I hope you will join me in a simple work that I believe can have great impact for good – hosting conversations as the means to restore hope to the future.
Many large-scale change efforts – some of which have won the Nobel Peace Prize – began with the simple but courageous act of friends talking to one another about their fears and dreams. In reviewing a number of these efforts and how they began, I always found a phrase, "Some friends and I started talking. "I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem-solving, debate, or public meetings. Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well. Conversation is the natural way we humans think together. We may have forgotten this, or no longer have time for each other, but it is how good thinking grows into actions that create real change.
What would it feel like to be listening to each other again about what disturbs and troubles us? About what gives us energy and hope? About our yearnings, our fears, our prayers, our children?
This website is born from my book, Turning To One Another. I wrote this book in the Spring of 2001, before the world turned dark on September 11th and the world descended into increasing violence. I wrote it for all of us, for adults and teen-agers, Africans, Asians, Americans, Europeans. My enduring hope is that we can reclaim conversation as our route back to each other, and as the path forward to a hopeful future. In February 2009, a new edition of this book appeared with new material that encourages us to be fearless and to realize the profound impact we can have in changing the world.
Conversation only requires imagination and courage and faith. These are qualities possessed by everyone. Now is the time to exercise them to their fullest. This website provides you with simple processes for hosting conversations, and information about many other conversation initiatives around the world. I hope you will join in this work of initiating conversations within your organization, school, family, and community. If enough of us begin talking to each other again, we can restore hope to the future, for all people everywhere.