Deliberative Conversation: Youth and Opportunity

Sep 16
Sep 16 2021, 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT

Lissa Staley
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Issue Guides

Learn and Practice Deliberation Together - What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive? Practice deliberation through considering perspectives, listening with empathy & weighing trade-offs of possible actions. Register for Zoom link.

This session is intended for anyone who wants to learn and practice deliberation, including students, librarians, educators and community members. Everyone is welcome.

What is deliberation and why is it important?

The discovery of a shared direction, guided by what we value most.

Deliberation is an unbiased kind of talking that starts where the problem starts with your experience of it. It's not a bunch of abstract backroom negotiations, but real, genuine, human struggles of which we are a part.

Unlike debate, or lecture, or an airing of grievances, deliberation asks us to begin with what we hold most dear and share our personal experiences with a given issue. It's not about reaching agreement or seeing eye-to-eye. It's about looking at the costs and consequences of possible solutions to daunting problems, and finding out what we, as a people, will or will not accept as a solution.

Learn more from the National Issues Forum.

Youth & Opportunity: What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?

We will use a recent discussion guide from National Issues Forum to structure this deliberation, while also revealing the elements of a successful deliberation during our conversation.

This discussion guide is designed to help Americans deliberate together about what we should do to address unprecedented challenges that may hinder future generations from leading successful and economically secure lives. The guide outlines three different ways of considering the issue. Each suggests actions we might take, along with trade-offs we would have to accept. Altogether, these options allow participants to explore important values and tensions shared by many. Information in this guide raises crucial questions for which there are no easy answers.

Will the next generation, like those before it, be able to build an economically secure future, or will it face too many unprecedented challenges that undercut its prospects?
Should present-day priorities be more important than our obligations to future generations?
Is the next generation receiving the education and support it needs to succeed?
Are there disparities that we should be addressing today to enable future generations to prosper tomorrow?
Bolstering the chances of success for future generations requires us to consider choices that cut across conventional partisan lines and generational differences. What course of action should be a priority as we plan for the future?
The research conducted in developing this guide included a review of policy ideas and polling data from across the political spectrum, interviews and conversations with Americans from all walks of life, focus groups with young people, and appraisals of initial drafts by experts with diverse views and experiences.

Learn more about deliberative conversations at the library at Download the issue guide for this topic from The issue guide and additional information will be emailed to everyone registered on the Friday before the event. Email with any questions. Register here:

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Invite my class?

Diane McMahon's picture

Hi Lissa - can I invite my online sociology class to attend? Diane