Our country is more polarized than ever. Political and cultural divisions prevent us from understanding one another, even within our own communities. LVN is changing that, one conversation at a time.
The Local Voices Network
Developed by the non-profit Cortico, the Local Voices Network (LVN) is a unique physical-digital network designed to bring under-heard community voices, perspectives and stories to the center of a healthier public dialogue. Launched in Wisconsin and New York in 2019, launching in Massachusetts and Alabama in 2020.
Facilitated in-person conversations
LVN is fueled by ordinary people sharing their voices in small-group, in-person discussions led by experienced conversation hosts in the community. LVN hosts organize these conversations in gathering spots such as libraries, community centers, and kitchen tables, where participants will have a unique opportunity to listen, learn, speak and be heard.
Connecting hosts and conversations digitally
At the center of these conversations is a “digital hearth,” a specialized device that records the discussion as the host guides the group through questions about locally relevant topics. The hearth also has a speaker that enables hosts to play clips from previous conversations to prompt discussion and cross-pollinate diverse perspectives across the community.
Opening a new local listening channel
LVN provides a new, grounded way for people to understand and engage with one another in their community. It also serves to amplify under-heard voices and perspectives for other local stakeholders (journalists, public officials, political candidates) who wish to tune into the community’s concerns. Along with hosts and participants themselves, participating stakeholders can search the aggregated LVN conversations, listen to audio snippets and discover new perspectives in the community.