The CP Yen Foundation’s mission is to foster the art of dialogue and to facilitate positive social change.
The Foundation offers four principle services:
1. Dialogue activities: creating civil society dialogue spaces and experiences following an annual theme.
2. Dialogue facilitation: serving nonprofit and governmental organizations through vision and consensus building, strategic planning, international conferences, community building, meeting facilitation, participatory process design.
3. Dialogue training: offering upon request open, diverse group dialogue tools and capacity building opportunities. Examples include: basic dialogue skills, multi-stakeholder dialogic change process, international conference participatory discussion methods, Theory U, and more.
4. Dialogue new knowledge introduction: monthly newsletters and book publications.
The word dialogue comes from the Greek dia-logos. Dia meaning "through" and “logos” meaning “words,” dialogue therefore is to convey meaning through words. Skills are needed to doing this effectively, such as how to balance inquiry and advocacy and how to suspend assumptions to truly listen and understand another’s deeper meaning. In the book The Magic of Dialogue, Daniel Yankelovich clarifies how dialogue is different from discussion, debate and deliberation due to its qualities of equality, empathetic listening, and surfacing assumptions. Dialogue occurs when one or more people gather in a safe environment to exchange thoughts with an intent to truly understand each other's viewpoint more fully. The purpose of dialogue is to explore what we care about. In a dialogic space people learn from each other, share experiences and knowledge and co-create new value.