Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Dialogue social enterprise

Dialogue in the Dark is a unique platform for communication and close exchange, provoking a change in perspectives and, in the process, creating jobs worldwide for blind and differently-abled people.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Dialogue social enterprise
Organisation:Dialogue in the Dark
of origin


Since 1988, over 7 million people have experienced Dialogue in the Dark worldwide, and over 7,000 blind candidates have found employment through Dialogue in the Dark.


Dialogue in the Dark is an experience in total darkness where visitors to the exhibitions, led by blind guides and trainers, learn how to interact and communicate by relying on other senses.

The idea is simple: in complete darkness, blind individuals lead small groups of guests through a series of ordinary situations that are suddenly experienced extraordinarily, without eyesight. The sudden withdrawal of eyesight challenges everybody. While participants stay for a short while in pitch darkness, they are emotionally immersed in and confronted with their own limitations. Blind people are the “sighted” ones in this environment and can demonstrate their capabilities better than their sighted colleagues. This reversal of roles guarantees reflection, the discovery of the unseen and the need for communication and cohesion.

The experience provides an innovative and powerful tool to understand one’s limitations and respect others’, reinforcing a collaborative mind-set and emotional intelligence. To complement the exhibitions, Dialogue in the Dark offers educational activities for pupils, teachers and the general public.

The organisation also offers a special gastronomic experience – Taste of Darkness. For companies and institutions it also offers special Business Workshops worldwide.


Originally established in Germany, the Dialogue in the Dark programme has been presented through exhibitions and workshops in over 30 countries and more than 160 sites in over 110 cities throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas since its founding in 1988.


Andreas Heinecke
Chief Executive Officer
Dialogue Social Enterprise
Alter Wandrahm 8/9, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: + 49 40 300 923 20

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