Tag Archive for: civil discourse

Common Ground 2022 Year End Special Podcast

The Search for Common Ground: 2022 Year-End Show

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What did 2022 bring to the search for common ground? We look back at memorable conversations.

2022 was a year of surprises in politics and the world beyond. In our year-end special, the Let’s Find Common Ground podcast puts the spotlight on six interviews that we published during the past twelve months.

We hear former Congressman Will Hurd discuss moderation and extremes in American politics. Author and market researcher Diane Hessan tells us what pollsters often overlook when they speak with voters. Former gun industry executive Ryan Busse reveals the key differences between responsible gun ownership and the reckless use of firearms.

Our end-of-year podcast also features a conversation between a prison reformer and a corrections industry executive. Two members of Congress— one Republican, one Democrat— explain their effort to improve how Congress works. And a leading newspaper editor and reporter discuss how they face-up honestly and creatively to bias and misinformation in the news media.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Common Ground at Work: from Disaster to Success

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Can we learn to love (or at least not hate) teamwork? Tune in for expert tips on finding common ground.

Collaboration is seen as a given in working life. Being part of a team means cooperating with others on all kinds of projects. But the reality is few of us learn how to collaborate. And when a collaboration fails it can leave such bad scars that the people involved never want to work together again.

With the stresses that have come with the Covid years – including the online workplace – many of us have found our collaboration skills tested to their limits.

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we speak with professor and collaboration expert Dr. Deb Mashek, author of the forthcoming book Collabor(hate): how to build incredible collaborative relationships at work (even if you’d rather work alone).

Deb found that three-quarters of people have been in at least one collaboration they loathed. But she says if more of us learn some simple skills, these kinds of disasters can be avoided and we’ll be able to find a lot more common ground. An expert on the psychology of human relationships, she gives examples of terrible collaborations that turned into successful ones. She also reveals how her own difficult childhood was the basis for her fascination with human relationships and how to make them work.

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Ep 73 – Common Ground at Work: from Disaster to Success

Dr. Deb Mashek

Dr. Deb Mashek, PhD is an experienced business advisor, professor, higher education administrator, and national nonprofit executive. She is the author of the forthcoming book Collabor(h)ate: How to build incredible collaborative relationships at work (even if you’d rather work alone). Named one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, she has been featured in media outlets including MIT Sloan Management Review, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Business Week. She writes regularly for Psychology Today.

Previously Full Professor of Social Psychology at Harvey Mudd College, Deb also served as the inaugural Executive Director of Heterodox Academy, a national nonprofit advancing constructive disagreement on college campuses.

Deb is the founder of Myco Consulting LLC, where she applies relationship science to help people collaborate better and to help business leaders navigate the relationship headwinds that tank timelines, bottom lines, and well-being.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Let's Find Common Ground - Episode 71

Special Episode: Lessons From The 2022 Midterm Elections

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What lessons can we learn from the 2022 midterms? Hear from two experienced political strategists.

Why did the widely forecast “red wave” election turn into a ripple? What are the prospects for finding common ground in Congress where both houses will have razor-thin majorities? What will the midterm election results mean for the future of our Republic?

In this special podcast episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, releasing just days after several key races were determined, two of the most experienced political strategists of recent decades share their insights. Democrat Bob Shrum and Republican Mike Murphy serve as co-directors of The Center for the Political Future at the University of Southern California. Among other topics, we explore their relationship as good friends who are on opposite sides of the political divide.

Mike Murphy is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political media consultants, having handled strategy and advertising for more than two dozen successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. Bob Shrum was once described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party,” by The Atlantic Monthly. He was the strategist in over 25 winning U.S. Senate campaigns, eight successful races for governor, and numerous campaigns for Congress and statewide offices.

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Ep 71 – Special Episode: Lessons From The 2022 Midterm Elections

Bob Shrum

Robert Shrum is the Director of the Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife. A legendary political strategist, he was once described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party,” by The Atlantic Monthly. He was a speechwriter for Senator George McGovern in the 1972 presidential campaign and for Senator Edward Kennedy in the 1980 presidential campaign. He served as the Senator’s Press Secretary in the early 1980s and as a political consultant and strategist in his subsequent Senate campaigns. He was also the strategist in over 25 other winning U.S. Senate campaigns, eight successful campaigns for governor, successful campaigns for mayors in major American cities, and numerous campaigns for Congress and other statewide offices. His clients included Joe Biden, John Glenn, Barbara Mikulski, David Dinkins, and Tom Bradley – and John Kerry and Al Gore in their presidential races. Overseas his clients included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the British Labour Party, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and the Presidents of Colombia and Bolivia.

