Curious Convos

Have a Curious Conversation

TWO PEOPLE with opposing viewpoints meet for ONE HOUR for a CURIOUS CONVERSATION.
CPL - Curious Conversations (Landscape)

Real People, Real Issues

Creating brave spaces of listening, engagement and dialogue 
It is said that curiosity is the antidote to ignorance. It is also the antidote to stagnation, fear and despair. Curiosity fuels learning, creativity, and progress, opening doors to new possibilities and understanding.
When we stop being curious, we limit our potential for growth and discovery, closing ourselves off from the richness of the world around us and hindering our ability to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.
Curiosity fosters goodwill and goodwill is the foundation of a functioning society. 
At Crossing Party Lines, one of our core principles is to promote curiosity. Through moderated conversations, events and workshops, we create “brave spaces” where speakers and listeners work TOGETHER, giving curiosity a chance while learning to listen past their triggers to understand the human concerns beneath the words. 
Curious Conversations is designed to take this process deeper.
TWO PEOPLE with opposing viewpoints from across the aisle meet for ONE HOUR for an in-depth conversation on a topic moderated by a trained CPL moderator. Participants will be paired according to their choice of topic; what they are passionate about. In a day & age, when there is a serious shortage of spaces where people with diverse perspectives engage in respectful dialogue, Curious Conversations can help make a difference by offering one such space and serving as an example. 
Reach out if you are interested at with the subject “CURIOUS CONVERSATIONS”
FILL OUT THIS FORM with your information and we will contact you.
If you have ever participated in a CPL conversation, you already know most of what is involved.  
Join us! All you have to do is bring your listening and curiosity.
P.S. During the design stage, Curious Conversations was called Candid Conversations,
until a team member pointed out that the problem isn’t that people are not candid, indeed the opposite;
we are often too candid about our own perspective but have too little curiosity for the others perspective.
It is curiosity we need more of today. And thus “Curious Conversations”!

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    The Two Types of Depolarization

    Depolarization — the work of reducing toxic polarization — is best understood in terms of the two types of polarization that shape our interactions and perceptions in today’s politically charged climate:

    1. Affective Polarization

    Affective polarization revolves around emotions and feelings. It refers to the emotional divide between individuals or groups with differing political views. It’s about how people feel about others who hold opposing ideologies.

    • Us vs. Them: In affective polarization, people tend to see those on the other side of the political spectrum as part of an “us vs. them” mentality. Emotions like anger, fear, and distrust often come into play.
    • Emotional Reactions: When encountering someone with opposing views, affectively polarized individuals may experience heightened emotions. They might feel threatened, defensive, or even hostile.
    • Echo Chambers: Social media and personalized news feeds can exacerbate affective polarization by reinforcing existing beliefs and isolating individuals from diverse perspectives.

    2. Cognitive Polarization

    Cognitive polarization focuses on thought processes and cognitive biases. It pertains to how people think about the views of others.

    • Discounting Opposing Views: Cognitive polarization leads to a tendency to discount opposing viewpoints without critically evaluating them. People may jump to conclusions, assuming that differing opinions lack validity or logical soundness.
    • Us vs. Them (Again): Just as in affective polarization, cognitive polarization reinforces the “us vs. them” mindset. It hinders open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity.
    • Intellectual Echo Chambers: Cognitive polarization occurs when people surround themselves with like-minded sources, reinforcing their preconceptions and avoiding exposure to alternative perspectives.

    The Interplay Between Affective and Cognitive Polarization

    Affective and cognitive polarization often feed into each other. Emotional reactions (affective) influence how we process information (cognitive), and vice versa.

    Breaking the Cycle: CPL recognizes that depolarization  requires us to address both affective and cognitive aspects. Encouraging empathy and  active listening is not enough.  We must also teach critical thinking and intellectual humility if we are to truly bridge the gap.

    About Bridging

    Bridging refers to the intentional effort to reduce toxic polarization by fostering understanding, empathy, and communication between individuals or groups with differing political views. It aims to build connections and discover our shared humanity, ultimately bridging the gaps that divides people along ideological lines.