At Harvard Kennedy School, we are committed to strengthening the ability of our students, staff, and faculty to have candid and constructive conversations across difference.

The ability to disagree constructively and across difference is not only important for learning and working together effectively—it is a core competency for public leaders and policymakers.

Erica Chenoweth photo

“Given its mission, HKS can and must lead in addressing the deep divisions that exist in our societies today, and we must also strengthen our own norms, practices, and culture around candid and constructive conversation.”

Erica Chenoweth, HKS Academic Dean for Faculty Engagement and the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment

HKS experts debate the role of constructive disagreement in a democratic society

During an event in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on January 25, HKS Professors Archon Fung, Danielle Allen, Arthur Brooks, Eliana La Ferrara, and Cornell Brooks discussed how open inquiry, candid conversations across difference, and intellectual vitality contribute to democracy and social cohesion. Watch a recording below and read more about the event.

Candid and Constructive Conversations
Our goal is to foster an environment of openness, humility, and respect necessary for the robust exchange of ideas.
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