Monday, May 23, 2016

VanTalks, Civil Discourse, and Billy Goats

This Thursday I'll be giving a talk at the first ever VanTalks. It's styled after TED talks but focused on the thought leaders, innovators, and creators in the local community.

My topic is on civil discourse online. Something that seems like an oxymoron. You're not supposed to read the comments section, you're not supposed to talk about politics or religion, and you're certainly not supposed to expect anyone to change their mind due to a conversation online.

I'm not okay with that. I used to be. I used to be checked out, to ignore the comments, and to avoid arguments. I thought that was the best path, the path that offended the fewest people.

If you've followed me online for very long you know I don't feel that way now. For the past five or six years I have actively engaged in conversations online about the most difficult topics. No conversation has been off limits and, with very few exceptions, the conversations and conversationalists have been thoughtful, respectful, and civil.

On Thursday evening (6:30pm at the Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver) I'll share what changed, what I've learned, and why I think civil discourse online is not only possible, but necessary.

And I'll tell you why you should be a billy goat.

Buy tickets (they're only $10) and tell your friends (or enemies, they need to hear this too).

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