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We are A student-driven center for

 
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dedicated to expanding human understanding of complicated social challenges through

 
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our undergraduate dialogue facilitators make it possible for people in small groups to “think together” on the basis of their different social positions.

 
 
 
People are constantly talking, but conversations like this make you listen.
— Dialogue Participant
I was able to understand a perspective from someone who I originally feared.
— Dialogue Participant
I feel as though y’all started a conversation that people are often too afraid to have.
— Dialogue Participant
It showed everyone that slow, focused, and open dialogue is still achievable in our modern world.
— Dialogue Participant

Since 2002,

OVER

31,780

dialogues

NEARLY

1,200

Trained Facilitators

AND

35

Semesters of Research & Development

 
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What participants are saying

 
 
 

2018-2019 Post Program Evaluation Data
n = 9,538

 
 

our dialogue initiatives

 

DOMESTIC DIALOGUES

Approximately 4,200 undergraduate students participated in our campus-wide (“domestic”) conversations this year.    These dialogues seek to examine society through the divergent views of people from different "sociological addresses." A meaningful examination of society can cover a vast range of topics--from ancestry, to wealth, to religion, to war--but at World in Conversation, we’ve learned that the topics most essential for a given group to discuss cannot be determined ahead of time. Instead, trained facilitators understand that each individual story is a piece of the complex picture of the social world.   The Center has delivered programs to every college at University Park (and most Commonwealth campuses).  In addition, individual faculty members can make specific requests for their classes to participate in dialogues or for consultations about how to address contentious issues in their classes. This year we worked with students from nine different academic colleges, Penn State’s ROTC program and the Office of Student Affairs.

Approximately 4,200 undergraduate students participated in our campus-wide (“domestic”) conversations this year.

These dialogues seek to examine society through the divergent views of people from different "sociological addresses." A meaningful examination of society can cover a vast range of topics--from ancestry, to wealth, to religion, to war--but at World in Conversation, we’ve learned that the topics most essential for a given group to discuss cannot be determined ahead of time. Instead, trained facilitators understand that each individual story is a piece of the complex picture of the social world.

The Center has delivered programs to every college at University Park (and most Commonwealth campuses). In addition, individual faculty members can make specific requests for their classes to participate in dialogues or for consultations about how to address contentious issues in their classes. This year we worked with students from nine different academic colleges, Penn State’s ROTC program and the Office of Student Affairs.

INTERNATIONAL DIALOGUES

Our International Dialogues invite domestic and international students into small group encounters where they have the opportunity to meet and talk through important social topics together.    We launched this initiative in 2010 with a core group of international students from the Middle East and then expanded it in 2016 to include students from China. Today students from countries around the world who are studying at Penn State participate.    In the process, they become veritable cultural ambassadors, shedding light on their own worlds, as they make deeper connections with the worlds of their domestic peers.  This is a unique experience for most participants--international and domestic alike.   This past year eighty-one international student ambassadors engaged nearly 2,400 domestic students.   As this program gains more traction, we are finding that a growing number of international students are developing an interest in training to become dialogue facilitators.

Our International Dialogues invite domestic and international students into small group encounters where they have the opportunity to meet and talk through important social topics together.

We launched this initiative in 2010 with a core group of international students from the Middle East and then expanded it in 2016 to include students from China. Today students from countries around the world who are studying at Penn State participate.

In the process, they become veritable cultural ambassadors, shedding light on their own worlds, as they make deeper connections with the worlds of their domestic peers. This is a unique experience for most participants--international and domestic alike.

This past year eighty-one international student ambassadors engaged nearly 2,400 domestic students.

As this program gains more traction, we are finding that a growing number of international students are developing an interest in training to become dialogue facilitators.

GLOBAL DIALOGUES

Since its beginnings in 2011, our global initiative has been opening pathways between people who would otherwise never meet each other by hosting facilitated video dialogues between them.     Penn State students and their global peers have the opportunity to bypass mass media and examine their shared world by talking directly to each other in informal 90-minute sessions.  Through these conversations, participants have the opportunity to glimpse what is happening on the ground in their respective worlds without traveling across the planet to see for themselves. In addition, the long-standing partnerships we have developed over the years with foreign institutions of higher education have fueled a level of international collaboration and awareness that participants on all sides site as rare and essential in pursuits of peace and grassroots public diplomacy.    Our partners have a direct interest in supporting virtual dialogues as they look to provide their students with co-curricular opportunities to connect with the global community. Overall, we have engaged with 29 different countries since beginning this initiative.

Since its beginnings in 2011, our global initiative has been opening pathways between people who would otherwise never meet each other by hosting facilitated video dialogues between them.

Penn State students and their global peers have the opportunity to bypass mass media and examine their shared world by talking directly to each other in informal 90-minute sessions. Through these conversations, participants have the opportunity to glimpse what is happening on the ground in their respective worlds without traveling across the planet to see for themselves. In addition, the long-standing partnerships we have developed over the years with foreign institutions of higher education have fueled a level of international collaboration and awareness that participants on all sides site as rare and essential in pursuits of peace and grassroots public diplomacy.

Our partners have a direct interest in supporting virtual dialogues as they look to provide their students with co-curricular opportunities to connect with the global community. Overall, we have engaged with 29 different countries since beginning this initiative.


Meet our Team

Pictured above: Fall 2019 Advanced Facilitation Team & Staff