In 2005 he shifted his attention to the academic world. Professor Shrum teaches several classes at USC on domestic policy, applied politics, and elections. He had previously taught at New York University, was a Silliman Fellow at Yale, and Kennedy Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Shrum’s book, No Excuse: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner was a national bestseller published in June 2007 by Simon and Schuster. As a journalist, Shrum’s work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, and The Huffington Post. He has been a columnist for Slate, The Week, and the Daily Beast. He has written for commercial television, including “The Emmy Awards,” “The American Film Institute Life Achievement Awards,” and the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts,” for which he received a Writers Guild of America award.

He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School. While at Georgetown, Shrum was named top speaker at the 1965 Collegiate National Debate Tournament. An award named after Shrum is now presented annually to the top speaker at the National Speech and Debate Tournament for high school students. Shrum was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and raised in Culver City, California. He now lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, the writer and activist Marylouise Oates, and their dog Cody.

In 2015 Shrum received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy is the Co-Director of the Center for the Political Future at USC. Murphy is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political media consultants, having handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. His record in helping Republicans win Democratic states is unmatched by any other GOP consultant. Murphy has been called a “media master” by Fortune magazine, the GOP’s “hottest media consultant” by Newsweek, and the leader of a “new breed” of campaign consultants by Congressional Quarterly. He is a widely known political pundit, appearing frequently on NBC, CNN, and NPR. Previously, he served as a regular on the Meet the Press political roundtable and wrote the “Murphy’s Law” column for TIME Magazine.

Murphy served as senior strategist for both John McCain’s first campaign for President in 2000 and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s historic election as Governor of California. Murphy has worked on successful campaigns for many GOP Governors and Senators including Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Terry Branstad, Lamar Alexander, Jeff Sessions, Slade Gorton, Dirk Kempthorne, Tommy Thompson and John Engler. In the 2016 primary season, Murphy served as the chief strategist to the Right to Rise PAC, which supported Jeb Bush’s candidacy. In 2020 Murphy joined former aides to George W. Bush and John McCain to endorse Joe Biden for president. He has advised political leaders in six foreign countries, too. A partner in the Washington, DC based Revolution Agency, Murphy also advises several Fortune 500 corporations and several of America’s largest trade associations.

Murphy has partnered with fellow campaign veteran David Axelrod to discuss American politics twice a week on their podcast, Hacks on Tap. Murphy previously hosted Radio Free GOP where he facilitated insider discussions about political campaigns with campaign veterans from both parties.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1962 and attended the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Murphy also served as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is on the Board of Advisors for the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago. In addition to his consulting practice, Murphy also works as a writer/producer in the entertainment industry. He and his wife Tiffany now live in Los Angeles, California where they have been based since 2003.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Let's Find Common Ground - Episode 70

Broken Media: The Roots of Today’s News Crisis

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How did the news crisis begin and how can it be solved? Hear from an industry insider.

While many American consumers have given up their daily news habit, millions of others are now addicted to rage media— cable news and social media that push sensationalism, groupthink and partisan tribalism.

This trend of “news bubbles” is relatively recent. Over the past 30 years, the decline of many regional newspapers has given way to a new form of slick, easy, and profitable national opinion journalism that caters to narrow segments of the population across the nation. Local reporting of how our towns, cities and states are run has died out in many parts of the country.


In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we look at the current state of the news industry and ask why the media and news consumers should insist  on better journalism. Our guest is Chris Stirewalt, a columnist, author and former political editor for Fox News. Chris is the author of the new book, “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back.”

 

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Ep 70 – Broken Media: The Roots of Today’s News Crisis

Chris Stirewalt

Chris Stirewalt is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on American politics, voting trends, public opinion, and the media. He is concurrently a contributing editor and weekly columnist for The Dispatch. Before joining AEI, he was political editor of Fox News Channel, where he helped coordinate political coverage across the network and specialized in on-air analysis of polls and voting trends.

Before joining Fox News Channel, Mr. Stirewalt served as political editor of the Washington Examiner, where he wrote a twice-weekly column and led political coverage for the newspaper. He also served as political editor of the Charleston Daily Mail and West Virginia Media. Mr. Stirewalt began his career at the Wheeling Intelligencer in West Virginia.

A well-known political commentator, Mr. Stirewalt wrote about his personal experience of the 2020 election in the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back” (Center Street, 2022), a new book on media and politics.

Mr. Stirewalt is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, where he studied history.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Broken Media? Restoring Trust in News Coverage

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Can the media help solve polarization, rather than cause it? Two journalists weigh in.

The United States has one of the highest news avoidance rates in the world. Tens of millions of Americans don’t read, watch or listen to the news each day, and the media is generally held in low regard. So, is there a better way to report and analyze current events that will satisfy readers’ interests?

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we hear from Mark Sappenfield, Editor of The Christian Science Monitor, and Story Hinckley, the National Political Correspondent. We’re releasing this podcast less than two weeks before the midterm elections — a time when many news outlets have amped up their coverage, speculated about winners and losers, and put additional emphasis on the nation’s deep partisan divides.

