"If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life."
Over the summer of 2018, we heeded Mr. Obama’s call and took our conversations outside—popping up at neighborhood festivals around the city of Philadelphia.
Some were confused—what were we selling? Nothing, just the need to slow down and talk with neighbors & strangers amidst the busyness of urban life.
A few of the people we’ve met—
WHY CONVERSATION MATTERS
Experts agree: Talking is good for our civic health. Here’s what they say—
"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.”
“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.”
"Face-to-face encounters have become increasingly rare—and because they are rare, they may be more memorable and impactful.”
“We found that a single 10-minute conversation with a stranger produced large reductions in prejudice.”
& Joshua Kalla
"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."
"A lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.”
INSPIRATION & RESOURCES
Other Conversation Projects We Love—
Interested in hosting a Mobile Consulate? Here’s how it works:
WHAT WE DO
Invite locals & visitors for conversation about the city
Connect newcomers, longtimers & visitors from diverse backgrounds
Make introductions to city people, projects & places
Encourage people to share urban ideas & solutions
Capture input & insights
Practice active listening & civil dialogue
WHAT WE BRING
10x10" Mobile Parlor
Consulate travel kit with chairs, rug, trunk, globe, chalkboard & questions
Question cards tailored to the location or topic
A team of friendly Consulate hosts to engage guests, ask questions, capture responses & publish takeaways
WHERE WE GO
Public parks & sidewalks
Food halls & markets
Libraries & museums
Vacant lots & storefronts
Airports & train stations
Conferences & events
Collaborate with host venue to define questions in need of greater awareness & engagement
Identify a location with good visibility & foot traffic
Ask questions, moderate dialogue & capture ideas
Share insights with partners, followers & media
Interested in hosting a pop-up parlor?
We’d love to hear about your space, place or event.