Welcome to The Tête-à-Tête!

Mission: The mission of The Tête-à-Tête is to serve as a safe space for civil and reasoned discussion of any and all topics, especially those of broad societal importance, and including those that may be uncomfortable or contentious. Our goal in these discussions is to build consensus on facts, ideas, and where applicable, on concrete recommendations for policy and/or stakeholder action.

How it Works: Dialogue at The Tête-à-Tête will be framed by seven types of posts:

Articles present fact-based opinions from one or more authors.

Personal Essays present the viewpoint of one or more authors drawing on personal experience.

Discussions are launched with a post outlining a discussion question for readers to debate, and may be accompanied by Articles or Personal Essays solicited in advance, representing diverse viewpoints. Readers are encouraged to post comments and submit Articles or Personal Essays related to these.

For some Discussions of contentious topics in which there is a diversity of willing authors, we will facilitate the drafting of a Summary of Agreements by participating authors. The Summary of Agreements summarizes any consensus ideas and policy or action recommendations emerging from the Discussion. By focusing attention on a selection of important agreed upon ideas and calls to action, Summaries of Agreements aim to provide a path to concrete, even if incremental, short-term progress, and to serve as a launch point for longer-term constructive dialogue among diverse thought-leaders and stakeholders.

Editorials, usually aimed at constructively framing an existing discussion (rather than presenting a new viewpoint), will be posted from time to time.

Links are posts (listed under Editorials) in which each of us discusses news and analysis from around the web.

We will periodically present outside Case Studies of past public or academic discussions of contentious issues, which were particularly constructive or successful in building consensus, in order to seek inspiration for future discussions at The Tête-à-Tête.

Pitches from prospective authors for new Articles, Personal Essays, Discussion topics, or Case Studies are always welcome! These submissions will be reviewed for rigor and tone (in keeping with our mission), but will not be screened based on their viewpoint. Comments to existing articles and essays can be posted at any time.

The Tête-à-Tête is managed by Matt Burgess, Ian Burgess, and Niya Bajaj


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