spirited dialogues

start your own

Interested in inspiring a little nonpartisan dialogue in your hood?

Host a Spirited Dialogue!

Spirited Dialogue is an policy talk that brings together folks of all political or a-political leanings to talk about issues that have an impact on our lives - in a friendly, informative and - you bet! - fun way.

Here's a kit (pdf) to get you started.

Post a one time event

If you want to do a one time Spirited Dialogue, you can just

  • post an event (you'll have to log in or register first, if you haven't already) and
  • from your event page, you'll be able to invite and keep track of guests.

Start a series

If you're thinking of starting a series of Spirited Dialouges, we suggest you

  • start a group (you'll have to log in or register first, if you haven't already), from there
  • members can sign up, keep track of events and post messages to the group and
  • you get to decide whether to make the group open or invite-only, and
  • you'll be able to send invites to all group members as well as forward invites to nonmembers.

dialogues to-go

Any thought-provoking topic will make a Spirited Dialogue work, but here are a few from our playbook...

Is this any way to pick a nominee?

Amid the frenzy of baby kissing, horse picking, policy pandering and youtube gawking, we at citizenJoe sat down to ask if our presidential primaries are an example of democracy in action or democracy in disarray.

Suggested reading look at ways the primary process is good and bad for democracy - as well as some ideas on how to improve the horse race.

Is God good for Man?

Christopher Hitchens recently picked up the mantle of earlier atheists like Richard Dawkins, publicly arguing that not only is it irrational to believe in god – it also is bad for our health and safety. Theists respond that atheists miss the mark on faith and wonder if a godless world would be any better. Agnostics are, well, agnostic.

In this unconventional Spirited Dialogue, we dip into metaphysical waters, asking the big question - β€œIs God good for Man?”

Nuclear FIZZ

Every rogue regime wants in to the nuclear club these days. The question for a super power is how it's possible - through diplomacy, sanctions or military action - to keep the club clubby? Some optimistic - but more despondent - answers can be found in these suggested readings. If you want to make a full Policy on the Rocks party on this topic, see our Nuclear Fizz Tool Kit.

Trade & the Developing World

Free trade gets a bum rap from a number of angles; unchecked, it doesn't fairly protect the American worker and, for those soft on the plight of workers in the developing world, it doesn't do such a great job of improving improve working conditions outside the US either. 2007 saw Congress tweaking free trade agreements to protect labor at home and abroad. The question is, will it work - and, more broadly, if we do care about workers abroad, is there anything we can do to improve their lot - or is unfettered free trade the best way to go?


Because it's a topic that gets people talking - and doesn't fall along obvious left/right lines, we suggest kicking off a Spirited Dialogue series with a discussion on smoking laws.

The Draft

Although there's almost zero chance a draft will return soon (the last time the House voted for a draft - in 2003 - it got shot down 402-2), for the first time in years the issue is getting some press.