The art of civil discourse: no soapboxes here!

Ever sit on a couch in someone’s living room, trying to make conversation? Or listen to someone get on their soapbox and dominate a conversation by expressing their opinion with such fervor that no one else dares speak, let alone contradict?

When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Living Room Conversations provides a structured format for having conversations that actually get somewhere. The idea is to assemble a group of people with different perspectives and have a rich, meaningful conversation. We provide topic resources, conversation ground rules and a format that lets everyone take turns speaking.

You need not study up on all of the supporting evidence surrounding your topic because living room conversations are not debates. Rather, they are conversations intended to enhance understanding. You and your friends may change your minds on a topic, or you might not. Either way, these conversations will allow you to better understand the topic you chose.

Living room conversations can transform distrust and discord into understanding — paving the way for collaborative solutions. When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Featured Articles

Nov 30, 2016, by Katie Page

Post election Living Room Conversations

By Rodney Ferguson. Reprinted from The Huffington Post.

It’s winter
Winter in America
And ain’t nobody fighting
‘Cause nobody knows what to save

- Gil Scott-Heron

The lyrics to the 1974 song seem very appropriate to most of my progressive and liberal leaning friends. The absolutely dismal results of this election point to an electorate disdainful of the choices left to it, the political parties lack the wherewithal...

Nov 17, 2016, by Katie Page

Courage in the face of fear

By Jacquie West. Reprinted from The Huffington Post.

Courage in the face of fear is not for the faint of heart, especially for those whose hearts are broken.  The first Saturday after this country’s national election could have been spent any number of ways: doing chores, watching college football, working, or simply avoiding anything political, but for those of us fortunate enough to answer an...

Nov 09, 2016, by Katie Page

From fragility to kintsugi

By Siri Myhrom. Reprinted from The Huffington Post.

My friend Jessica invited me last year to be a part of a project she is developing. She co-hosts and organizes intimate Living Room Conversations about Race and Ethnicity, with people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities. It’s a place for real connection, honest questions, intentional listening, genuine friendship. 

I agreed to join in -...

Nov 03, 2016, by Ralph Benko

Time to stop worrying about post-election street riots: exhale!

By Ralph Benko. Reprinted from The Huffington Post.

More than a few of my left-of-center friends have expressed anxiety to me about the possibility of street violence should Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election. If that happens Donald Trump certainly will then deride it as “rigged.” That’s a far cry from insurrection. Others have expressed fear...

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Living Room Conversations is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 as a result of a transpartisan partnership focused on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation. Living Room Conversations offers an open-source format to facilitate structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds. Through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.