Deliberation Dinners

The UW-Madison Deliberation Dinners is a pilot program run by The Discussion Project in 2023-24. It is separate from The Discussion Project course. Please click here for further information.

Why run the UW-Madison Deliberation Dinners?

  • The purpose of the Deliberation Dinners is to provide students the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with other students about important public issues in a setting that exposes them to multiple and competing ideas.
  • The Deliberation Dinners will use a particular form of discussion called deliberation. Discussion writ large is focused inquiry through speaking and listening that is purposeful, broadly collaborative, and leads to deeper understanding through analysis of different perspectives. And deliberation is a discussion that answers the question, “What shall we do?” — without requiring or seeking consensus. 

What is the structure of the Deliberation Dinners?

  • The Deliberation Dinners pilot program will bring together twelve groups of ten UW–Madison undergraduate students (a total of 120 students) for a series of seven, two-hour sessions throughout the 2023-24 academic year.
  • All of the dinners will be held on a Monday night in Varsity Hall at Union South. Here are the dates of the dinners:
    • Monday, October 23, 2023
    • Monday, November 20, 2023
    • Monday, December 11, 2023
    • Monday, January 29, 2024
    • Monday, February 12, 2024
    • Monday, March 4, 2024
    • Monday,  April 8, 2024
  • Each group of ten students will be matched with one UW-Madison faculty member who will facilitate deliberation.
  • Faculty Facilitators have all taken The Discussion Project, and thus have specialized training in discussion pedagogy.