Coronavirus - Dark Clouds, Silver Linings

Months into the pandemic, Americans are experiencing it in a multitude of ways. For some, our adjusted reality has brought only dark clouds. Others have found at least some "silver linings" in the way we live now.  

The goals of this short, 30-minute conversation are to:

  • Give you an opportunity to share and reflect on "where you are now" in your own experience of the pandemic.
  • Give you a hands-on experience of guided conversation on our purpose-built platform.
  • Request your feedback on the experience (5-minute online survey).
You will only be testing and evaluating AllSides Connect's realtime conversation features.  Our platform also offers sign-up, matching, grouping, and scheduling support for organizations seeking to host online, guided conversations for smaller or larger groups.
Related Resources
  • Learn more about AllSides Connect.
  • Sign up for free to host your own 1:1 or small group conversations on the platform (choose your own topic from our library).
  • Please remember to fill in our feedback survey once you've completed your conversation.
Round 1 (~5 minutes)

Say Hello as People Join, Review the Technical Guidelines

Greet other conversation participants as they join; share who you are and where you're from!  While waiting to get underway, review these technical guidelines for a smooth conversation experience:

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Complete each conversation round together. Each person then clicks "Next Round" to proceed to the next round.  

Keep an eye on the time.
The countdown timer helps you stay on track. You will not be forced to move through the rounds at a specific pace; you can agree to speak longer.

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo. When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Having audio or video problems?
Try refreshing your browser - you'll come right back into the conversation. If this doesn't work, click "Need Help" for troubleshooting tips. 

Please report any technical issues or problems in the feedback survey. 
We want to know if anything didn't work well for you in this conversation.  Please send screenshots to
Round 2 (~5 minutes)

Review the Conversation Guidelines

These will set the tone of your conversation; take turns reading them out loud.

Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. Listen closely for how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.

Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. 
Round 3 (~5 minutes)

Get to Know Each Other

Each participant should take 1-2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
  • What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
Round 4 (~10 minutes)

Listen and Share to Understand

NOTE: This round is usually longer, but we're shortening it for the hackathon!  Each participant should take 2-3 minutes to answer one of the following questions, without interruption or crosstalk. If time permits, go around a second time, choosing another question.

  • For you personally, how has coronavirus brought dark clouds into your life?
  • For you personally, how has coronavirus brought silver linings into your life?
  • Looking ahead 3-5 years, do you think your own future will be impacted more by coronavirus' dark clouds or its silver linings? Why?
Round 5 (~5 minutes)

Reflect and Share Takeaways

Each participant should take 1-2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
  • What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
  • What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
Round 6 (~2 minutes)

Say Goodbye, Complete the Survey

Congratulations, and thank you for participating in our hackathon!  We are extremely grateful for your time and feedback.  Please reach out to us anytime at

Please say goodbye to one another before you
click here (or at the link below) to launch and complete our feedback survey.  The survey will replace this view in your browser. Thanks!