A Question of Questions

Can a powerful question change the world? Why do some questions motivate people to deeply reflect and act?

The creation and sharing of a catalyzing question is a generative act, it creates a point of view. Such a true question provokes a deep response and outlook. Great questions are the inspiration of research, journalism, strategy, and our imagining of alternative futures.

September’s DwD session inquired into the “question of questions.”  We practice different methods and arts of the question, and explore the impact of powerful questions in dialogue.

We can see this principle in action around us. Companies, innovations, and social movements can start with a leader’s question that inspires others to get involved. People living in a question invite us to answer that question with action.

Such is the pull of the powerful question.

The session presented three challenges to participants:

1. The Question Game – Conduct three conversations entirely in questions.

2. Inquiry into: What is the process and practice of asking questions?

Based on asking the following three questions:

  • What is the function of a question?
  • What is the effect of a question on the person being asked?
  • What kinds of questions have “potential” or the potency to open experience?

The comprehensive dialogue sketch was composed throughout the evening by Patricia Kambitsch, Playthink.

3. How might your questions shape an intentional future?

Writing and sharing powerful questions, which appeared on the board as:

Participation was engaged by a group of 30, at least half of whom were new to DwD. We appreciate the energized attendance!

ABOUT THE HOST. DwD co-founder Peter Jones teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation graduate MDes program at OCADU. Peter founded Redesign, an innovation research company based in Toronto that conducts ethnographic research and concept design for early stage innovations and services.