“The idea behind the Czech Republic talks is to bring together people with dissenting opinions and worldviews to discuss and, more importantly, to listen to each other.
“We feel that we have lost the opportunity to discuss things with people with different opinions because of the serious polarization of Czech society and the social networks in which algorithms are trapping us in the echo chambers.
“Therefore, we wanted to start a face-to-face discussion.”
How do you choose who will participate in these face-to-face discussions?
“We had seven media partners and displayed a set of nine questions on their website.
“We have selected questions on topics that polarize Czech society. Readers of these websites simply answered the questions.
“And based on their answers, we used a special algorithm to bring together couples with very different opinions, and live within 30 kilometers of each other.”
How is it going so far? How is the meeting actually held?
“There was a very nice answer to the question. There were 6,000 answers.
“After that, more than 3,000 people went through the entire registration process and went into the matching phase, and managed to create 1,470 couples.
“Unfortunately, there was a problem after that. Many people don’t seem to be very happy with the discussion partner we chose.
“Therefore, only 210 couples were created where both partners agreed to meet each other.”
I don’t want to say that, because the number of people I actually met was small, it didn’t work out and I think I really don’t want to talk.
“It’s the first year of this experiment in the Czech Republic, so I don’t think I can say that exactly.
“Therefore, many who answered the question feel that they didn’t really know what they were enrolled in.
“But of course, there were some difficulties.
“I think one of the most amazing results for us is that many people don’t want to meet people of another generation, such as my child’s generation, and I tell others. I don’t want to meet. I’m very young. I have nothing to talk to such young people. “
And what kind of feedback did you get from hundreds of people who actually met people who disagree?
“Few people actually meet and we know about them.
“But the feedback from them is great.
“The average conversation time is 119 minutes. That’s absolutely amazing.
“The longest meeting took four and a half hours, and no one spent less than an hour together.
“So I was very successful in terms of the number of people I actually met, but I was very successful in terms of the time I spent together and the number of issues I discussed.”
https://english.radio.cz/new-project-aims-get-czechs-differing-views-talking-offline-8754600 The new project aims to get Czechs with different views to talk offline