The Mercatus Center’s first Pluralism Summit will take place September 7-9, 2023, at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park in Falls Church, Virginia. This event will bring together public intellectuals, practitioners, student ambassadors, and others from across the country who are advancing pluralism and civil discourse. We will network, share ideas, and inspire each other towards fostering robust and confident pluralism.
The great aspiration of the American founding was that people from varying backgrounds and walks of life can coexist and live together peacefully. In order to fulfill this aspiration, each generation needs to re-learn the concepts and tools that help bring us together as fellow citizens, so we can teach the next generation, in order to sustain the ethos of pluralism. Especially in polarized times, we need to develop and share ideas of the best practices that make peaceful coexistence possible. This knowledge sharing as well as network building, is what this summit seeks to achieve.
The Summit will feature a mix of traditional keynotes, TED-type talks, and Unconference-style sessions. If you would like to read more about how Unconferences can help you unleash innovative ideas, read this Forbes article explaining the added value of this conference format.
Sessions will be grouped under four thematic tracks:
Institutions and Liberal Values – how to build the institutions, values, and norms that sustain a liberal society
Cultural Trends – understanding and thinking through how to challenge the various trends or “isms” that have sprung up over the past several years that divide our country and threaten pluralism and civil discourse
Social Psychology – exploring the rise in loneliness, fear, and anxiety that drive some to attach themselves to illiberal ideologies
Pluralism in Practice – identifying the most useful tools for effectively engaging people across deep divides
In addition, we will showcase effective practices from top civil society organizations involved with bridging divides.