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Moderators - Sophia Kishkovsy & Artem Samarsky

Cinemetography - J Mitchell Johnson, Kim Spencer / Project Consultant - J Mitchell Johnson / Edited By - Stanislov Kirienko


In the fourth session of Whom Do We Trust 2018, moderated by Sophia Kishkovsky and Artem Samarsky, Russian college students Abul Y. and Alina P. and American students Jadie M. and Nathan D. were asked to discuss possible solutions to the issues and questions raised throughout Whom Do We Trust 2018.


How do we combat breakdown cultural misconceptions and xenophobia? How should we deal with the rise of fake news? How do we confront our own biases and help those in our communities to recognize and mitigate their biases?


One commonly discussed strategy was to increase education around critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning. This strategy recognized need on both the organizational level (secondary and post-secondary curriculum, nongovernmental agencies) and on the personal level (encouraging family, friends, peers, and colleagues to question everything and to conduct their own research on important issues). Within this strategy, students and participants were urged to consider their personal responsibility to lead by example and to discuss their experiences at Whom Do We Trust 2018 with those in their daily life.


Students, moderators, and audience participants discussed technology as a tool for counteracting misinformation (fake news) and biased. Some recommended the use of fact-checking websites. Others offered concepts for social media platforms dedicated to bringing together people with different backgrounds and opposing beliefs. One member of the audience discussed the possibility of a storytelling platform that would enable people around the world to relate to one another over similar life experiences.


The concept of citizen diplomacy was held as being crucial to these efforts. In reflecting on their experiences at Whom Do We Trust 2018, students expressed the need for increased awareness of this valuable tool. Person-to-person engagement with citizens from different countries and ideological groups, they said, is necessary to helping people realize that we are more similar than we are different. That, largely, we want the same things out of life.


One audience participant gave voice to the idea that it is imperative that citizen diplomacy efforts be focused on younger generations, who are capable now more than ever of reaching larger audiences via social networking than the generations that came before them.

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