Our Mission is to Promote Civility in Public and Personal Conversations Surrounding Controversial Subjects.
Founded in 2004, Civil Dialogue® (a.k.a. “Hot Topics, Cool Heads®”) features spontaneous, face-to-face interaction among citizens/students (not a panel of experts) in an atmosphere that promotes respect and equanimity.
A trained facilitator introduces audience members to consider a provocative statement, and volunteer participants are called upon to embody their positions in a semicircle of five chairs on stage — “Agree Strongly,” “Agree Somewhat,” “Neutral/Undecided,” “Disagree Somewhat,” and “Disagree Strongly.”
It is not a contest; the goal is not to seek advocacy, but to reacquaint the public with the notion that citizens can have differing viewpoints or disagree without demonizing the opposition.
Participants are invited to give opening statements, followed by a spontaneous discussion of their viewpoints.
Audience members are solicited for their questions and input, then participants make closing statements.
The round of dialogue concludes with the facilitator’s summary.