Our Shared Humanity

Finding Common Ground in a Divisive World

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Back by popular demand!

Start date: January 4, 2021
Price: $30
clickheretoregisterDuration: 4 weeks
Instructor: Gudjon Bergmann

Registration: Now Open!
Sessions: Self-paced with facilitator support

Scholarships: If you are enthusiastic about this course but cannot make a donation due to financial hardship, you can ask about the availability of a scholarship. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


About the Course

New and improved. Now is the time to heal. In the past three years, the previous version of this course attracted over seven hundred participants from more than thirty countries. We are proud to offer it again in partnership with author and interfaith minister Gudjon Bergmann. The course has been improved to focus less on matters of faith and more on finding common ground. It includes videos, Zoom sessions, self-assessments, and comes with a free book.

The 4-week course brings together ideas Nobel peace prize laureates, modern psychologists, interfaith activists, and ancient Indian seekers to create a unique recipe for all those who are interested in building bridges. Participants will learn about dialogue principles, bridge-building techniques, basic human psychology, effective communications, and much more. By the end of the course, participants should have created a list of concrete steps they can take to improve relationships, both near and far.

Everyone, even those who do not attend the course, will be able to download a free copy of Bergmann’s new book, Our Shared Humanity: Finding Common Ground in a Divisive World, on which the course is based. The Kindle promotion will run on Amazon.com from January 6–10, 2021 and reading software is available for all devices.

In addition, participants will have access to a variety of inspiring and thought-provoking videos, a selection of self-assessments and action plans, like-minded participants from around the world, and Bergmann, who will answer questions and comments on a daily basis.

The course includes:

  • Four self-guided sessions
  • Inspiring and thought-provoking videos
  • Self-assessments and action plans
  • A free copy of Our Shared Humanity: Finding Common Ground in a Divisive World by Gudjon Bergmann
  • A facilitator who will respond to questions and comments on a daily basis for the four-week duration of the course
  • Four Q&A Zoom sessions
  • Access to like-minded people from around the world (this has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the course in the past three years and has created many connections)

Course goals

  • Create a realistic vision for bridge-building and connection
  • Explore the importance of co-human experiences
  • Learn about effective communications and dialogue facilitation
  • Become aware of unconscious pitfalls and biases
  • Use moderating behaviors to temper extremism
  • Acquire an assortment of bridge-building techniques
  • Understand the process of ethical development, how it develops from selfish to care to world-care, and how it is directly related to people’s capacity for compassion
  • Examine self-care principles to reduce the likelihood of burnout
  • Develop a sense of compassion through direct action

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Overcoming the Normalization of Division

  • Program outline and navigation
  • Meet the facilitator
  • Why is there so much division?
  • Being right or finding common ground?
  • Personal status check
  • An achievable vision for the future

Lesson 2: Finding Common Ground

  • The human and ideological personas
  • Focusing on our shared humanity
  • Transformational potential
  • Experiencing shared humanity

Lesson 3: Being the Change

  • From self-care to world-care
  • Three stories of change: Gandhi, Betty Williams, and Nelson Mandela
  • The attraction-repulsion principle
  • Moderating behaviors
  • Avoiding burnout

Lesson 4: Building Bridges

  • The importance of dialogue
  • Five dialogue guidelines
  • When persuasion works
  • A check list for bridge-builders
  • Taking action to find common ground
  • Be the change

About the Course Creator and Facilitator

Gudjon Bergmann is an author, interfaith minister, and seasoned professional speaker. He was born and raised in Iceland, but moved to the USA in 2010 with his wife, Johanna, and two children, after they found out that Johanna had been a US citizen from birth without knowing (long story). They settled in Texas, decided to stay for good, and he became a US citizen in 2013. After completing an immersive interfaith curriculum, Bergmann became an ordained Interfaith Minister on June 17, 2017. Shortly thereafter, he discovered that his calling is to foster co-human understanding and bridge-building between differing ideologies, theologies and philosophical viewpoints.

You can email him by using and learn more by visiting www.gudjonbergmann.com

Listen to interviews:

Our Shared Humanity E Book Cover

 

 

The course includes a complimentary copy of Gudjon Bergmann's e-book, Our Shared Humanity

 

 

Testimonials

Opening Up to a Deeper Awareness

“Thank you for opening up a deeper awareness in me of the term co-humanity and deepening my beliefs of the necessity to embrace and understand the value of diversity. Most of all, to becoming more aware of the part I play in the harmony/disharmony dance in my own environment through my thoughts, words and actions.”

