The Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) Center is a service center within MSU’s College of Arts & Letters that grew out of facilitation and research efforts made possible by C4I. It is a one-of-a-kind organization that provides philosophically based capacity-building services to research and practice groups locally, nationally, and internationally.

Established in June 2021 and led by Executive Director Michael O’Rourke and Associate Directors Dr. Edgar Cardenas, Dr. Chet McLeskey, and Dr. Marisa Rinkus, TDI Center uses dialogue-based workshops to help members of teams, courses, organizations, and communities communicate more effectively with one another and improve their ability to collaborate.

TDI Center is affiliated with TDI, a broader research and outreach community associated with multiple universities that focuses on understanding and facilitating communication and collaboration in interdisciplinary research. In its workshops, TDI Center employs the Toolbox dialogue method, an evidence-informed facilitation approach developed by TDI that surfaces implicit assumptions and diverse perspectives in complex, cross-disciplinary research projects for joint consideration and coordination.

With partners that include several programs at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), the European Commission, and multiple universities, TDI Center is self-supporting and builds on 16 years of work by TDI.

For more information about TDI, please visit this website:

If you are interested in communicating with TDI Center, please drop us a line using the form below!