Author Archives: Debilyn

Last week leaders in Fresno County gathered for a Living Room Conversation about community safety. The conversation included the Fresno County Sheriff, Probation Chief, a local banker, a local business owner (multiple industries), Superior Court Judge and an executive from a transition services provider. I helped organize this first conversation with the goal of creating the opportunity for these key leaders to hear viewpoints that they were unlikely to hear in the course of their typical week. Read More...

"When you combine the power dynamics involved, the media magnification of conflicts and the underlying influence of moneyed interests, it's difficult to imagine anything really changing between political opponents. Until, that is, you sit with them in your own living room, bedroom, kitchen or whatever space you happen to have available. Here's how it works: Two friends with differing views agree to co-host a conversation about a subject on which they disagree. Each co-host then invites two Read More...

"I believe it’s crucial that we pay careful, regular attention to the narratives that surround us. If we’re not listening to the ways that distinct and powerful stories shape our experiences, then we’re more likely to demonize, vilify andcondemn our political opponents as ignorant or unworthy. That isn't the best way to start a relationship, let alone move towards collaboration and shared work together." Jacob Hess, Living Room Conversation Champion. Read More Here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/jacob-z-hess/american-politics-beyond-angels-and-demons Read More...

The story that isn’t making it onto the nightly news is this: a growing number of Americans, fed up with partisan dysfunction at the federal level, are re-imagining democracy at the local level. And I mean the really, really local level—as in their own living rooms, libraries, churches, and coffee shops. Neighbours and friends, sometimes ideologically opposed, are gathering and making a concerted effort to talk through some of the most contentious and critical issues facing America. Read More Read More...

August 5, 2013 "It’s a very hopeful, energizing experience. You walk into the conversation anxious and worried whether people will be civil, because we’ve all seen “bad behavior” in the media, and then you find out that you like these people. And you’re intrigued by some of your differences. You’ve never thought about some things in the way they do, and all of a sudden, you get a flash of insight, “Oh, that’s where this is coming from! I understand now.” Read the complete interview Read More...