The purpose of a DDR is three-fold. First, producing a DDR ishands-on learning ofdisagreement skills: dialogue, investigation, critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem solving, deliberation and more. Second, DDRs renew our faith in the American process of compromise– it still works!Third, these Deep Dive Teams look a lot like you and me, only theysigned up for 6 to 8 meetings as aDeep-Dive-Tour-of-Duty (brave patriotism, indeed!). So, thethird purpose is to share their report with millions of us everyday citizens who don’t have time to do it now.

Ok, there are 2 more purposes! Fourth, these reports can shift the negative media tide. Which media channels are unwilling to tell the story of diverse Americans who agree?! And fifth, these DDRs become voices of We The People. And these voices of We The People then give our leaders a firmer foundation to act from.

We expect that everyone will want to participate at some point in their life – it’s a great way to serve your country and to learn disagreement life skills! There are 3 basic requirements for participation: (1)be an alumni + (2)make a commitment + (3)desire to live the ground rules. Alumni: those who have experience the Dinner and a Fight (Dialogue) eventbecome alumni because they have had the“eye-opening-experience” of breaking through our citizenship-apathy. Commitment: we call Deep Diving a tour-of-duty because it is hard work, takes time, and your teammates need you to be there. Ground Rules: you don’t have to do the ground rules perfectly, but you do have to strive to live-up-to the ground rules. Click here for ground rules. 

The Deep Dive Team process typicallywill include8 to 14 members, for 6 to 8 meetings of 1.5 hour duration, over 2-4 months. Logistics are made easiest by using on-line video conferencing, although teams may choose to have add a mix of meeting face-to-face. While each member is asked to be a player and coach, there are typical roles on the team of: the head-coach, the scribe, the timekeeper, and the team manager/coordinator. The general path of the team is to move through an information collecting / exploring phase (diverging phase), then a phase of mapping the problem space, and the early solution space. As the problem statement becomes clearer, a variety of solution ideas emerge, differences become even more clear, and some find resolution (a converging phase). Members propose resolution ideas, and members volunteer attempts atwriten summaries. It can be a messy process made easier by the trust that is built.
The amount of preparation depends on you. Some team members like to be full of information and research upon arrival. Others like to arrive “empty” and ready for processing. Both types of members are a gift to the team. We like to say that “you’ve been collecting information for decades.” However, as the team is trying to make a very informed decision, one that can be appreciated by millions of other citizens, please don’t be surprised if you are encouraged to expand your research.

Until our operating systems become more automated, we ask that you click here to let us know that you wish to join a team. 

The Deep Dive Team process typically will include 8 to 14 members, for 6 to 8 meetings of 1.5 hour duration, over 2-4 months.

The best hosts are skilled at communicating (keeping the team informed), skilled at organizing (recruiting the diverse team members; holding the team together), skilled at being impartial and realistically optimistic, gathers team feedback and considers adjustments to serve the team. The host is like the team manager, or assistant coach. If you wish to explore the host role further, click here

We encourage the DDTeams to follow a basicDDReport format. In this way, the format will improve over time, and readers will learn what to expect, and where to find it. Click here for examples of reports. 

There are several ways that a Deep Dive Topic can be chosen. Sometimes a divisive or complex issue may be “hot now” within a specific population – for example, the issue of CRT (Critical Race Theory) in a local school district. In such a case, a local leadership team will select the topic. Other times, the issue may be chronic or rather long lasting, and felt across a wider population – for example, the issue of gerrymandering in a state, may benefit from a Deep Dive. In such a case, we use polling techniques to prioritize topics. Anyone may suggest a topic.
The published report isintended to include areas of consensus agreement – all members in agreement – and it is rare that nothing can be agreed upon. However, some topics are so large and complex (sometimes referred to as “wicked problems”) that the team runs short of time, but can write their findings, which will include the primary disagreements uncovered. This is progress! There is a saying in this work “a problem well defined is half solved.” We agree.
We hope that DDTopics are repeated. We do not consider any Deep Dive Report to be the final word. There are 3,006 counties in America. Imagine if every county did a Deep Dive on just one topic per year. That would be 3,006 DDReports per year. There would certainly be some overlap, which is great to assure that we see well-rounded views and assures that the process cannot be corrupted by “fake teams.”
Diversity of thought is critical for a team to achieve the fullestview of a divisive or complex topic. Achieving diversity of thought will often include diversity of heritage, political leanings, religion, education, wealth, age, gender, etc. Small teams of 8-14 are likely to lack some diversity. Therefore, when a DDReport is published, we encourage feedback from the broader population. The DDReport is never the last-word. Rather it is a step toward deeper and deeper understanding.
To wring out our bias, we wish to always:describe the team diversity for the reader, invite feedback that can be considered by the next DDTeam, and in some cases the Report may be updated by the Team based on the feedback.