Thoughtful Citizenship

Imagine America where the solutions for our future result from a partnership of thoughtful politicians and thoughtful citizens…

 I and some fellow authors have put together a free e-book: Thoughtful Citizenship: A non-partisan guide for having thoughtful conversations, even with those who disagree, so that everyone comes out alive and maybe even learns something along the way. We hope it makes a positive difference and we encourage you to pass it along to as many people as you like.

This project began some years ago — in fact during a previous presidential campaign.

I heard friends and colleagues lamenting that while they wanted to have real conversations about political matters with people around them, they were often afraid to. They feared a disagreement might make things difficult with friends, families, and colleagues they really wanted to connect with around such topics. They even worried that these difficulties might last after the election and cause a permanent rift between them and others.

The media report that we are now witnessing one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in our history. As a result, it is more important than ever to be able to engage in the kind of listening and dialogue that lead to better understanding with those around us. With Thoughtful Citizenship we aim to provide practical, helpful wisdom in response to such concerns and to open possibilities that are good for us all.

There are ten short sections in Thoughtful Citizenship, each by different authors. We’ve all dedicated our careers to the subjects in this small ebook and care deeply about making a difference with what we’ve learned over many years. Here are the contributors and the titles of each section:

A Map to Transform Challenging Conversations

Marilee Adams

Excerpts from United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good

Cory Booker

The World Café: Conversations That Matter

Juanita Brown, David Isaacs, and the World Café Community

Courageous Leaders, Courageous Followers

Ira Chaleff

Habits of Mind for Educating Thoughtful Citizens

Arthur L. Costa and Bena B. Kallick

From Conflict to Collaboration

Stewart Levine

Thoughtful Citizens Think for Themselves

Mark Levy

Rebuilding Trust When the Political Process Disappoints

Dennis S. Reina and Michelle L. Reina

Having Conversations about Politics that are Thoughtful and Authentic

Jamie Showkeir and Maren Showkeir

Appreciative Leaders Make Thoughtful Decisions

Diana Whitney

All of us hope you’ll read and use the wisdom and suggestions in each section for many years to come—and also that you’ll pass this free ebook on to anyone you think might appreciate it and benefit from it.

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2023 Inquiry Institute

2023 Inquiry Institute