cosmokidz and Cosmopolis 2045 programs, by looking at other sections of the CMMi website.

The CMM Institute offers a range of learning resources to engage with CMM and a community of scholars and practitioners who use it. For more information about the CMM Institute, contact Kim Pearce at kimpearce@aol.com.

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