For foundations and philanthropists committed to addressing the challenges facing our democracy, there is a long list of pressing priorities. From reforming campaigns and elections to strengthening Congress; from protecting the rule of law to combatting disinformation; from sparking local civic action to reasserting a shared national story — there is varied and vital work to be done. Yet amidst heightened polarization in a more diverse, disconnected, and fragmented society, repairing our democracy must also include a focus on how we see and relate to one another across our differences.
An age-old and urgent question — how can we nurture the positive side of human nature? — is at the crux of restoring the health of our democracy and rebuilding our collective faith in it. One organization that has tackled this question in concrete ways is Convergence Center for Policy Resolution.
Convergence convenes people who are divided on fraught, complex issues and creates a sustained process through which they get to know each other, build trust and goodwill, and identify shared principles that are often obscured by divergent policy positions, motivations, and incentives.
Watching a Convergence project unfold makes clear that the methodology marshals a set of research-backed practices that create the conditions for deep connection to emerge. A few examples of how Convergence does this:
- Draw out people’s personal stories
- Identify shared principles to rally around
- Enable stakeholders to learn together
Read the full article about democracy by Jon Gruber at Medium.
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