What is the Deep Canvass Institute?

People’s Action Institute and the New Conversation Institute are partnering to launch the Deep Canvass Institute to teach the practice of deep canvassing to an unprecedented number of volunteers, member organizations, and movement allies. 

The Deep Canvass Institute is a revolutionary innovation in movement technology. It will train a vast base of volunteers on how to listen without judgment, share heartfelt stories that can bind us together, and process conflicts in ways that result in monumental cultural, social, and political shifts.

By practicing compassion, deep listening, and democratic values at a mass interpersonal level, the Deep Canvass Institute will contribute to building institutional cultures where people can sustainably engage across differences.

Why do we exist?

The spiraling polarization and unfettered misinformation we face today threaten the very fabric of our democracy.  The methodology of deep canvassing is proving capable of counteracting these trends with a new adaptation of the oldest tool in our movement: conversation. 

Deep canvassing is a methodology recognized as far more effective than traditional campaign persuasion programs.

In an era redefined by a national pandemic, isolation, and hyperpolarization, we recognize the importance and urgency of connection between people through conversation.

What is our mission?

Our mission is to train volunteers and organizations how to listen without judgment, share heartfelt stories that bind us together, and process conflicts in ways that result in cultural, social, and political shifts. 

Deep canvassing is a practical conversation model and training approach that offer anyone the ability to connect across difference and to advocate persuasively across disagreement. Deep canvassing centers on engaging in conversation in a non-judgmental way that invites honesty and focuses on sharing stories instead of facts and arguments.

Deep canvass interactions reach people on a deeply emotional level, and can shift deep-seated attitudes and prejudices in a way that few other approaches have achieved. The evidence shows that deep canvass conversations leave the people on both sides feeling more trusting and connected to one another than when they began.

The Deep Canvass Institute will help to train individuals, organizers organizations to be trained to use this tool and stands to make a transformational impact on how many everyday people, advocates and institutions engage in conversations that heal and transform instead of entrench and divide.