We were honored to host Professor Loretta Ross – a recently anointed MacArthur Foundation “Genius” whose compelling and truly amazing life story was chronicled last week in the Washington Post—at our fall Burness Forum. 

The topic was timely for all of us working in social change communications: how to better communicate with people whose views differ from our own in today’s era of canceling, “unfollowing” and the digital-age ability to create echo chambers in the news and information we see each day.

As hoped, the conversation was provocative. Professor Ross and our respondents inspired lively debate around a wide range of topics:

  • “Calling out,” “calling in,” and how to call ourselves in before responding
  • The difference between middle ground and common ground, and why splitting the difference between opinions shouldn’t be the objective
  • How to decide whether a speaker is given a platform on college campuses 
  • Who gets to dictate what language is correct
  • Whether we should judge people for things they said years ago

Many thanks to those of you who were able to join us, and for those who could not, we hope to see you at our next Forum in spring 2022.