The event in July was hailed as a key step in reconciling today’s polarizing political climate. It included 16 participants, half Democrat, half Republican, seated around a table. The audience consisted of around twenty people and members of Better Angels.
Once the event began, two concentric circles were created. The Democrats were seated in the outer ring while Republicans were the inner ring for the first half. The seating was then switched for the second part.
The rules were simple. When the inner ring was speaking the outer ring listened. Those seated in the outer ring were not allowed to respond, not even with a sigh or eye roll. Some found this hard, but also realized that not having to give an immediate response allowed them to actually listen.
And while some were disappointed that they were not able to sway anyone to their side, the overwhelming consensus was that they gained a better understanding of each other.
Read more about the Better Angels debate at Philly.com by clicking here.