Dialogue & Social Change — with Mark Winston

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Mark Winston
semester in dialogue
Simon Fraser University
Community Engagement
SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement

Below the Radar explores the transformational capacity of dialogue with apiculturist, award-winning author, and SFU Professor of Biological Sciences Mark Winston. He is in conversation with host Am Johal about SFU’s Semester in Dialogue program and the importance of providing students with opportunities to be engaged with their communities.

Mark shares how part of a university’s job is to help people realize who they want to be in the world, speaking to the impact of alternative pedagogical models that embrace dialogue and art. We hear stories from his time as director of the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and the complex process of creating a non-traditional, interdisciplinary program such as the Semester in Dialogue.

They speak about Mark’s journey with dialogue, which grew out of his fascination with bee communication. He also talks about the shortcomings of dialogue, what conversations need to be elevated emerging from the pandemic, and how we can translate them into building equity and compassion for all.


Mark L. Winston is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive, and an Independent Publishers 2019 Gold Medal “IPPY” Award for his book Listening to the Bees. One of the world’s leading experts on bees and pollination, Dr. Winston is also an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and writer. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for 12 years, where he founded the Semester in Dialogue, a program that creates leadership development opportunities equipping and empowering students to address community issues.

As a consultant and thought leader, Dr. Winston partners with universities, corporations, NGOs, governments and communities to advance communication skills, engage public audiences with controversial issues through dialogue, and implement experiential learning and community engagement in educational institutions. As an award-winning writer and editor, he works with students, scientists, other professionals and writers to develop compelling non-fiction, from proposals and newspaper opinion pieces to manuscripts and books.

He currently is a Professor and Senior Fellow in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, a Professor of Biological Sciences, and the SFU Library’s inaugural Nonfiction Writer in Residence (2020-2021).

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Johal, Am. “Dialogue & Social Change — with Mark Winston” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, December 14, 2021. https://www.sfu.ca/vancity-office-community-engagement/below-the-radar-podcast/episodes/150-mark-winston.html