Workshops, Presentations and Retreats Offered

The Healing Power of Stories: from personal experience and research, the benefits of listening to and telling stories in support of mental and physical health

Community as Healer:Stories and research about social connection and health

Relationship-Based Care:What role do relationships between providers, patients, families, administrators, and the community have in healing?

Crafting Healing NarrativesAn interactive workshop, for both patients and providers, to craft and tell your own story of illness and healing in empowering, healing, and connecting ways.

Previous topics

Facilitating Innovation in your Organization:Do you feel the constant pressure to attract new funders and clients to sustain your organization’s work? In that immediate pressure, it is easy to forget the previous bursts of innovation in your organization that made the current work possible. This training will offer tools and activities for tapping into the sources of innovation in your organization and field. You will leave with activities that you can use in your organization to assess and spark innovation that leads to impact and funding.

Moving from ego-driven organizations to service-driven organizations. How can the principle of “service above self” apply to the management and leadership of organizations? This talk will look at personal and collective practices for being less attached to our egos, and ways of opening up to serving purposes that are bigger than our individual agendas. We are surrounded by stories of organizations that are ethically, functionally, and spiritually broken, from Enron to small local organizations. This presentation is about stories and principles from organizations that are finding rejuvenation, renewed purpose, and ethical backbones. Many of us are seeking to lead in complex, networked, unpredictable settings that require high levels of innovation, adaptability, and resilience. Are there ways we can draw on spiritual traditions and practices that help us finding grounding and purpose in these times of rapid change, so we may be or more effective service to others and to a positive future that is seeking to emerge?

Praying at the Roots of Violence: How can we proactively address violence and injustice in ways that grow out of our spiritual lives? In what ways do issues of justice and peace connect with our spiritual practices and experiences? By looking at the causes of violence in and around us and the ways we each open up to God, these sessions will explore possibilities for spiritually grounded peacebuilding. Stories, interactive discussions and activities will be used to respond to these questions.

What We Can Do Now to Make Minnesota Safer in 50 Years. The past 50 years of public safety and justice in Minnesota and the next 50 years. An overview of the trends that have influenced levels of crime in Minnesota over the past 50 years. If these trends continue, what will Minnesota look like in 50 years? What could change the course of current trends?

People leaving prison–the assets and risks for community well-being. Each year more than 650,000 people are released from prisons in the U.S. This is having large impacts on employment, safety, and the vitality of all areas of our country. In Minnesota, government, employers, and social services are developing ways to positively engage the many people coming out of prison. For Minnesota to be successful in this engagement, it will take a coordinated effort among all sectors of society.

The History and Strategies of Nonviolent Alternatives to War :
How have nonviolent social movements overthrown dictators, gained independence for their nations, and fought for civil rights? What are the methods and principles of nonviolent action that make them work? When and where have the methods of nonviolence been effective and when have they failed? This course will examine the strategies for nonviolent social change put forward by Gandhi, King, and others – and apply these ideas to contemporary case studies. Special attention will be paid to the current war on terrorism. Is there a nonviolent solution to this struggle?

Nonviolence in the Next 50 Years: Previous nonviolent action campaigns have brought down dictators, gained civil rights, and much more–but compared with military strategy, the development of nonviolent action is still in its infancy.  What have been limits of previous nonviolent campaigns?  What are the growing edges of nonviolence as it is applied to contemporary struggles such as the prevention of terrorism and movements for global economic justice?  This workshop will interactively explore visions and possibilites for nonviolent action in the next decades and look to what steps we could take right now to move toward those visions.

Many additional topics offered. Contact Michael to discuss possibilities.  Previous training titles have included:

Nonviolence and Hitler
Minneapolis Police/Community Conflict Resolution
Justice, Violence, and Prayer
Class, Race, and Protest
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
Spreading the Technology of Interpersonal Nonviolence
Simple Living
Welcoming Diversity in Friends Meetings
Martin Luther King and Nonviolence
Conflict Resolution Skills Needed for Mediation
Creating Dialogue for Positive Change among Progressive Student Organizations
Transformative Approaches to Justice and Peacemaking
Criminal Justice and Peacemaking
Voices from the Inside [Inside Prison]
Principles of Restorative Justice
Claiming the Power of Nonviolence, Personally and Politically

Michael Bischoff does training, facilitation, and research about social change as an independent consultant. From 2004 to 2008, he directed projects that serve crime victims, offenders, and their families at the Council on Crime and Justice. Prior to that, Michael completed a Masters degree in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University. Michael was formerly the Executive Director of Friends for a Non-Violent World, a peace organization in the Twin Cities. He currently lives in Minneapolis, with his wife and two children.

See examples of previous facilitation and training that Michael has done

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