We discuss evolving news values with the Monitor and how reporters and editors are striving to highlight constructive solutions that unite rather than divide. We also hear about election coverage and why the media need to challenge readers, build trust, and report the news truthfully.

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Ep 69 – Broken Media? Restoring Trust in News Coverage

Mark Sappenfield

Mark Sappenfield is the Editor for The Christian Science Monitor. He joined the Monitor in 1996 and has since written from Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pentagon, and India. In addition to reporting from Pakistan and Afghanistan during his time in South Asia, Mark has also written on issues of sports and science. He has covered seven Olympic Games and attended events at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including the landing of the Mars rover Opportunity. After returning to Boston in 2009, Mark served as both deputy national news editor and national news editor.

Story Hinckley

Story Hinckley is a Washington-based National Political Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. She holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia where she double majored in Political Science and Environmental Thought and Practice, and a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Bridging Divides on College Campuses

Bridging Divides on College Campuses

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Can young people find the solution to overcoming the hostility caused by political polarization?

Rigid polarization and political division are among the biggest challenges facing our country. Young people are often taught that tribalism is better than unity and that conversations across political and cultural divides are impossible.

College students Clare Ashcraft, who comes from a conservative background, and Jackson Richter, who calls himself a committed liberal, are active members of BridgeUSA, a national movement of students who are working to emphasize the importance of empathy, understanding and ideological diversity.

In this podcast episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we hear about their personal experiences of cancel culture, the impact of social media on Generation Z students, and why many young people actually feel that free speech can harm them. We also learn about efforts to equip students with skills to find solutions across divides and build bridges with others of different backgrounds and points of view.

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Ep 68 – Bridging Divides on College Campuses

Clare Ashcraft

Clare Ashcraft is an English and philosophy student at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. At Capital, she leads a chapter of BridgeUSA, is involved with student government, Sigma Tau Delta, and ReCap Literary Magazine. She also builds sets in the Cabaret theater. Outside of class, she works as a bridging & bias assistant for AllSides. She enjoys listening to podcasts and cooking in her free time.

Jackson Richter

Jackson Richter is completing his master’s degree in public policy at Stanford University, where he recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a minor in data science. He is the President of Stanford’s BridgeUSA chapter, known on campus as the Stanford Political Union. He is passionate about health care, socially minded entrepreneurship, and equity. Jackson is also a proud New Yorker and an avid supporter of the city’s sports teams.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Primary Election Podcast episode 65

Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

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With low voter turnout and a wide partisan divide, are there better ways to pick candidates?

The primary election season in this midterm election year is now over in most states. Turnout was often very low—less than 20% of registered voters showed up in many places—while the partisan divide was as wide as ever.

In this episode, we hear from leading political strategists, scholars, authors and journalists about the American system for choosing candidates who will face each other in November’s election. We consider issues with the closed party primaries, and whether there are better ways to pick candidates for public office.

We look at proposed solutions such as ranked-choice voting and open primaries, where independent voters and those who are neither registered Republicans nor Democrats can participate.

Guests include Former Democratic Party Chair Donna Brazile, ex-Congressmen Will Hurd and Barney Frank, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice, constitutional law scholar Rick Pildes, and journalists Salena Zito, Christa Case Bryant and Story Hinckley.

Join us on Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep 65 – Primaries and Polarization: Is The System Broken?

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Podcast EP 64: Millennial Politicians

Millennial Politicians on Finding Common Ground

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At a divisive time in national politics, how can local politicians work for the common good? Hear from two young leaders.

In US politics, bipartisanship is now the exception, not the rule. But the Millennial Action Project is pushing back: it trains young leaders to bridge the partisan divide and work together to solve America’s problems.

In this episode, we meet two members of the Millennial Action Project from opposite sides of the aisle. They are state representatives from Connecticut, Republican Devin Carney, and Democrat Jillian Gilchrest. Gilchrest and Carney discuss the joys and challenges of being a local politician at a time when national politics is so divisive. ‘Get to know me’ is something they often find themselves saying to constituents who judge them solely on the ‘R’ or ‘D’ after their name.

The two representatives talk about listening and responding to their constituents, having their own prejudices upended, and how they find ways to agree for the good of their state.  All on this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground.

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Ep 64 – Millennial Politicians on Finding Common Ground

Jillian Gilchrest

Rep. Jillian Gilchrest represents Connecticut’s 18th district in Hartford County. Rep. Gilchrest was educated at the University of Connecticut where she received a Master of Social Work and teaches at the University of Saint Joseph, University of Hartford, and Sacred Heart University.