– Gabrielle Menegaldo

More Compassionate, Tolerant and Joyous

“We live in a word full of daily news that divides us and makes us angry and even hateful. The course helped me to wrestle with the reality that while the world around me may incite divisiveness, we can work to create harmony in our lives, and in so doing, learn to be more compassionate, tolerant, and joyous.”

– ​John Smelcer, Ph.D., CAGS, MLA

Recognizing My Triggers

“Continuing to work with the exercises has become part of my daily practice. I am creating a harmony journal inspired by the course. For example, part of that journal focuses on recognizing triggers for what they are and critically analyzing why I am reacting as I do. Thank you for being such a wonderful moderator, I know it was an incredible amount of work, but your input and responses were really inspiring to me.”

– Angela Chouinard​

Not a Soft Option – but an Absolute Must

“Using conflict resolution techniques based on harmony and compassion, Bergmann’s course requires participants to walk the talk as he shines a powerful light on alternative pathways towards understanding and acceptance. This course is not a soft option. It will be confronting and challenging for many. But if you believe our future survival requires shared respect and understanding for the sake of both people and planet, then this course is an absolute must. It was a waypoint in my own journey, providing alternatives I’d never previously considered, new ways to create meaningful change by focusing on our shared humanity rather than our ideological differences.”

– John Sellwood

Help with Ideological Discussions

“As I attend a rather conservative church but teach a very non-traditional class at this church, his pointers on having discussions with those with whom you disagree ideologically were VERY useful in helping me see changes I have to make in having such discussions. I strongly recommend his course to others to help us live through these rather contentious times we are experiencing.”

– Margaret Cox

Refreshed My Soul

“The course infused and refreshed my soul with tonics of simplicity and understanding. I am grateful and thankful for the gentle push to a better understanding of my fellow folks here on this planet of ours.”

– Kevin B.​

Succinct, Clear and Profound

“The course materials were so valuable, succinct, clear and profound. Specific invitations and directions on how an individual can change personal perspectives and behaviors will make a significant difference in interacting in today's divisive climate are so needed. I very much enjoyed the robust and provocative discussions between yourself and so many within the course. What a gift for each of us to create peace and unblock paths to love for others and ourselves. Thank you so much!”

– Nancy Rushlow Bray

Practical and Powerful Wisdom

“Bergmann has developed and presented an insightful and impactful course that has already helped me to have more positive and productive interactions with others.  The structure of the course enabled concise and engaging presentation of its key concepts. Gudjon was an excellent embodiment of the key principles and practices of the course in all his communication with us. The course offers practical, powerful wisdom and techniques for achieving greater harmony and peace in all our lives; I highly recommend it.”

– Tom Miller

Supporting Connection

“Through Gudjon Bergmann’s course, I have learned new and powerful elements to support connection with others whose views are different than my own. Gudjon was very supportive as were the discussions with fellow classmates from around the world.”

– Linda Kochman

Provided Me with Useful Tools

“This course not only reinforced my desire to communicate and connect with those who I would not normally connect with, but it provided quite a few useful tools to make that connection possible. The videos, readings and instruction were first rate and not the usual platitudes. I recommend this course.”

– Steve Liebowitz, ED. D, Author, Life & Business Coach

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Clarity and Language

“The most valuable thing I gained was clarity. I so often struggle to express myself for lack of words; I have been given some of the language I need in order to express not only what is important to me, but also to help build those bridges. Thank you so much!”

– Jennifer Brodeur​

Thought-Provoking Material

“Thank you for the wonderful course, Gudjon. Amazing how much thought-provoking material you have packed into lessons that read so quickly. I have come away with a wealth of ideas that I can use in my Dignity Dialogues initiative.”

– Larry Visser​

Confidence Builder

“The course was a confidence builder.”

– Angela

Two Personas and Co-Humanity

“I thought the course was excellent, especially since it introduced concepts unfamiliar to me...the two personas. Focusing on the co-human is very helpful.”

– Larry Brown

Uplifting and Challenging

“This course is at once uplifting and challenging. The frameworks provided helped me, and my course colleagues, to break down complex issues and discuss them using a common language. I left the course with actionable tools and language for continuing to work on creating harmony in my corner of the world.”

– Amy Giddon, CEO Daily Haloha

 

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