“The idea for the first Germany Talks event came about after Donald Trump had been elected president, Britain had voted for Brexit and France was on the verge of electing a right-wing president. Western societies seemed increasingly divided.
ZEIT ONLINE’s editorial team asked itself: What can we do to overcome polarization? How can we help our readers to have a conversation outside their own filter bubble?
On May 4, 2017, ZEIT ONLINE posted a widget on its homepage with the question: “May we introduce you to someone?” After a couple of weeks, 12,000 people had registered through the widget in the hopes of meeting someone in their neighborhood with a different political perspective.”
Germany Talks led to the creation of My Country Talks. In 2018, comparable events were organized for Italy, Austria, Germany (again), and Switzerland. In 2019, Finland, Belgium, Italy, all of Europe, Norway, Denmark, and Britain held events.