Tim Phillips is the founder and CEO of Beyond Conflict, a non-profit organization that works with leaders to address conflict and promote social change around the world. Since its founding in 1992, Beyond Conflict has worked to support peace talks and paths to democracy in 75 countries. The organization has also become a leader in the effort to catalyze the field of Neuroscience and Social Conflict. Today, Tim will discuss the work Beyond Conflict is doing to combat polarization.
Tim Phillips discusses the shift from a polarization of ideas to a polarization of identity, and how that shift is truly toxic. He believes that the shift from “You and I” to “Us vs. Them” threatens American democracy and the trust citizens have in the country’s institutions. Beyond Conflict has spent years studying the trends of this political shift through the lens of behavioral science. In their work with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, they began studying toxic political polarization in the same vein as a public health threat, focusing on three factors: dehumanization, like and dislike, and disagreement on contentious issues.
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