Prior to her election in 2018, she has a wealth of experience advocating for women’s issues. She serves on the board of directors for the two nonprofit entities that encompass The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut. Additionally, Gilchrest has extensive public policy experience in women’s issues serving as the Policy Director at the Connecticut Association for Human Services, an Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, the Director of Health Professional Outreach for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Director of Public Policy and Communication at Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services.

Currently, Gilchrest serves on the Education, Appropriations, and Commerce Committees.

Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney proudly represents the 23rd General Assembly District. He was elected to his fourth two-year term in November 2020. Rep. Carney was appointed to serve as the Ranking Member for the Transportation Committee for the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, having also served in this position in 2017-2018.

Carney graduated from Brandeis University in 2006 where he received a BA in Political Science and a BA in American Studies with a minor in Film. In addition to the legislature, Carney works in finance at John A Bysko Associates and as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.

Rep. Carney volunteers his time with many local organizations including serving on The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center Board of Trustees, as the Treasurer of the Board of Saybrook Senior Housing, a member of The Rotary Club of Old Saybrook, and as a member of both the Lyme-Old Lyme and Old Saybrook Chambers of Commerce. In addition, he serves as a member of the bipartisan Millennial Action Project, which brings together legislators 45 and under, and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. He also serves as an alternate member of the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Companies: Crisis and Common Ground

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Can American businesses help us find common ground?  An expert discusses the challenges and opportunities.

American business can be a force for finding common ground, but large corporations must now answer to a growing array of stakeholders, who often have opposing views on hot-button issues. In recent years, social media has also forced companies to respond immediately to a variety of conflicting demands.

We discuss these challenges with Davia Temin, a highly respected marketing and reputation strategist, crisis manager and communications coach. We also learn the ways that business can help contribute to improving public discourse at a time of polarization and political conflict.

In this episode, we hear about the daily hazards and opportunities for corporate leaders and get practical lessons on how they can respond to today’s changing political, cultural and social landscape in a clear, caring and authentic voice.

 

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Ep 63 – Companies: Crisis and Common Ground

Davia Temin

Davia Temin is the CEO of Temin and Company, a risk, reputation, leadership strategy, and crisis management consultancy. Davia works with corporate leaders around the world, helping them to refine and strengthen their vision, voice, and market position in times of crisis and opportunity.

A respected writer, commentator, and coach, she speaks globally and has appeared on CBS, CNN, NBC, Bloomberg, PBS, ABC, Reuters, and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times and numerous other publications and networks around the world. Prior to founding the firm over 20 years ago with the backing of GE, Davia headed Corporate Marketing, Crisis and Risk Management, and Public Affairs for GE Capital, Schroders, Scudder, Citi Investment Bank, and Columbia Business School.

An NACD Board Leadership Fellow, Davia is the Chair of Video Volunteers, an international media and human rights NGO. She also Chairs the Board Development Committee and serves on the Executive Committee and Governance Committee on the Board of Girl Scouts of Greater New York. She also serves on the Boards or Advisory Boards of The Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship of Columbia Journalism School, and many public and private organizations.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Episode 62 Climate Series - Daniel Yergin

Energy, Climate, and National Security: The New Map

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Can the global energy crisis be solved?  An expert assesses the evolving challenges and opportunities.

The world is being shaken by a collision of energy needs, climate change, and clashes between nations in a time of global crisis — made much worse by Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. Roaring inflation has shocked consumers, the Biden Administration, and other governments around the world.

In this episode we discuss the rapidly growing challenges of national security as well as opportunities for common ground with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, one of the world’s foremost experts on energy, international politics and economics.

We examine the reasons behind President Biden’s latest visit to Saudi Arabia, Europe’s rapidly growing dependence on U.S. oil and natural gas, and the changing threats to the West from Russia and China. Daniel Yergin’s book The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations led to his selection as Energy Writer of the Year by the American Energy Society.

 

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Ep 62 – Energy, Climate, and National Security: The New Map

Daniel Yergin

Daniel Yergin is a highly respected authority on energy, international politics, and economics. He is Vice Chairman of IHS Markit, one of the world’s largest research and information companies; and chairman of CERAWeek, which CNBC has described as “the Super Bowl of world energy.”

He has served on the US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board under the last four presidents. He is a member of the Energy Policy Council of the Dallas Federal Reserve, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior trustee of the Brookings Institution. He also serves as a member of the National Petroleum Council, a director of the United States Energy Association, and of the US-Russia Business Council.

Dr. Yergin holds a BA from Yale University, where he founded The New Journal, and a PhD from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Prime Minister of India, and the first James Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security from the U.S. Department of Energy. Among other honors, he was also awarded the United States Energy Award for “lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding,” and the Charles Percy Award for Public Service from the Alliance to Save Energy.

In addition to his latest book The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations, Dr. Yergin also authored the bestseller The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. He is known around the world for his book The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil Money and Power, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!