Our project that we propose will continue the overall mission of Oregon Humanities in creating dialogue between people who are unlikely will meet and discuss current issues. Under the current situation with COVID-19, these discussions can no longer happen in person which is why Oregon Humanities is going virtual with their conversations. As a team, we thought that having discussions online decreases the costs that people insure when attending an in person dialogue. Focusing on the geographic location trajectory Oregon Humanities does already, we want to continue doing that virtually in making sure that there are diverse opinions being shared. Another component that we consider important is having these virtual discussions still hold a deeper connection even if the participants aren’t in front of one another.
Since The Conversation Project is focused on having discussions with people from the same area, my team and I were wondering how going online would have an effect on that. In our latter posts about the organization, we discussed how cost outweighed the benefits for people who viewed the transportation and time as too costly to attend the event. Even though having conversations online would take out the transportation cost, another cost arises which is that of access to the internet and to an electronic device. As students who are active on the internet, we sometimes seem to forget that people can not afford or simply do not have a way to connect with others that are not in person. This helps to acknowledge the stakeholders that are present to this idea of our project. In order to expand this circle of people who can access our version of the discussion, an implementation needs to be considered. As a team, we were thinking of ways of getting the word onto the streets of neighborhoods as to how more people can hear about it. Possibly we could interact with neighborhood or city representatives and pitch our idea as to how we would want to alleviate stress and form bonds with our project. I know that in my city, the council has been sending emails and flyers for resources that people may need during these times. Outside of these circumstances that we are in, these form of communication can still work and perhaps even better than word of mouth since they are visually advertising the discussion.
Lastly, in order to keep a vast amount of diversity we wanted to reach out specifically to indigenous and natives and ask if they would want to join. Since our discussion topic is based on land significance and management, having someone from a group of people who have been affected by that specifically by the government could raise questions and open other people’s minds. The importance of this is how Heterodox Academy explains the importance of ideological diversity on all platforms. This correlates to the importance of where people stand on the topic, not that we should have a say in who participates or doesn’t based on their opinion but to give the opportunity of everyone to be able to join. Native tribes from different areas in Oregon take part in the discussion based on their location combined with other classes’ of Oregonians could help in reaching the ultimate goal of The Conversation Project in simply sharing stories.