Alongside prominent partners in Europe and North America, ZEIT ONLINE is developing an international platform for political debate. The open-source project, called “My Country Talks”, will enable media outlets and institutions around the world to match up people with starkly opposing political views to engage in a personal exchange and direct dialogue. The project is based on the experiences gained through “Germany Talks”. In summer 2017, some 12,000 Germans registered to participate in the ZEIT ONLINE project. They agreed to meet up personally with someone from their neighborhood or region who held opposing political views and to have an hourlong discussion with that person.
The 15 partners currently involved include, among others, The Globe and Mail (Canada), Morgenbladet (Norway), La Repubblica (Italy), Politiken (Denmark) as well as ARD aktuell (the German public broadcaster ARD’s primetime news programs), the newswire DPA, the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel and the Südwest-Presse newspaper in Germany. The City University of New York and the Robert Bosch Foundation are also involved in the project, and further international partners will join soon.
Google is funding the technical implementation. The “My Country talks” platform will be developed by the Berlin based agency diesdas.digital. ZEIT ONLINE and all partners are working on the project in a honorary capacity. A first test of “My Country Talks“ is being planned for later this year in Germany and several partner countries.