The Civity Conversations Pilot Project
A Civity Conversation is a valuable tool for “connecting through difference.”
People who care about their community contact someone in their social network who is different from them in a way that is potentially divisive. A structured one-on-one conversation of only an hour enables the growth of a genuine relationship grounded in understanding.
These are the findings from Civity’s just-completed six-month pilot project. With support from The Whitman Institute, Malka Kopell individually coached young tech leaders in Silicon Valley in how to conduct Civity Conversations. They were then debriefed about the coaching process and their experiences conducting Civity Conversations. This feedback helped refine the Civity Conversation protocol.
An overarching theme that emerged was the recognition that conversation equals action when the goal is building relationships across potential social divides. And that this particular action – the Civity Conversation - is something that anyone can undertake. Individuals have the power to start ripples of Civity in their own networks, in their own communities.
Throughout the pilot, Civity also connected with more established leaders in various sectors – in Silicon Valley and beyond. Many of these leaders embraced the ideal and reality of Civity as “naming” something that they already practice and value in their own lives.
As part of the pilot, Palma Strand also conducted a workshop with the inaugural New Leaders Council training in Omaha, Nebraska. The evaluations confirm that working with leaders in a group, in addition to one-on-one coaching, is also a promising approach.