The Power of Living Room Conversations

Joan Blades and Van Jones

Living Room Conversations: Building a Healthier Democracy

Living Room Conversations: The Spark That Will Forever Change the Landscape of Democracy.

Treasonous Friendships by Jacob Hess.

*Note about audio, the microphones are turned on at about 2 minutes.

Living Room Conversations is presented as a dialogue tool and practice for citizens to rebuild our trust in one another, separating our friendships from our political views. In this era of political identity and tribal tendencies, Joan Blades and Mark Meckler provide a refreshing perspective.

Moderated by Archon Fung, the conversation between Blades and Meckler will cover the root problems of democratic dysfunction and possible paths forward on policy issues where there is potential for left-right common ground. Ultimately, how do increase the capacity of the American democratic process and give people greater voice in our political system?

News Articles

MoveOn founder, Tea Party figure meet — SF Chronicle Article

January 18, 2013 5:40 pm
It was a mind-blowing political tableau: a co-founder of liberal bulwark MoveOn sitting in her Berkeley living room, laughing, sharing homemade blueberry scones and occasionally agreeing with a national Tea Party figure. Truth is, MoveOn's Joan Blades - clad in Lululemon yoga pants and clogs - and Mark Meckler, sporting a leather cowboy vest, boots and a belt buckle larger than a baby's head - have been talking online and over the phone for a few years now. Quietly, until now. "Transpartisanship" is the genteel word for what they're doing. Read more!    

“The Best Possible Revolution” — Newsweek

June 30, 2012 3:51 pm
My Living Room Conversations project partner, Joan Blades, was just named a ‘Lifetime Revolutionary’ by Newsweek Magazine for co-founding with her husband, Wes Boyd. Upon learning of this honor, Joan said: "I've never thought of myself as a revolutionary, but maybe I am.  I hope people will now join in what I see as the best possible revolution, Living Room Conversations. LRCs bring average Americans together for civil conversation across the political divide to forge relationships and find common ground. Civil society- what a great concept!"   The article profiled The 100 Most Powerful Digital Disruptors and can be found in the July 2 & 9, 2012 edition of Newsweek. Congratulations to Joan and Wes! I hope you will join us in "The Best Possible Revolution" and co-host a Living Room Conversation.      

Living Room Conversations Named 1 of 16 Organizations Changing the World in 2012 by Craig Newmark of Craigslist

January 19, 2012 4:20 pm
I recently invited people to share blog posts explaining How You Will Change the World in 2012 for the new Social Good Blog Series I launched earlier this month. Changing the World requires planning and it's important to think about what problems really need solving. I wasn't sure what kind of response I'd get to this call for big ideas. You all didn't disappoint. I hope you enjoy reading some of these ideas as much as I did! I'm sharing a taste of what people shared here and a link to each person's post so you can read their full reflections. ■ Intimate and personal conversation is a powerful means for revealing the truth. Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn and MomsRising, shared her idea for a citizen’s movement to create real change. "When I watch our leaders and media, the focus seems to be primarily on our political differences… Perhaps we could help lead the leaders out of this destructive political bickering we find ourselves engaged in again and again, despite the earnest desire many have to find common ground. Perhaps here in our local communities with 6 people of good will who hold different view points, we can begin to discover how we can have a meaningful conversation that will help us exit this hall of mirrors." Check out the rest of Joan's post to learn more about her Living Room Conversations project. Read more at CraigConnects.    
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