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People take great pains to avoid political conversation, and that’s hurting society, says journalist and social experiment architect Jochen Wegner. Learn how a large-scale, international project called Europe Talks brought political opposites face-to-face, leaving its participants enlightened and more trusting of society.


Frankly discussing politics with strangers whose views diverge from your own can be elating.

Globally, politics have become increasingly divisive. Political discussions can foster animosity and even break up families and friendships. Alas, most people don’t push beyond their internet and mental filter bubbles.

But in 2019, Joanna, a staff member at a Polish university, agreed to travel hundreds of miles just to argue politics with Christof, a politically opposing stranger from Germany. How did these individuals feel after hashing out politics for hours? They left with a sense of enjoyment. And they were just two among more than 17,000 participants across Europe willing to traverse national borders and personal filter bubbles to ...

About the Speaker

Jochen Wegner is editor of German news organization Zeit Online and an organizer of the Europe Talks social unification project.

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