Weave the Social Fabric: Conversation 1

Conversation Guide

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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.

Background Information:

Living Room Conversations has partnered with the Aspen Institute’s Weave Project and others to hold discussions across the country. Our aim is to explore what might be behind today’s rising sense of isolation, loneliness and distrust and what each of us can do to weave a strong social fabric.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round 1: Core Values

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 2:

Weave the Social Fabric: Conversation 1

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • 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 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ 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?

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