Capturing real conversation in Madison

Launching January 2019, LVN Madison welcomes all of Madison to listen, learn, speak and be heard. More than fifty Conversation Corps hosts, representing Madison’s full diversity, will organize and guide hundreds of small-group conversations throughout the city. Join us and share your thoughts and stories about life in Madison.

Join a Conversation

LVN Madison Background

Our goal is to bring the perspectives and concerns of ordinary citizens to light, as a way to connect members of a community to one another; to promote civic engagement; and to encourage journalism that reflects and responds to local issues.

LVN Madison is a collaboration between the non-profit Cortico, Madison Public Library and a growing number of individuals and institutions in the greater Madison area. While some parts of LVN have been piloted in other parts of the country, this is the first implementation of the full public conversation network.


Leading our LVN Madison effort is Katherine Cramer, University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor. Kathy’s landmark study of life in rural Wisconsin ("The Politics of Resentment") drew on the same kind of deep, local listening at the heart of LVN Madison.


Several Madison media outlets, including the Cap Times as an LVN Madison partner, plan to employ conversation content in their local reporting -- with our goal being to fuel stories that are truer reflections of life on the ground throughout all Madison communities.


Dozens of conversation hosts have stepped forward to form our LVN Madison Conversation Corps. Corps members have volunteered to be trained on LVN, to recruit participants from their respective communities and to organize and host multiple group conversations.


Multiple mayoral candidates have committed to tuning into LVN Madison conversations and incorporating (often under-heard) community voices and concerns into their campaigns -- with our goal being to surface relevant new issues onto the public agenda.

Our Partners


Participate in a Conversation

Share your voice with the community by participating in an LVN conversation.


Host a Conversation

Interesting in being more involved? Sign-up to be a host.


General Questions

Have any questions or comments about LVN? Contact us anytime.

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