Our trialogues bring stakeholders from politics and administration, business and organized civil society into exchange, accompanied by science and the media. They create understanding where a diversity of perspectives is needed: in current social debates and in policy, science and process consulting. Trialogues prepare the ground for viable decisions. The trialogue format is particularly suitable for conflictual and complex issues and topics. It opens up new approaches to deadlocked debates and determines the state of affairs of a social discussion. 

Facilitated exchange that focuses on the common good

Trialogues are one-day events with up to 50 participants from the stakeholder groups of politics and administration, business and organised civil society. A trialogue is not a panel discussion, but is organised with short input presentations and contributions from the entire group of participants. The moderated discussion of all participants in the plenary session is of central importance. Science and the media do not accompany the trialogue as stakeholders. Science contributes its information and insights to the dialogues. The media - without naming the participants - ensure their public dissemination. 

Photo of participants of the trialogue "Migration, Diversity, Participation"
Photo of participants in the trialogue "Nutrition, health and social cohesion"

Trialogues are usually recorded and transcribed. On the basis of the transcript, a sociological evaluation of the discussion is conducted. On the basis of a qualitative analysis, compatability and overlapping of arguments, problem areas and courses of action are worked out. The aim is to identify common ground shared by all stakeholders for sustainable decisions in politics, business and society. In compliance with the Chatham House Rule, the evaluation will be published, for example, in the form of a report on our website.

The Berlin Governance Platform has a unique and longstanding experience in organizing Trialogues. Up until now, more than 50 Trialogues on various societal topics have already been organized. Our sponsors, clients, and cooperation partners come from the three stakeholder groups mentioned above (such as the Federal Ministry of Economics, acatech - National Academy of Science and Engineering, TU-Berlin, housing associations, foundations).

The principles of the Trialogues

1. Organizing multiple perspectives

Trialogues bring together as many different and sometimes antagonistic perspectives as possible. Due to their different functions, experiences and power potentials, stakeholders cover a broad spectrum of important societal perspectives.

2. Justifying arguments

The participants of trialogues justify their positions in the discussion and respond to the previously mentioned arguments. This forms the basis for a new understanding and a change of perspective, so that the conversation can take new directions and discover new common ground. The Trialogues take place in compliance with the Chatham House Rule and create a confidential space.

3. Finding common ground

It is important for us to ensure that the results of a Trialogue are comprehensible and support processes for sustainable decisions. For this reason, the rigorous processing and analysis of the trialogue is an essential part of the concept. By scientifically evaluating the transcript, we work out how the different arguments relate to each other and identify the common ground on which sustainable decisions can be prepared.

Photo of Gesine Schwan at one of the events in the "Social Cohesion" trialogue series

Size and duration

A Trialogue is a one-day event with approximately 30-50 participants from politics and administration, business, and organized civil society. A Trialogue usually lasts eight hours (9:00-17:00). Depending on the complexity of the topic, a series of several Trialogue events is possible, each with a different thematic angle. 


A Trialogue can be organized on a wide range of topics. In general, the topic should be relevant to society as a whole. Recent trialogues addressed topics such as energy transition, urban development, work and family, the future of democracy, and the question of social cohesion. 

Resources Needed

For the implementation of a trialogue, at least one person is needed who works closely with us as a team during the preparation. The documentation and moderation is usually done by staff members of the Berlin Governance Platform. If desired, Knowledge Atlases an interactive documentation of the discussion results is possible via our knowledge atlases.

Projects with this format

  • Photo of participants in the trialogue "Nutrition, health and social cohesion"

    Trialogue series Social Cohesion

    As part of BUA's "Grand Challenge Social Cohesion" initiative, the three- part trialogue series "Social Cohesion" was held in late summer and fall 2022. The focus was on the transdisciplinary exchange of 6 Exploration Projects [...]
  • Accommodation for refugees in Berlin

    How can refugees find adequate and affordable housing in Berlin? In the midst of a tight housing market and numerous barriers to access, we are developing ideas for possible solutions with policymakers, civil society and the real estate industry.
  • Future of democracy trialogue series

    "Who is responsible for the future of democracy? - A perspective-rich series of discussions on the relationship between business and democracy in times of global change, protectionism and populism." - a joint [...]
  • The logo of the Berlin Governance Platform in three colours as a favicon. We work as a non-profit organisation in the service of promoting good governance, developing projects and concepts. We create spaces for all those who want to help shape a just and sustainable future.

    Trialogues on the compatibility of family and career in partnership

    Trialogues on the topics of work (time) culture and equality with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
  • The working time dialogue in trialogue format

    Against the background of technological innovations as well as demographic and cultural changes, which are accompanied by new demands on the organisation of work, ways of shaping an innovative working time policy will be discussed.
  • Trialogue series: German special path?

    On behalf of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing and the Mitte district office of Berlin, we are realising digital citizen participation: The "Voices at the push of a button" project collects ideas via voice messages for the [...]
  • Voices at the touch of a button: citizen participation via voice messages

    On behalf of the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing and the Mitte district office of Berlin, we are realising digital citizen participation: The "Voices at the push of a button" project collects ideas via voice messages for the [...]
  • Multi-stakeholder talks on housing supply

    In a series of talks on social housing provision in cities (2019 and 2020), representatives from politics and administration, business and organised civil society were brought together to discuss current challenges in the area of housing [...].
  • Guidelines for participation in state-owned housing construction

    In 2017, the Berlin Governance Platform, in cooperation with the state-owned housing associations, held a trialogue series on the topic of "Participation in housing construction" in order to discuss these challenges of the growing city in a public interest-oriented [...].
  • Trialogue series "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS)

    The Berlin Governance Platform, in cooperation with the academy project "Energy Systems of the Future", conducts trials as sounding boards for the working groups of the academy project.
  • Trialogue "Science Platform Sustainability 2030"

    In cooperation with the Mobility Working Group of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030, the Berlin Governance Platform held the trialogue "Sustainable on the move - making mobility attractive now".
  • Energiewende PartnerStadt - Sharing municipal knowledge in Europe

    The aim of the "Energiewende PartnerStadt" project was to exchange expertise and experience on the local energy transition across national borders, facilitate technology transfer in the field of renewable energies and promote cohesion in Europe.
  • Additional benefits as a driver of energy-efficient building refurbishment

    The project "Additional benefits as a driver of energy-efficient building refurbishment" aimed to bring more clarity to the social debate on the multiple benefits of energy-efficient refurbishment.
  • Participatory development in Lusatia

    The coal phase-out is linked to the need to make our society and our economy more climate- and resource-friendly. Surveys show that a large proportion of the population supports the climate policy goals. But if [...]
  • International exchange Berlin-Minsk

    The bilateral project "Cities for Citizens" brings together German and Belarusian experts from politics & administration, business and organised civil society in Trialogue ® in order to integrate their accumulated knowledge into current [...]
  • New Urban Agenda Berlin

    During the two-year project period (2018 to 2020), TU Berlin, in cooperation with the Berlin Governance Platform, organised four trialogues and four trialogue project groups on the urban policy challenges of mobility, immigration, housing [...].
  • EnVision

    The project "EnVision - Shaping a vision for the energy transition" identifies areas of tension and conflicting values in the energy transition and develops proposals for political decision-makers to develop a common vision.

Publications with this format