In partnership with a growing number of national networks and local communities, we are hosting a series of dialogues to explore how we can secure legacies of well-being and justice for generations to come.
We invite you to share what civic renewal, economic renewal, and social, emotional, and spiritual renewal mean to you, your family, neighborhood, organization, or community–and to discover what we have in common.
Join a dialogue:
Renewal dialogues coming soon!
Explore our resources:
Dialogue strengthens our sense of belonging and connection by building relationships.
When we listen, share, and discover the stories of our community, we are able to create meaning together—and are better positioned to act as stewards in our organizations, communities, and regions.
No matter the topic, dialogue participants enter the conversation with intention by:
- Listening for what’s true for others
- Sharing what’s true for you
- Discovering what we have in common
Paths to Renewal
How can we heal through adversity & secure legacies of well-being & justice for generations to come?
Renewals braid vital conditions together into cohesive but still-evolving proposals for how our lives together could unfold. Short-term pivotal moves may help us to change course. However, the renewal we need requires persistent, courageous, trend-bending effort on many frontiers—always directed toward our north star expectation: All people and places thriving—no exceptions.
Click on the images below to explore the Path to Renewal Springboard chapters:
Renewing Civic Life Dialogues
How do we work across differences to create a future with all people and places thriving?
CIVIC LIFE IS ABOUT LIVING, LEARNING, AND WORKING TOGETHER, as shared stewards, to shape our common world. It encompasses the infinite ways that people may connect and contribute to their community and society: from voting in an election, organizing a neighborhood arts festival, standing up for a just cause, or doing everyday work with pride in its public impacts and civic significance.
This is a legacy moment, an opportunity to reimagine and renew our civic life. We have a chance now to embrace our interdependence and strengthen the civic muscle we need to create just and productive communities. Success depends on our ability to create pluralistic spaces that foster relationships of belonging, ensuring everyone has the privilege and motivation to contribute to a thriving community.
Let’s Get Started!
Introductions: Why We’re Here (~10 min)
Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.
Conversation Agreements: How We’ll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.
- Be curious and listen to understand: Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
- Show respect and suspend judgment: People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences: Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others: Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
- Be purposeful and to the point: Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
- Own and guide the conversation: Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.
Question Rounds: What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Round 1: Getting to Know Each Other ( ~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What sense of purpose/mission 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: What are your thoughts on Civic Renewal? (~45 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph below.
Civic life encompasses the infinite ways that people may connect and contribute to their community and society: from voting in an election or organizing a neighborhood block-party, to standing up for a just cause or supporting arts in our parks. For some time, however, many facets of civic life have been in decline. Forces, such as partisan division, racism, and hyperindividualism, are causes and consequences of declining civic life.
This conversation is an opportunity to reimagine our civic life. We have a chance now to embrace our interdependence and to create just and productive communities. Success depends on our ability to create spaces that foster relationships of belonging, ensuring everyone has the opportunity and motivation to contribute to a thriving civic life.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer one question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows.
- When is a time that you felt especially engaged in civic life in your community? What did that look like for you?
- Describe a time that you felt excluded from your community’s civic life. And how has that impacted you?
- How do we create a civic life where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and experience a sense of belonging?
Round 3: Reflection and Opportunities for Civic Renewal (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- Where could your community start in order to bridge what divides it?
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Closing: (~5 min)
- Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
- Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
- Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.
- Check out ideas, tools, and stories about ways to enhance civic life on Thriving.US or sign up here.
Renewing Economic Life Dialogues
How do we assign value, define prosperity & invest resources?
OUR ECONOMIC LIFE ENCOMPASSES MORE THAN JOBS, BUSINESSES, AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. It is an expression of what we value, who we value, and how we work together. It structures and channels our most basic transactions—and our most complex innovations. Our economic life holds tremendous possibility for unlocking trapped human potential, building wealth for working families, and sustaining the living ecosystems that support our existence.
The economic fallout from COVID-19 has exposed, yet again, the flaws in today’s prevailing form of capitalism. Even as we honor essential workers, from caregivers to clerks, many of these same people are still without fair pay, still without adequate health care, and still beleaguered by hunger. COVID-19 has exposed how our economic system is designed to extract value from the many, concentrate its benefits in the hands of a few, and place us all precariously on the edge of an adversity spiral.
Dialogue guide coming soon!
Renewing Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Life Dialogues
How do we cultivate emotional strength, grow resilience & care for others?
OUR SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SPIRITUAL LIFE is tied to how we understand ourselves, relate to others, and experience belonging and purpose. It is about our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories, and states of being. This sense of self is further shaped by culture, early life experience, faith, ZIP code, and other factors. Our social, emotional, and spiritual life guides our decisions, influences our actions, and helps us know who we are.
Too many of our lives are compromised by trauma, exclusion, and violence. Too few of us receive the care that is essential for strong social and emotional health. Too often, our differences and biases drive us apart and disrupt connections to each other and our better selves. The structures meant to promote social and emotional health are hobbled by fragmentation, over-specialization, and inaccessibility.
Dialogue guide coming soon!
Disagreements on important issues, such as education, housing, or healthcare, are inevitable, but they do not have to create insurmountable divides. Intentionally engaging across differences through dialogue strengthens our sense of belonging and connection by building relationships–and by making visible what we have in common.
Our partners practice dialogue to move toward a world where people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds work together, respect each other, and are able to inform and influence the policies and systems that shape our lives.
Living Room Conversations
Living Room Conversations (LRC) are a simple way to connect across divides – politics, age, gender, race, nationality, and more.
Living Room Conversations has more than 100 dialogue guides on a range of topics. The Living Room Conversations team members regularly supports dialogue host trainings–and offer a host toolkit to support community members interested in holding conversations of their own.
Check out the Living Room Conversation Live to learn more about what it’s like to participate in dialogue.
Local Voices Network
Local Voices Network (LVN) is devoted to engaging and amplifying under-heard voices to inform public understanding, policy development and decision-making.
Local Voices Network partners use its conversation model to gather the complex and nuanced stories of people who have historically been underrepresented in policy making and the media. The online platform and analytics tools (powered by Cortico technology) distill key themes from recorded conversations, enabling our partners to lift up important perspectives from real people.
Explore Local Voices Network Script-o-matic to create your own dialogue guide–or listen to perspectives of dialogue participants in the medley below.
National Civic League
The National Civic League envisions a country where the full diversity of community members are actively and meaningfully engaged in local governance, including both decision making and implementation of activities to advance the common good.
The recently released National Civic Review (access code: TT21) captures how we can begin to bring Thriving Together renewals to life. Through the voices and experiences of stewards working in communities across the country, the Review invites us to meet this moment by joining the thriving movement.
While American renewal is far from secure, it is within reach if we turn toward each other instead of against each other.National Civic Review, 2021 Winter Edition
Well Being in the Nation (WIN) Network
The Well Being in the Nation (WIN) NETWORK is a growing strategic network working together to advance intergenerational well-being and equity.
WIN begins with a recognition that the legacies of the past and the policies, structures, and beliefs we choose to live with shape our current reality. It is our obligation to make decisions today that will expand the vital conditions of health and well-being. In doing so, we will move toward a thriving, interconnected, more equitable world today and over generations.
Listen to the Commons Good episode below to learn more about the WIN Network’s dialogue strategy: