Harvard Kennedy School is committed to strengthening the ability of our students, staff, and faculty to have candid and constructive conversations across difference.
Our goal is to foster an environment of openness, humility, and respect necessary for the robust exchange of ideas. We seek to rigorously engage with competing perspectives, talk with those with whom we disagree, and ensure that all members of our community feel heard and respected. The ability to disagree constructively and across difference is important for learning and working together effectively, and it is a core competency for public leaders and policymakers.
A team of faculty, staff, and students worked from the fall of 2022 to the fall of 2023 to assess the challenges that HKS faces in fostering candid and constructive conversations and to develop a strategy and recommendations for overcoming those challenges. We are now implementing these recommendations.
HKS faculty on candid conversations
- News as the civic infrastructure that can help overcome political divides
- Making policy during a period dominated by anxiety and toxic politics
- How to have constructive conversations with people we strongly disagree with
- Citizens need to step up to protect democracy
- In this era of polarization, even enemies can negotiate
- How to have receptive conversations
- Answering democracy's most pressing research questions
- We’ve lost our way on campus. Here’s how we can find our way back
- Israel and Gaza: How did we get here? Where are we going?
- Utah Governor Spencer Cox and HKS faculty member Julia Minson agree: We have to disagree better
- The psychology of disagreement with Julia Minson
- Saving democracy is too important to leave “to nerds like me”
- For the Sake of Argument
- Student handbook
- Harvard ombuds
- Harvard CAMHS
- Intercollegiate Civil Disagreement Partnership
- Harvard EAP
- Harvard Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging—Community Dialogue Series
- The Design Studio at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics
- HBS Community Values