Bridging the Divide


As our world becomes increasingly polarized and our opinions become more fractionated, we find our society and democracy being pulled to its seams. Whether it’s a political, cultural, or social divide, these speakers explore and share actionable strategies for bridging these differences by finding a language in which we can speak to one another and build a community around, and not despite, disagreement.

Anand Giridharadas

Bestselling author of Winners Take All and a top on-air political analyst for MSNBC

Anand Girdharadas

Anand Giridharadas reveals how belief in the power of persuasion is critical to a healthy democracy, and encourages audiences to engage in meaningful dialogue by:

  • Finding meaning-making connections
  • Creating a strategy for belonging and being part of something
  • Inviting people in and inspiring them by telling a better story

Bo Seo

Two-time world champion debater and author of Good Arguments

Bo Seo Banner

Bo Seo demonstrates how good arguments can help us bridge differences by:

  • Viewing the debate from the opposing perspective
  • Listening actively
  • Disagreeing with respect

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh

Motivational speaker, author, and human rights activist

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh Banner

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh shares stories on how to lessen frustrations and avoid toxic traps of hate and anger by:

  • Choosing love over hate
  • Building reservoirs of compassion

Ximena Vengoechea

Author of Listen Like You Mean It, UX Researcher, Illustrator

Ximena Vengoechea Banner

Ximena Vengoechea equips audiences with tools and techniques for tackling difficult conversations by:

  • Cultivating a listening mindset and encouraging vulnerability
  • Asking the right questions to deepen a conversation
  • Navigating a discussion that’s gone off the rails

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Authors of the New York Times-bestselling How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt Banner

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt open up conversations about saving democracy by:

  • Practicing understanding, patience, and empathy to achieve a broad consensus
  • Building alliances that extend beyond traditional party lines