Weaver Conversations

On the strength of our community’s social fabric

September 19-21, 2019
This three-day conversation event is part of both the International Day of Listening and global SPEAK! campaign.

Weave logo International Day of Listening logo the logo for the global 'Speak!' campaign Ben Franklin Circles logo Bridge Alliance Logo Family Dinner Project Logo Kitchen Table Democracy logo The Listen First Project Logo Living Room Conversations logo Marnita's Table logo Nation Swell logo NCDD logo NICD logo One Table logo People's Supper logo Village Square logo
a hand illustrated horizontal rule of red and blue stars

National Conversation Project is partnering again this year with civic organizations around the world for the global Speak! campaign. The day before Speak! is the International Day of Listening; #ListenFirst indeed! Here in the United States, The Aspen Institute's Weave Project convened more than a dozen partners to co-create a conversation guide exploring our community's social fabric. The result of this broadly collaborative effort is Weaver Conversations that you can now host in your community!

Many people sense that something is broken in society. Surveys show about half of young adult Americans are lonely. Opioid addiction, suicide, gun violence, ethnic tension and depression have been rising. We face rapid change from a globalized economy, cell phones and social media, job-hopping, online dating, immigration, and uncertainty about our future health and wealth. Our social fabric seems to be shredding. Others observe that the social fabric of our communities and nation was never really woven to include everyone in the first place. Yet, there have been many times as a country when people looked past their surface differences and came together as neighbors to support each other – for example, after a storm or a shooting or a sports victory. Weaver Conversations bring us together to get to know each other and share our thoughts on why so many Americans feel isolated and how we might all work to build connections that can weave a strong social fabric where we all feel recognized, respected and valued. Our aim is to explore what might be behind today’s rising sense of isolation, loneliness and distrust and what each of us can do to weave a strong social fabric.

Check out the brand new Weaver Conversation Guide and gather people around this topic where you are. See all scheduled conversations on the right side of this page and add your own so we can recognize your efforts to strengthen the social fabric in your community!

Upcoming Conversations

Monday, April 20, 2020 at 08:30 AM EDT

National Issues Forums: National Week Of Conversation | Cross-campus College Online Forums On How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings?

Join us during the National Week of Conversation for a series of online Common Ground for Action deliberations exclusively for college students.

Monday April 20 @ 8pm ET: https://tinyurl.com/tetxxeo
Tuesday April 21 @ 2pm ET: https://tinyurl.com/uepm5c2
Thursday April 23 @ 3pm ET: https://tinyurl.com/v5e66e2
Friday April 24 @ 7pm ET: https://tinyurl.com/vwgm2lz
Saturday April 25 @ 5pm ET: https://tinyurl.com/vkm2khu

Students will deliberate together with others from across the country over the tough choices facing us on the issue of guns, rights, and security in an era of mass shootings and deepening political polarization. Using NIFI’s nonpartisan discussion guide on “How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings In our Communities,” we’ll talk about three exclusive options for this issue and weigh the tradeoffs and consequences of acting in order to find hidden common ground on balancing rights and safety on guns. The three options include (1) Make Mass Killings More Difficult: We should restrict the availability of dangerous weapons, identify potentially dangerous people, and prevent them from carrying out mass casualty plans; (2) Equip People to Defend Themselves: We should be prepared for violence and have the means to defend against it; (3) Root Out Violence and Hate in Society: we live in a culture that perpetuates violence and numbs people to its effects. We must root out and stop the glorification of violence and promotion of hate to break this cycle.

If you haven't had a chance to review the issue guide, you can find a downloadable PDF on the National Issues Forums Institute website: https://www.nifi.org/es/issue-guide/issue-advisory-2019-how-should-we-pr...

Our aim with these forums is to give students a chance to deliberate with peers at campuses that are different from theirs – geographically, population size, and ideologically. We hope this allows students to hear voices they might not otherwise hear.

When you register, please use your university email address.