American political leaders of all kinds throughout history have pointed out that American identity revolves around a set of ideals – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In his most famous speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described America’s creed as an unfulfilled “promissory note” based on the idea that everyone deserves freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity to pursue happiness and advancement. People of good will often fundamentally agree, yet we struggle to find way to effectively work together.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
 
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
  
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
  
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description. 

American political leaders of all kinds throughout history have pointed out that American identity revolves around a set of ideals – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In his most famous speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described America’s creed as an unfulfilled “promissory note” based on the idea that everyone deserves freedom, fairness, and equal opportunity to pursue happiness and advancement. People of good will often fundamentally agree, yet we struggle to find way to effectively work together.

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • What core values do you think Americans fundamentally agree on?
  • What is the promise of the United States to its citizens? To the world?
  • Are we as Americans, living up to our promise to each other?
  • What issues might people of good will work together on because we are in fundamental agreement?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!): 

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Our social nature is part of our humanity. People tend to like being with other people, and many of us need other people in order to be healthy and happy. The feeling of being alone can weigh heavily on an individual. Yet, for some people, solitude is tranquil, relaxing, and even spiritually rewarding. The current need to physically isolate ourselves from others is putting limits on our social connections. While we are being cut off from outside daily connections, some of us are also sharing living space with others and not having the amount of time and space between us that we’re used to. What is this experience like for you?

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
 
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
  
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
  
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description.

Our social nature is part of our humanity. People tend to like being with other people, and many of us need other people in order to be healthy and happy. The feeling of being alone can weigh heavily on an individual. Yet, for some people, solitude is tranquil, relaxing, and even spiritually rewarding. The current need to physically isolate ourselves from others is putting limits on our social connections. While we are being cut off from outside daily connections, some of us are also sharing living space with others and not having the amount of time and space between us that we’re used to. What is this experience like for you?

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • What are your best experiences of being alone?
  • Are there times when being alone has been difficult for you?
  • What has been a positive experience of aloneness for you? What has been a negative experience?
  • If you are living with others, how are you experiencing the limited connection outside your space coupled with more exposure to a few individuals?
  • How are you coping with this experience?
  • What are you learning from this experience?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!): 

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

During this pandemic, all of us are searching for accurate, fair and thorough information about the coronavirus. The volume of posts, tweets, emails, broadcasts, rumors and well-meant advice directed at us is formidable. We are doing our best to protect our families and communities from the spread of infection, and identifying reliable sources of information isn’t always easy. Sharing about how we’re doing this may help us all stay healthier during this time.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.

Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.

Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.

Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.

Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.

Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.

Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description.

During this pandemic, all of us are searching for accurate, fair and thorough information about the coronavirus. The volume of posts, tweets, emails, broadcasts, rumors and well-meant advice directed at us is formidable. We are doing our best to protect our families and communities from the spread of infection, and identifying reliable sources of information isn’t always easy. Sharing about how we’re doing this may help us all stay healthier during this time.

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • What do you need from news sources right now? What information is most important?
  • How do you decide whether you can trust the information you’re hearing or reading?
  • Are you seeking information in new places? If so, how is that helping you feel informed?
  • If you’re experiencing gaps in information, what is it that you’re missing? How are you filling the gap?
  • How do you avoid acting on inaccurate information?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!):

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

In the past few weeks, our experience of the coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going to mean for my life?” The rapidly-spreading virus is touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes from our shared national challenge.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.

Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.

Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.

Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.

Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.

Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.

Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read this description:

In the past few weeks, our experience of the coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going  to  mean for my  life?”  The rapidly-spreading virus is  touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes from our shared national challenge.

