On Common Ground: Overcoming What Divides Us

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Exploratorium

The Embarcadero

San Francisco, CA 94111

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Why Are We So Divided? And What Can We Do About It?

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For many of us today, our democracy has never felt less united in common purpose. Our everyday lives, it seems, have become increasingly fractured along political, geographic, generational, racial, gender and ideological lines. Our attention-driven technologies sequester us into groups with self-reinforcing media-consumption habits and provide little space for nuanced communication or mutual understanding. Our leaders employ divisive rhetoric, appealing more to partisan identity than offering persuasive reasoning, just as we grow used to signaling our own outrage at others rather than making the case for our values.

What is the psychology behind this civic rancor? How do we turn the tide against this prevailing “us versus them” mindset? How can we hope to resolve these conflicts and marshal the collective will needed to solve our most complex and urgent societal challenges, from economic inequality to climate change? What tried-and-true practices or new social innovations should we be trying today?

KQED’s Sasha Khokha leads a discussion about how we find common ground in an age of extreme disunity. Featuring emotional education expert Michele Borba; social psychologist Heike Winterheld and artist Shawn Lani, co-curators of the Exploratorium's "Middle Ground" exhibition; Make America Dinner Again co-founder Tria Chang; and Stanford political scientist Jonathan Rodden.

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Exploratorium

The Embarcadero

San Francisco, CA 94111

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