An MIT Alumni Association Publication

The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT
  • 1

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Think back to the last time you had a conversation with someone who disagreed with you. How did you handle it? Did you stubbornly push ahead, give up, or find a way to compromise?

In this recent MIT Career Lunch & Learn webinar, MIT Sloan senior lecturer Jason Jay PhD ’10 held an interactive workshop based on his book Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World. Jay polled the virtual audience about their experiences, then provided personalized guidance on how to get unstuck and make progress in challenging conversations. 

“Our intention is to build your courage to have conversations about issues that matter to you,” explained Jay, who directs the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan and whose research focuses on how people navigate the tensions inherent in the quest for sustainability. “We want to support conversations that have two goals, two different objectives simultaneously that lead to both stronger relationships and more innovative solutions to the challenges of our times. We think conversations generate innovation and they generate new solutions.”

The talk was moderated by Sarah Meyers MBA ’12, education program manager of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.

Watch more archived Career Lunch & Learn webinars and learn about other upcoming MIT Alumni Association career programming.

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Sarah Simon

Sat, 01/25/2020 8:57pm

A good week in Cambridge for how to bring civility, and reality, back into our public discourse. The MIT Alumni Energy Environmental and Sustainability Network ( sponsored a webinar on Thursday, January 23:
Constructive Climate Change Conversations
presented by Dr. Emily Moberg, PhD'16, Executive Chair National Network on Ocean Climate Changer Interpretation. Slides and video will be posted soon.