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Heterodox Academy

Applied Heterodoxy: Fostering Ideological Diversity (Without it Blowing Up In Your Face)

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February 1, 2022

Main Workshop: Tuesday, February 1 (7–8:30pm ET) Follow-Up Sessions: February 4 (3-4:30pm ET), February 8 (7-8:30pm ET), February 10 (3-4:30pm ET) 

The need to preserve space for viewpoint diversity has never been clearer and more urgent – on campus and off. But how exactly to go about doing that practically is less clear. Applied Heterodoxy summarizes best practices from decades of experience taking concrete steps to create a climate where diverse viewpoints thrive while leaving relationships intact. Beyond the usual agonizing soul-searching and clashes of will, there is good news: namely, a set of accessible strategies that make heterodoxy more achievable (and more enjoyable) than you might think.

The first session will share practical insights gained from three specific approaches we’ve experimented with in over a decade of applying Moral Foundations Theory to the thorny problem of our deepening divisions (campus-wide, classroom-based, and community-based). We’ll introduce frame-shifting concepts for establishing a culture that embraces difference of opinion, including group strategies to prevent the usual “us vs. them” and counterintuitive means for defusing escalation of tension (or “what billiards can teach us about conflict resolution”).

The second session is a smaller group workshop experience where we go deeper with a limited number of participants. Based on a survey of participants, each workshop will address key challenges and concerns of each cohort — exploring more practical applications, sharing innovations and brainstorming solutions. Accepted applicants will be able to choose from three dates for the second session.

Please note: Due to limited capacity, if you previously participated in the Applied Heterodoxy workshop you are not eligible to participate again this time.

About the workshop leaders:

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This course pairs two colleagues whose relationship formed around how very much they disagree — Dr. Jacob Hess, co-author of “You’re Not As Crazy As I Thought (But You’re Still Wrong)” and Liz Joyner, Founder & President of The Village Square, one of America’s most innovative civic incubators. They’re such fans of disagreeing they teamed up to create Respect + Rebellion, a speaker’s bureau for heterodox pairs just like themselves. Dr. Hess works at a tech company that makes apps to overcome pornography addiction, chemical dependency, and depression, and is Editor-in-Chief at Public Square magazine.  A clinical social worker, Ms. Joyner has created what former NEH Chair Jim Leach called “a model for the land.”
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