Put Yourself on the Map

Have you ever noticed the phrase at the bottom of every Living Room Conversation Guide: “This is an open source project. Please use, share and modify with attribution to ​LivingRoomConversations.org”? Have you ever wondered exactly what that means?

I’ll never forget the time I printed out a Conversation Guide to use at a conference. My plan was to run a “speed dating” Living Room Conversation experience so participants could get the feel for them. We didn’t have time for a full Conversation, so I had to make modifications. I kept wondering if that was OK. I even had my husband, who works in corporate America, look at the fine print on the Guides. “That’s crazy,” he remarked after reading the open-source statement, “they just give it all away. That just isn’t done.”

But at Living Room Conversations, it is done.

Here’s why: Igniting a movement of connection and curiosity, of renewal and bridging, means that we very much have to give it away. These Guides are not just ours, they’re yours, too. This invitation to be a co-creator is at the heart of Living Room Conversations. Being open-source means that we trust each other–that we share power and responsibility to shape our realities, our communities, our nation.

As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” As a co-creator what we need from you, our deeply trusted community, is feedback. Input. How, when, and where are you using these Conversation Guides in your communities? 

2020 is the ten-year anniversary of Living Room Conversations. To celebrate, we are building a digital map of all Living Room Conversations across America. If you’ve found a way to use the Conversation Guides in your life, tell us about it! And know this information is essential for building the robust, thriving movement we need.

See that link “Tell Us about Your Conversation” below? Please use it. Tell us your name, your town, even your email, so we can learn more about your experience and share it with others.

We need you. Our world needs you. So claim your rightful spot on the map and rest assured that others are, too.

With your help, this map can tell a fuller story about America than the partial story of our deep polarization: that we are all part of the interlocking, overlapping mess of humanity dutifully tending to our corner of the fabric that holds us all together.

–Shannon Mannon, Living Room Conversations Newsletter Editor

Tell us about your Conversations!

Got a Living Room Conversation of your very own coming up? Tell us about it! We’re happy to help by providing resources, training, and more. We’d also love to hear about your past Living Room Conversations!

LRC Question of the Week:

What does a healthy news and social media landscape look like?

(This week’s Question is from our Fake News Conversation Guide.)

A good question is a great way to connect with someone—and a way to understand yourself and others a little better.

We want to help people build the habit of connecting with curiosity in our daily lives. So we’re inviting you to engage with a question each week—by answering the Question of the Week yourself or asking a friend, colleague or family member. With your permission, we can share your responses and hopefully increase people’s interest in curious connecting conversations. You can respond to our question of the week by replying to this email.

Thank you to each of you who shared your responses to last week’s question! Here’s what one person replied to last week’s Question: were conversations about race a part of your upbringing? If so, how was the subject approached? How did people around you talk about other races?

  • I grew up in a small, very white community in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960’s. Race isn’t something I remember being much of a topic. We had one or two “other” ethnicities, and it didn’t seem like they were singled out. When I was in high school civil rights marches and Dr Martin Luther King made us much more aware of what life was like in other areas of the country for non-white races. I was stunned by the ways  other humans could justify the inhumane things they were doing. In some aspects we have come a long way, at the same time we still have a long way to go.

Respond to the LRC Question of the Week