Start a Conversation

conversationOften stories are the glue that bind us together.  Through the experience of sharing stories across the street, in a city, or across the world we are brought together with a sense of safety and belonging.  What could reflect social harmony more than this? Gathering to learn about one another and from one another often entices a close-knit group to broaden its circle to include others. The Charter is convinced that coming together in circles or shared concerns, help us to explore solutions or just to get to know one another. This process is one of the best bridge-building techniques that can be used in getting individuals of different ages, races and ethnic backgrounds together. For this reason, the Charter for Compassion has joined with three groups: Crazy Beautiful World, to promote intergenerational conversation, Conversation Collective, a weekly global compassionate dialogue, Living Room Conversation, structured exchanges on very difficult issues and Charter Circles, initiated through our staff, volunteers and members. Below is a little more information about each and how you can become involved in one or more of the conversations,
zachary nelson 1500pxCrazy Beautiful World is a project that connects inspiring teenagers with creative and compassionate adults to delve into the questions that are on young people’s minds. Imagine sitting down with someone wise, funny, and kind who is genuinely interested in your take on things. Surely that is how good conversation starts.
Unfortunately, too often we let ideas about who we think people are get in the way. At Crazy Beautiful World we are exploring a process called Compassionate Co-Inquiry to reach out across those barriers to create the connections we need to navigate the future.
Often when we think of wisdom, we think of someone who has lived a long life with many experiences. But there is another form of wisdom that comes from being fresh to the world and open to seeing many different possibilities without the taint of past judgements. It is sometimes called ‘beginners mind’. 
It’s time for adults to admit that the world young people are growing up in is kind of crazy. Of course, it’s also incredibly beautiful, but with so much distraction and noise it can be hard to see it.
  • We need maps and guides. 
  • We need to be brave enough to ask for directions. 
  • We need to become each other's signposts for the beautiful.
We believe we need many forms of wisdom and it’s time to listen to the wisdom of young people, as well as their concerns and hopes for the future. Learn more and how to participate.
collectiveCitizen Discourse and the Charter are convening Conversation Collective, a weekly Coffee, Compassion, and Conversation series. Weekly 75-minute facilitated conversations will include reflective journaling, a restorative mindful moment and one-on-one conversations hosted on Zoom. Community members will also be invited to a chat platform where we can continue to connect and share. The host for the series is Karen Gross. She served as director of the Austin Anti-Defamation League and oversaw the launch of the Austin Hate Crimes Taskforce and the expansion of the school-based anti-bullying campaign. Following the advice of one of her role models, Bryan Stevenson, Karen got proximate to people’s pain and struggle as a criminal defense attorney. She continues to provide legal counsel to folks seeking to petition for a pardon or clemency.
Karen founded Citizen Discourse out of a deep concern for the state of our polarized society and she believes Citizen Discourse workshops can change hearts, minds, and systems. Early in the pandemic, Citizen Discourse and Charter for Compassion partnered to offer weekly restorative and compassionate conversations in hopes of providing a way for people to connect during a scary and isolating time.  Almost a year and a half later, as we convert this free series into a membership community, Karen is excited to continue to lead intentional gatherings and be a part of growing this special global community. Learn more and join one of the two weekly groups.
LivingRoomConvosLogoLiving Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation with those with whom we may not agree. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground, and sometimes even allow us to discuss possible solutions. No fancy event or skilled facilitator is needed.
Major disagreement on important issues is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to create insurmountable divides. Living Room Conversations hopes for a world in which people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds learn to work together with respect – and even joy – to realize the vibrant future we all desire for ourselves and our families. Through applying and adapting this conversational model it is believed that participants will build relationships that generate understanding and enable collaborative problem-solving.
Living Room Conversations can take place anywhere, which these days includes the virtual world. Video chat allows us to bring each other into our homes, with all that represents, at a scale never imagined. Within this model, nearly 100 conversation guides on all sorts of topics that can otherwise be tense to talk about with friends, strangers, and even loved ones of differing backgrounds and political persuasions, have been developed.  Learn more.


The intent of Charter Circles is to provide a space for individuals to share beliefs, questions, and experiences and to nurture one another and to follow one’s own inner teacher.  Based on the belief that all humans have the potential to be intelligent, loving, cooperative, powerful, and joyful, Charter Circles work with the premise that everyone has the full potential to take care of his/her own life, but benefits from including others in conversation.  Want to start a group?  The Charter invites you to create a circle on our Sutra platform.  Contact us for further information.

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