Cortico aims to foster constructive public conversation in communities and the media that improves our understanding of one another.
What We Do
A non-profit in cooperation with the MIT Media Lab, Cortico builds systems that bring under-heard community voices, perspectives and stories to the center of a healthier public dialogue.
How We Do It
Cortico’s Local Voices Network (LVN) combines in-person and digital listening to host, analyze and connect community conversations at scale. This includes:
Facilitating in-person community dialogue that enables participants to listen, learn, speak and be heard
Building a digital network that connects facilitators and conversations across political and cultural boundaries
Opening a new local listening channel for journalists, leaders and the community at large
Why It's Important
Our media environment prioritizes national perspectives and our politics reinforce divisive tribalism. Local citizenries, however, share a lived community experience. Today, too many of these local voices — be they from red counties or blue cities — go unheard, drowned out by hyperpartisan noise and toxic public dialogue. Social media, designed to connect us, has also divided us into insular “tribes” hostile toward outside views and ripe for the spread of false news, hateful discourse, and extremism. We need to create a new civic space for local voices to be heard in civil, empathic public conversation that heals divisions in communities from the inside out.