is an organization of professionals devoted to the task of promoting, developing, researching and applying social dreaming in a variety of contexts.
‘Social Dreaming’, the practice of sharing, associating to and working with dreams in a matrix in order to identify social trends and social dynamics, was pioneered and developed by Gordon Lawrence and his colleagues at the Tavistock Institute and Tavistock Clinic in the 1980s. The first experiment was launched by Gordon Lawrence and Paddy Daniel. Since then social dreaming has revealed its potential, developed, spread and been used in many areas and fields around the globe.
Social Dreaming International Network (SDiN) was established in 2019 by some of the former trustees and founders of the Gordon Lawrence Foundation, after its closure. The organization welcomed the unique opportunity to work with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which recognises the international nature and the importance of partnerships for both organisations in promoting and developing social dreaming.
Social Dreaming principles
Social Dreaming began as a venture into the unknown. As Gordon Lawrence was to put it 30 years after the first event, we were on the shore of a strange country, the one tenet we held in mind Wilfred Bion's injunction that "to spend time on what has been discovered is to concentrate on an irrelevance". Over the years, while practice has continually evolved there have been a small number of constants which may be taken as guiding principles that serve to define the field and its boundaries. But they are just 'guides', not rules, open not closed. Tested in experience, matrix by matrix.
Social dreaming is a method of enquiry that is applied in a number of fields of scientific endeavour, like organisational development consultancy, in group relations conferences, in the field of education, in action research and evaluation and in social and cultural enquiry. Workers in these fields will use social dreaming as an addition to their traditional methods of social research and enquiry because social dreaming accesses the hidden depths of human experience and thought, the mysteries and paradoxes of group membership and makes these available for scrutiny and learning in a benign way. Social dreaming transcends the individual; by listening and associating to dreams in a community of dreamers, we learn more about our organisations, our culture and our society. Social dreaming provides us with the transformative potential without having a particular goal in mind.