Dr. Ceasar McDowell speaking at the 2016 Ikeda Forum

Ceasar McDowell

Professor of the Practice of Community Development, M.I.T.

Ceasar McDowell is Professor of the Practice of Community Development at M.I.T.’s Center for Constructive Communication. He also is Director of the global civic engagement organization Dropping Knowledge International. With his expertise in community knowledge building and generative dialogue practices, Dr. McDowell has enriched Center projects and events for nearly two decades now. His first involvement was as a participant in the Center’s 2003 “Learning Circles” dialogue project for members of Boston’s socially-oriented academic and nonprofit community. Since then, his involvement has taken many forms, including as a featured speaker at two Ikeda Forums: the 2012 forum exploring interdependence and the 2016 forum on the philosophy and practice of inclusive dialogue. He also led the third-ever Dialogue Nights — on “the power of raised voices” — and contributed a chapter to the Center’s 2018 title, Peacebuilding Through Dialogue. Not least, he was a valued participant in the Center’s 2019 experiment in sustained intergenerational dialogue. In every instance, Dr. McDowell proceeds with the same mission: “My work, my research interests, my life are about voice. And particularly, how people—specifically people who are at the margins of society—are able to name their experience in the world, have that naming be recognized and also open themselves up to the experience of others.”

Photo by Marilyn Humphries