Combat polarization around the world

A proven model for impactful dialogue

As filter bubbles and political polarization divide people, the chances to speak to someone who truly thinks differently from you are slowly diminishing. Yet social science experts cite realtime, face-to-face conversation as highly effective, dismantling the biases, prejudices, and stereotypes that fuel division. So how can we get more people talking?

My Country Talks has engaged tens of thousands of participants around the world in the process of dialogue. Our events have a proven impact, and we draw from the leading scholars and researchers in dialogue, citizen engagement and conflict-resolution studies to shape every event.

Backed by science: Harvard and Stanford University study on Deutschland spricht

Economists Adrian Blattner (Stanford University) and Martin Koenen (Harvard University) find that just one My Country Talks conversation between political opposites can significantly reduce affective polarization. The study finds that one unmoderated conversation as part of Germany Talks reduced participants’ negative feelings toward people purely based on their political party affiliation. After a conversation, participants were more generous with sharing money with people from other political parties, and they also said they saw their conversation partner as positively as someone from their own party, even when their partner was from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

Read the full paper

What our participants say:

Since 2018 we have engaged nearly 300,000 participants from more than 100 countries in a My Country Talks event. From our hyper-local My City Talks format to The World Talks global day of dialogue, we create a safe and constructive space for people of all walks of life to share their views and gain new perspectices.

Happy with their conversation

In feedback surveys after an MCT event, 80% of participants on average say they were happy with their conversation

Stay in touch with their partner

60% of participants on average say they intend to stay in touch with their conversation partner after the event ends

Would participate again

90% of participants on average give the feedback that they look forward to participating in another MCT event

Conversations weaken polarization and dismantle prejudice: Armin Falk at the University of Bonn

Armin Falk, Professor of Economics at the University of Bonn, conducted a study on the impact of Germany Talks 2018. He and his team measured the effect of the conversations on participant's views and tendencies toward polarization.

"Even just a two-hour conversation between people with completely different political views is enough to weaken polarization. The meetings helped dismantle prejudices against those who think differently and, after the conversations, participants considered people with other views on average to be less incompetent, less malicious and less poorly informed."

Read an interview about the study and see the full results at ZEIT Online

Go to article

"Many of us, by default, move into debate, but debate is a dangerous path.The alternative is what we call dialogue.

Dialogue is the opposite of debate - it's a space where people can learn and discover things about themselves and other's life and experience that can help everyone move forward"

Peter Coleman, Social Psychologist at Columbia University speaking at Europe Talks 2020

Support My Country Talks

My Country Talks is completely grant funded, and we appreciate all our generous sponsors who make our work possible. If you are interested in making a donation or funding a dialogue program, please reach out to Hanna Israel.

Shaping a European Public Space – this is an ambition shared by many European citizens. “Europe talks” is lending its hand to that ambition and raising the voices of European Citizens. We are grateful to all partnering media and institutions, and we are proud to support this initiative.

Andreas Görgen, Head of Department for Culture and Communication at the German Federal Foreign Office

#EuropeTalks is the Art of bringing Europe together through the power of dialogue. Talking and lisening beyond differences – this is what #EuropeTalks is about. We are proud to support this journey. Let's get tolerant for ambiguity and strengthen democracy – together!

Allianz Kultur Stiftung