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~ 2 minutes each to answer one of the following questions:

  • How has your understanding about the virus shifted over the past weeks?
  • Where are you getting news about the virus? How are you identifying trust-worthy information?
  • How has your life changed due to the virus? What has been the biggest shift in your everyday routine? What has that been like for you?
  • What is happening with your connection to others in your family? In your community? What has surprised you during this time?
  • What are the coping strengths you bring to this situation? How are you sharing your strengths with your community? What are the struggles you are dealing with? If you’ve needed to ask for help, how has that been for you?
  • What is your dearest hope at this moment? What is your most powerful concern?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye, then complete one or more of the following (we especially appreciate your feedback!):

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Most people need healthcare at some time in their lives. And we all want healthcare in our country to be high quality and affordable. For decades we have spent more on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world, yet our health outcomes are not in the top 20 when it comes to infant mortality or longevity. What might happen if nation wide we had everyone’s best ideas to work with?

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
 
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
 
 Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
 
 Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
 
 Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
 
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description.

Most people need healthcare at some time in their lives. And we all want healthcare in our country to be high quality and affordable. For decades we have spent more on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world, yet our health outcomes are not in the top 20 when it comes to infant mortality or longevity. What might happen if nation wide we had everyone’s best ideas to work with?

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • How are your health care needs met? Are you happy with your healthcare?
  • What do you think is the right balance between individual, business, government and other ways in providing healthcare?
  • Do you believe you get a good value for your healthcare dollars?
  • What else would you like to say about healthcare?
  • What do you think of businesses that do or don’t provide health insurance for their employees?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!):
 
  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Most people agree that we want to reduce the stigma around mental health issues so that individuals and families are more inclined to seek help. Many people look to traditional western medicine for the primary answers to mental health problems. There is growing interest in exploring a wider variety of ways to support people facing mental health challenges. The value of meditation, exercise and other practices show great promise as we learn more and more about the plasticity of our brains. What does it mean to ‘get better’ from a mental health problems, and is it even possible?

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves. 

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
  
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
  
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
 
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description.

Most people agree that we want to reduce the stigma around mental health issues so that individuals and families are more inclined to seek help. Many people look to traditional western medicine for the primary answers to mental health problems. There is growing interest in exploring a wider variety of ways to support people facing mental health challenges. The value of meditation, exercise and other practices show great promise as we learn more and more about the plasticity of our brains. What does it mean to ‘get better’ from a mental health problems, and is it even possible?

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • What experiences in your life, your work or your family inform your thinking about mental health?
  • Is mental health an important issue in your community, and if so, why?
  • In your experience, how are mental health issues affecting young people? (If you are a young person, how do mental health issues affect you and your peers?)
  • Do you think your religion or culture, or some other aspect of your identity or background, influences how you think about mental health? If so, how?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
 
  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!):
 
  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

We are in an age of wonder and amazement with technology. It can go anywhere with us and we can be reachable at any time. We use technology to order our groceries, navigate our cities, keep up with breaking news, family members living away and in some cases remain connected to our politicians and faith-based communities. So many of us are reachable and can respond immediately to beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls. We like what we feel when our phones ring or ping us with a new message and that makes us want more. Some experts have have suggested that technology is controlling us, that we have lost control of it…like an addiction. Is technology our friend, the life saving tool of the 21st Century or a manipulator of our minds and master of our time? Who is in charge?

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
  
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
  
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the topic description.

We are in an age of wonder and amazement with technology. It can go anywhere with us and we can be reachable at any time. We use technology to order our groceries, navigate our cities, keep up with breaking news, family members living away and in some cases remain connected to our politicians and faith-based communities. So many of us are reachable and can respond immediately to beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls. We like what we feel when our phones ring or ping us with a new message and that makes us want more. Some experts have have suggested that technology is controlling us, that we have lost control of it…like an addiction. Is technology our friend, the life saving tool of the 21st Century or a manipulator of our minds and master of our time? Who is in charge?

