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Invitation to Online Workshop Series: Starting A New Conversation

Are you worried about the spiral of polarisation in our societies, and the dysfunctional public conversation around our most pressing issues? Do you have the sense that we are increasingly living in very different realities and ideological bubbles that prevent us from solving problems together?

We believe the time has come to break out of our echo chambers, start a fresh and undogmatic conversation about how we can cooperate effectively and upgrade our civilisation to help prevent its collapse.

If these topics speak to you, consider joining the Protopia Lab. We are delighted to finally announce that we are hosting our first workshop (via Zoom) with an initial group of pioneers on Friday, 27 November 2020 from 2pm to 7pm CET. This will be followed by two follow-up sessions (also via Zoom) on 11 December and 15 January.

What to Expect

The Protopia Lab was inspired by the idea that we can only tackle the biggest problems of our times, including climate change, if we can stop the spiralling polarisation across our societies. Only a deep and empathic understanding of the dynamics that led us to our current societal divide will allow us to lay the foundations for renewed trust, and a new social contract.

However, this isn’t just something we can do by talking or theorising. We also have to learn how to have conversations with those who hold different values to us – whether in our organisations or in day-to-day life. That’s why we’ve designed this workshop to be experiential, exploratory and experimental. You will learn about the neuroscience, psychology and physiology of polarisation. We’ll explore which models and cultural frameworks can help us make sense of the complex ideological realities that lead to polarisation. Through group conversations, mindfulness practices and simple mediation processes, you will leave with a greater awareness of your own cognitive biases and build your capacity for seeing issues from multiple perspectives.

You are requested to commit to full participation during all three sessions.

The process

  • Main workshop on Friday, 27 November from 2pm to 7pm CET

  • Approx. 2 hours of reading to complete for the next session

  • Follow-up session 1 on Friday, 11 December from 3pm to 5pm CET

  • Approx. 2 hours of reading to complete for the next session

  • Follow-up session 2 on Friday, 15 January from 3pm to 5pm CET

For this project, we are grateful to partner with and receive financial support from European Youth Forum. We will ask confirmed participants to make a small voluntary donation to help cover the remaining costs.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could share this invitation with people who might be interested, and especially with people who might bring along fresh perspectives and diverse viewpoints.


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