WHY CONVERSATIONS?

It's hard to measure the "impact" of a conversation. Sometimes it doesn't translate to immediate action -- but sinks in over time, expanding our awareness and altering our behavior. Sometimes the takeaways are more instantaneous -- we meet a new contact, learn something practical, or make a commitment to act. Here are some quotes & statistics about why community conversations matter:

1. Fostering Belonging & Resilience

“It used to be that people were born as part of a community, and had to find their place as individuals. Now people are born as individuals, and have to find their community.” -Bill Bishop, author, The Big Sort (Source: The Atlantic)

"Know thy neighbor — it's not just a creed to live by, turns out it can save your life. Vibrant, tight-knit communities could fare better in a disaster.” -Steve Inskeep, New York University (Source: NPR)

2. Reducing Conflict & Prejudice

“We found that a single, approximately 10-minute conversation with a stranger produced large reductions in prejudice.” -David Broockman, Stanford University & Joshua Kalla, UC Berkeley (Source: UC Berkeley)

"Face-to-face encounters have become increasingly rare—and because they are rare, they may be more memorable and impactful.” -Kenneth Sherrill, Hunter College (Source: Scientific American)

"Research shows that technology has increased the 'asshole problem.’ People are much more likely to be mean if they don’t have to make eye contact." -Robert Sutton, Stanford University (Source: New York Magazine)

“The greatest single antidote to violence is conversation— speaking our fears, listening to the fears of others, and in that sharing of vulnerabilities discovering a genesis of hope.” -Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (Source: Archive)

"A lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” -Ronald Reagan (Source: Reagan Library)

"If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life." -Barack Obama (Source: Farewell Address)

3. Building Understanding & Knowledge

“Society is a conversation scored for many voices. But it is precisely in and through that conversation that we become conjoint authors of our collective future, rather than dust blown by the wind of economic forces. Conversation — respectful, engaged, reciprocal, calling forth some of our greatest powers of empathy and understanding — is the moral form of a world governed by the dignity of difference.” -Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

"The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don't talk anymore, they don't sit down to talk and listen. They go to the cinema, watch television, listen to the radio, read books, update their status on the internet, but they almost never talk. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather around a fire and tell stories." -Paul Coehlo

RESOURCES

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