Ask Big Questions works with colleges, universities, and organizations to engage young adults in reflective community conversations about purpose, identity, and responsibility. These conversations build trust, strengthen community, and deepen understanding across lines of difference. Since 2011, Ask Big Questions has trained over 900 student leaders, faculty, and staff on 92 campuses in our method of community conversation, engaging over 25,000 students.
Our trainers equip student leaders with the tools they need to lead conversations with groups of their peers. By structuring conversations around questions that matter to everyone and that everyone can answer, students go beyond the surface level of difficult discussions and find the common ground of shared stories and experiences. As a result, they learn new things about themselves and each other.
This model leads to positive change—in both individual and group behaviors. Students who participate in Ask Big Questions conversations report significant, lasting increases in their ability to listen, to understand their own values and beliefs and those of others, and to demonstrate the skills and attributes of empathetic, engaged citizenship. They build the trust necessary to work on common problems in more civil, productive ways. And the students who lead these conversations report even more significant gains in their abilities to facilitate group work, to strategize creatively, and to design productive approaches to community challenges.