About the Make Shift Coffee House

Food.   Music.   Conversation.

To understand each other’s political views, and hang out.

The Make Shift Coffee House is a place for people with different views to exchange and consider different views. It’s not about persuading or converting each other but simply seeing where each other is coming from.

In the new digital age it’s easy to choose our sources of information and reinforce what we already believe. It’s easy to build opinions in isolation, each of us interacting with our own computer screen. It’s easy to avoid talking face-to-face.

The Make Shift Coffee House is a face-to-face place, in real time, with good old fashioned civic dialogue.

guitar-playerConservatives have more power right now in Washington and in Augusta but it seems none-the-less in conservatives’ best interest to understand the roots of liberal opposition; understand where liberals are coming from. Liberals are upset and scared for the future but with conservatives in charge it seems in liberals’ best interests to understand the roots of conservative popularity; understand where conservatives are coming from. And every side wishes that the other side better understood them!

Understanding each other helps us get along with each other.

Make Shift Coffee Houses are facilitated by Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions. A professional meeting moderator, Craig facilitates a civil exchange of ideas as a neutral third party. It’s not about judging right or wrong or good or bad, it’s about understanding each others’ perspectives.

Learn about our first Make Shift Coffee House here, including a newspaper article, a radio interview, and comments by people who were there.

What Makes the Make Shift Coffee House Unique?

There are many types of forums for political discussions, from formal town hall meetings to informal kitchen table conversations. Lots or organizations are experimenting right now with different formats. Lots of people who want to talk politics!

Here’s what is unique about this format:

1. It’s about understanding. Just understanding. Not persuading or agreeing.

2. We are all experts. Everyone has something important to say. There is no one talking from the front of the room who is more expert than anyone else.

3. We are respectful of each other. There is no blaming or shaming. All points of view are listened to with respect.

4. There’s live music to help lighten the mood. There is art in the air to ground us.

5. There’s food to bring us together in the breaking of bread. And other drinks. And of course there is coffee.

Make Shift Coffee House Guidelines

Explained at the start of every session:

Speak from your experience.

Listen to understand.

Everyone gets a turn.

No one criticizes.

Neutral facilitation.

Get Involved?

Stuff like this doesn’t happen without people like you.

Want to be notified of future Make Shift Coffee Houses?

Sign up here and we’ll keep you posted

Want to volunteer?

It would be really great if someone took over managing this website and/or took responsibility for blabbing about the Make Shift Coffee House all over social media. Other tasks needed too. Please click here if you would like to help.

Want a Make Shift Coffee House in YOUR community?

Click here to see what we are looking for.