Katherine Cramer, PhD, UW-Madison Professor of Political Science, gained national acclaim with her book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness and the Rise of Scott Walker, published in March 2016. After the overwhelming response to her book, Kathy Cramer wanted her work to move beyond simply unearthing resentments. A speaking engagement at Harvard in March 2017 gave her that opportunity. Following her participation in a Conference analyzing the 2016 election, an MIT professor who had been Chief Media Scientist at Twitter, walked up to her and asked, “Who are you?”

From that encounter, the Local Voices Network was born. LVN is a project of Cortico, a nonprofit organization that fosters constructive public conversation in communities and the media to improve our understanding of one another, and the MIT Media Lab.

The Local Voices Network hosts in-person small-group community conversations and, through a digital network, connects these conversations across political, cultural and geographical boundaries. These conversations open a new listening channel for journalists, leaders, and the community-at-large to hear new voices and local perspectives.

Sound complicated? On this program, Professor Cramer describes how it works.