016: The World Talks—a global dialogue experiment

Greetings, Harry here and this newsletter is about an absolutely rad project we worked on over the last months: The World Talks! It’s exactly what it says on the tin: You sign up by answering a short survey, get matched with somebody halfway across the globe and on the 25th of June you’ll meet online for a private 1:1 conversation to exchange ideas, stories, and perspectives.

Posted by Harry Keller on May 19, 2023

I’ve already signed up myself, along with almost 3000 others from over 80 countries! The goal is to get participants from as many countries as possible, and you can track the progress on this little page we designed and built for the event: theworldtalks.org

A screenshot of the website for The World Talks, showing a globe with dots for each country, some of them colored in. On top is a headline that reads “One day. One world. One-on-on conversations. Join 2,320 participants and sign up now!”
A (slightly outdated) screenshot of the event website

Of course, a project of this scope involves countless people working behind the scenes: Kudos to the ever-inventive folks at ZEIT ONLINE who came up with this logical next step after Deutschland spricht and Europe talks, Sara and Hanna from My Country Talks for their tireless work to get this through the door, all the newspapers and media partners teaming up here, Super Keen for the event branding and Bitcrowd for developing new features for the My Country Talks software (which underpins the whole project)! On our side, we’ve done product ownership on the web app, worked on messaging integration, designed and built the event website and gave input during the conceptual phase last summer.

A project like this never evolves in a straight line… I could fill entire pages with the early ideas that weren’t pursued, the features that didn’t make the cut or the compromises we had to make during product development, BUT all that would distract from the most crucial bit: Sign up now (yes, you!) and talk to a stranger (future friend?) somewhere else in the world! Even better: Tell a colleague, friend or family member about it afterwards! I am so curious and can’t wait for my conversation in June!

Needless to say: If you have similarly bonkers project ideas and need a partner to make them real—you know where to find us!

Wishing you a calm and relaxing weekend,
Harry and the team from Village One

PS: In case you’re unfamiliar with My Country Talks, here’s a short summary from their website:

My Country Talks helps societies around the world to connect over the issues that divide them. Our unique matching algorithm makes it easy for media, nonprofits and governments to fight polarisation, arguably one of the most important issues facing society today. We help break people out of their filter bubbles, build empathy, and work to define common values that strengthen democracy - all with just a conversation.

Stronger together: Come along for the ride!

The Villager’s Dispatch

Subscribe to our newsletter

Virtual office hours

Got a project to discuss or simply want to say hello? Book a video call right away!

See office hours

We’re on Mastodon

Our main social presence is on Mastodon, follow for inspiration and regular updates:

Follow along