Real Talk, Real Listening, and Trust
in the Age of Social Media and Generative AI

MIT Center for Constructive Communication Inaugural Symposium

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

MIT Media Lab 

Cambridge, MA

Symposium Overview

A Video Message from Deb Roy



Learn more about CCC

Symposium Overview

Positioned at the intersection of technology, media, and democracy, the Center for Constructive Communication is working to create solutions that address the growing toxic polarization and social fragmentation across our country. Our goal is to convene and nurture a network of individuals and organizations that share our commitment to constructive communication for a healthier democracy. With that in mind, we hope you will commit to staying with us for the entire day.

Over the course of the day, you will 

  • hear from experts on applied AI, social media analysis, and design of trusted social networks 
  • get new perspectives from leaders in the fields of journalism, law, psychology, and political science on societal impacts  
  • explore a research open house to experience interactive demos and meet MIT researchers

In addition to MIT researchers, you will hear from:

  • Raney Aronson-Rath, Executive Producer and Editor-in-Chief, FRONTLINE
  • Katherine J. Cramer, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Oren Etzioni, Technical Director, AI2 Incubator
  • Jonathan Haidt, Professor, New York University Stern School of Business
  • Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners, Co-Founder of LinkedIn and Inflection AI
  • Frank McCourt, Founder, Project Liberty 
  • Martha Minow, Professor, Harvard Law School

A Video Message from CCC Director Deb Roy



April 5 — April 12Real Talk / Real Listening

“What’s your question about the future of democracy?”

In anticipation of the MIT CCC symposium on May 10th, we invite you to join a small group conversation facilitated by CCC leadership and joined by other guests to share your hopes and concerns about the future of democracy and your place in that future. 

In these 45-minute dialogues, you will have the opportunity to experience real talk and real listening, build connections with other participants and create a shared understanding of what you care about the most. The insights from these dialogues will inform the sessions of the symposium, and a curated selection of the most powerful stories and experiences will be shared during the event. On the day of the event, you’ll be able to track your own voice in our growing library of voices and stories and explore how your perspectives and experiences intersect with those of others. 

Sign up for a conversation and reserve your spot (even if you can’t join us in person)!  

Conversations will be hosted and recorded via Zoom.

Wednesday, May 10th

8:00am – 9:00amBreakfast & Registration
9:00am – 5:00pmProgram and Open House
5:00pm – 7:30pmReception

Featured Participants

Raney Aronson-Rath

Executive Producer and Editor-in-Chief, FRONTLINE

Katherine J. Cramer

Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Oren Etzioni

Technical Director, AI2 Incubator

Remote Presenter

Jonathan Haidt

Professor, New York University Stern School of Business

Reid Hoffman

Greylock Partners, Co-Founder of LinkedIn and Inflection AI

Remote Presenter

Frank McCourt

Founder, Project Liberty 

Martha Minow

Professor, Harvard Law School

Learn more about CCC

About Us

Creating more trusted, effective paths for communication across divides requires technologists and humanists working together to research, design, build and test new solutions.

Obama praises CCC’s “great work” in “making online conversations more civil and productive”

“We need to figure out how to give [ourselves] a chance to build up civic muscles,” said Barack Obama in his April 2022 speech on disinformation.


Better democracy through technology

“‘The way we’re speaking with others is fundamentally broken. In every measurable way, things are getting more fractured and polarized.’”

MIT Technology Review | 12.07.2021