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What is Cooking Up Dialogue About?


We dream of communities empowered with the tools to communicate with compassion, overcome polarisation and with a capacity to collaborate and work together on our local problems.

      Diversity and Inclusion     

Who .....

EVERYONE needs some degree of increased capacity for healthy dialogue in their lives so the groups that may benefit from these dialogues are unlimited.

Our groups are people from different nations, cultures, religions and ethnicity and with different backgrounds such as business people, professionals, academics, students, housewives, homesteaders and rural people etc. 

Increased capacity for understanding can be achieved between couples, parents and their adult children, immigrants, refugees and local people and all kinds of ethnic minorities, the polarized political groups, the conservative and secular groups and with the LGBTQ+ and all others.  

"İmece" .....

The concept draws from and reintroduces the Turkish traditional concept of ‘imece’ (or potluck) in terms of bringing the women together over their cooking, food and stories.

Together we establish both individual cultural identities and the underlying power of the unity between us.

Displaced people, those struggling with their identity and every participant has cause to celebrate and share their uniqueness while embracing the understanding that we are all human and have the same needs, pains, joys and that our stories unite us.


Connection is essential to ensure dialogue and collaboration within families, communities and beyond.

Connection? Don't underestimate it!

When we look at the motivations, desires and priorities of humankind it is apparent that we are neurobiologically wired to be connected.

Meaningful connection is the most enriching part of our lives and a lack of it is cause for much of the predicament we face.

With online sessions our potential for diversity and inclusion has grown to encompass the global community.

Why  .....

To increase community resilience, social cohesion, ecological connection and life quality through dialogue and connection.

Whatever the setting or whomever the participants, people benefit from gathering around a shared meal and the act of sharing is a catalyst for emerging collective wisdom.

The Cooking Up Dialogue initiative forges connection, dialogue, interaction, collaboration, compassion and a deeper sense of community between the groups.

Turkey is a country of many different groups that are living together despite misconceptions and prejudice about each other.


A lack of opportunity for healthy dialogue keep the diverse groups in isolation, suspicion and potential volatility.

On top of this pre-existing situation, Turkey has an influx of millions of immigrants and refugees over the last few years adding to the diversity and with very visible influence on the demographics yet without an infrastructure of support and healthy integration.

The urban and rural landscape is divided into groups and subgroups that do not have the habit of working together. Presently our dialogue skills are inadequate for the challenges that we face.

Where  .....

World Wide .....

Even ethnic groups that arrived decades ago still hold prejudices towards each other, and political divides are holding communities back from realising the mutual challenges that we face in these times of increasing difficulty.

Healthy dialogue within inclusive groups and between family members and couples can help us find understanding, compassion and healthy curiosity for each other.

Projections of the impact of climate crisis indicate that communities need to be in a state of coherent collaboration and solidarity.

ONLINE Cooking Up Dialogue sessions can be a useful way to help bring the whole world together.

Instead of
competition and comparison we build 



   Our Tools & Methods    

Circle .....

The potential to bridge gaps between all kinds of groups is huge when Circle method (or Way of Council) is used. 

Historically we have sat in Circle whenever something important was to be discussed but also we have gathered around fires to tell stories this way since the dawn of time. Circle is in our DNA, it is also a relevant and powerful tool to ensure healthy relevant, inclusive and effective meetings in a modern-day board room or council meeting.

During Circle we ask Curated Questions to activate empathy and connection, we introduce the participants to the concept of Deep Listening and Speaking with Intention, we learn to not judge or try to solve any problems that might arise.

Circle is about Holding Space for whatever the individual and collective wisdom of the group brings up and it is about being present and attentive. 

The kind of depth that is achieved in a delicately held Circle can lead to radical and deep healing of individuals, families and communities.

We work with groups that will most benefit from our program and where we can use the Circle and our Dialogue Tools to best effect.

Curated Questions are specifically designed for each group to enable a flow of understanding and connection between the participants despite any differences and discord that may lie between them.

Curated Questions posed in a safe and conducive environment such as at Connected Conversations Gatherings or during Circle have been “life changing”, “bonding” “revealing” and “connecting”.

In both Circle and Connected Conversations, the key is to provide a non-judgmental and safe environment where people can simply be themselves, the questions are designed to be open ended and invite participants to speak from the heart. 

Participants are invited to be curious and compassionate while we are invited to question how we, as Cooking Up DialogueTeam, can best serve the interests of each group and collectively manifest an increasingly resilient community. 

Curated Questions .....

Story Telling & Deep Listening


Our participants have the chance to tell stories in a relaxed and fun way, this in itself is a way to hear ourselves speak and gain confidence and insight into our own minds. We become curious and compassionate towards ourselves, and then we find it easier to be curious and compassionate about others.

While we speak and listen in turn, we practice Deep Listening, this further activates our compassion and curiosity.

Other Tools.....

As a team we have a variety of approaches that we are integrating into the Sohbet Sofralari method. Some of which are Non Violent Communication, Role Theory, Theory U, Social Presencing, Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects, Deep Democracy, Conflict Transformation, Somatic and Embodiment Work and more.

We are on a learning and sharing journey that enables us to grow and evolve with the needs of each group.

Together we are constantly creating an emerging 'best approach'.  

Furthermore we are guided by our guts, our hearts and our enthusiasm. Which, as we know, is essential for all good recipes.







Local .....

All the participants source their own ingredients (funded by Cooking Up Dialogue) They are encouraged to prefer local and organic produce. In some cases the participants are already producers or small scale urban or rural gardeners and we love to see own produce used during our sessions.

We endeavour to minimise the carbon footprint of the produce used and ourselves in coming together, and now during the Covid - 19 we are restricted in movement but able to come together online.

We encourage all the participants to embrace ecological and Zero Waste practices through leading by example and we are all open to learning how best to source and prepare food and remain connected and secure in these changing times.

It is increasingly difficult to navigate the choices that we, as consumers have. every day we are becoming more aware of the impact that our lifestyles have had upon our planet and upon other people.

We are keen to ensure that our sessions are ethical in every way possible from our approach to the wonderful women who make our sessions possible, to the collaborating organisations and their staff and volunteers that assist us and to the produce that we consume including the whole supply chain.

We introduce the concept that every thing, just like us, has a story to tell. We want to be sure that the tomato or the cheese that we use in our recipes has a story that is free of pesticides and herbicides and that all the people and life forms involved in the process are treated ethically and equitably. 

Ethical .....

Zero Waste .....

It is without doubt that we must face the reality of impending ecological challenges. Therefore, it is a core factor that all the events and every aspect of the Cooking Up Dialogue sessions are hosted and implemented with a “zero waste” approach. This means single use and packaged items are kept to an absolute minimum, local produce and traditional or organic and ethical produce are preferred.

The participants are introduced to ideas such as Zero or Less Waste, Conscious Living, community bostan (allotments) and other ecological resilience building initiatives to be enabled to start their own mutually beneficial projects

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