Spring 2024 Course: MIT MAS.S61 Constructive Communication Systems: From Ancient Wisdoms to Social Dialogue Networks

Hearing the humanity in others is necessary for our democracy to function. Drawing inspiration from ancient wisdoms, such as facilitated dialogue, deep listening, and community organizing, we will explore ways to harness modern digital and AI technologies to foster constructive communication with depth and scale.


This course focuses on designing and scaffolding constructive communication processes grounded in dialogue, facilitation, and deep listening that can help communities find common ground and explore shared understanding across experiences, diverse perspectives, and divides leading to deeper connections, trusted relationships, and healing. By incorporating co-design and participatory research methodologies, we’ll explore how decentralized control allows individuals and groups to participate in creating and shaping their communication spaces. Harnessing generative AI, interactive data visualization, and through transparent design processes, we’ll explore how advanced technologies can enable sensemaking and learning at scale, always steered by humans who hold ultimate authority and responsibility in the interpretation and elevation of the voices of others. If you want to join the class, please fill out this interest form. Enrollment will be limited to a maximum of 20 students.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand and expand on the concept of constructive communication through dialogue, facilitation, and deep listening practices.
  • Learn how to use tools and methods developed at CCC in a variety of contexts.
  • Design features of human-led and technology-powered communication spaces that can be used to build conversations across experiences, differences, and divides.
  • Learn practical skills and use of tools to facilitate and analyze constructive facilitated experiences.