Celebrating Political Diversity with Joan Blades and John Gable

Last month, our co-founder Joan Blades and conservative partner and friend, AllSides co-founder John Gable talked about “Celebrating political diversity.” at Wisdom 2.0 . We think you’ll enjoy the video at this link!

This talk took place about 16 months after Joan and John’s TED Talk, “Free yourself from your filter bubbles” that’s now had well over a million views. Some things have changed–and some haven’t.

Here, for example are the folks who raised their hands when Joan asked who in the largely progressive audience had close friends different from them politically:

As Joan notes at about that point in the video, ”We’re finding more and more people are not comfortable having a conversation across differences, because so many people have lost relationship in the last few years because political polarization has escalated.” This is why you, and I, and all of us are in this work together!

Technology is helping: video Living Room Conversations (sign up for free here!), and MisMatch, the “worst dating site ever,” as John jokes. MisMatch is soon to be available to the nearly 100 organizations in the Bridge Alliance, and schools in all 50 states, just for starters–school and community libraries, and restaurant chains will be able to use it. As John points out in the video, there is a “thirst for not being manipulated by outrage and having that personal connection.”

And as Joan notes in closing, “When we have relationships with each other, we can have everybody’s best ideas in the room and come up with better solutions. That’s what we’ve gotta do.  I’m a grassroots person.  I think it’s gotta start with us.”

I want to shout out to Bryce and Sue this week for donating when they signed up for a Living Room Conversation on Eventbrite. And thank you for reading, and watching and sharing our work, and this email and video!

Beth G. Raps, PhD
Development Partner