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • Are there ways that technology has improved or hurt your in-person relationships and interactions?
  • Do you ever turn off your devices? Why or why not?
  • Do you want to change your own behavior around technology? How do you think you can do that?
  • What is the longest amount of time you’ve been unplugged (phone, online)? What happened?
  • Do you remember life before we had mobile phones/tablets or a time when you were unplugged for an extended period? What did you most enjoy?
  • How is our personal technology impacting our society?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!): 

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

The power to come together within similar and across diverse communities seems more and more elusive. Our alienation from the people around us, manifests in ever-growing depression, addiction, physical and psychological abuse, crime, violence and suicide – indicators of spirits in distress and despair. We are caught in giant social and political arguments about the symptoms of our dis-unity that ignore our heart-felt desire for harmony and peace with one another and the earth. In the face of all this, the gift of the power of unity calls us to find our way back to a deep knowing of interconnection and community. Our challenge is to trust in unity, even when we have a history of experiences that lead us to distrust and feel separate from others.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
 
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
  
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
  
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
 
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.

The power to come together within similar and across diverse communities seems more and more elusive. Our alienation from the people around us, manifests in ever-growing depression, addiction, physical and psychological  abuse,  crime,  violence and suicide – indicators of spirits in distress and despair. We are caught in giant social and political arguments about the symptoms of our dis-unity that ignore our heart-felt desire for harmony and peace with one another and the earth. In the face of all this, the gift of the power of unity calls us to find our way back to a deep knowing of interconnection and community. Our challenge is to trust in unity, even when we have a history of experiences that lead us to distrust and feel separate from others.

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • What does unity mean to you? What does it not include? Has the meaning changed over time?
  • What is your experience of unity? How do you experience yourself in relation to other people and beings?
  • What have you experienced as the benefits or detriments of being in unity with others? For yourself, for the other, for the community?
  • Are there people you distrust, have yet to trust, or will never trust? If so, how does that impact your life and work?
  • What messages about separation or unity do you give yourself or receive from others?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
 
  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!): 

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Many people sense that something is broken in society. Surveys show about half of young adult Americans are lonely. Opioid addiction, suicide, gun violence, ethnic tension and depression have been rising. We face rapid change from a globalized economy, cell phones and social media, job-hopping, online dating, immigration, and uncertainty about our future health and wealth. Our social fabric seems to be shredding. Others observe that the social fabric of our communities and nation was never really woven to include everyone in the first place. Yet, there have been many times as a country when people looked past their surface differences and came together as neighbors to support each other.

We’ve come together today to get to know each other, share our experience of isolation and connection, and consider how we might work together to build connections that allow us to feel recognized, respected and valued.

Round 1: Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2: Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
 
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
 
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
 
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
  
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
  
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
  
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3: Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

Answer one or more of the following:
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?

Round 4: Read the Topic Overview

Many people sense that something is broken in society. Surveys show about half of young adult Americans are lonely. Opioid addiction, suicide, gun violence, ethnic tension and depression have been rising. We face rapid change from a globalized economy, cell phones and social media, job-hopping, online dating, immigration, and uncertainty about our future health and wealth. Our social fabric seems to be shredding. Others observe that the social fabric of our communities and nation was never really woven to include everyone in the first place. Yet, there have been many times as a country when people looked past their surface differences and came together as neighbors to support each other.

We’ve come together today to get to know each other, share our experience of isolation and connection, and consider how we might work together to build connections that allow us to feel recognized, respected and valued.

Round 5: Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

  • Is it easy or hard for you to connect with others who were raised differently, or live and think differently than you? What have you seen getting in the way of that from happening?
  • Are there people in your community you feel close to? What makes you feel close?
  • Describe a time, if ever, when you saw your neighborhood come together to have fun or face a common challenge.
  • What do you think could be done to help bring your community together?
  • What connection, if any, do you see between what is happening in our nation and what is happening in our neighborhoods or communities?

Round 6: Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
  • What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
  • Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Round 7: Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye to the group, then complete one of more of the following next steps (we especially appreciate your feedback!): 

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.