Viewpoint Diversity in Tech and Innovation Forum

In today’s politically polarized society, it is more important than ever to aim to understand those with whom we disagree. This forum will bring together students and professionals representing diverse viewpoints to discuss their perspectives on policy and technical questions surrounding innovations in big tech, social media policy, and the future of AI. The goal of this event is to enable a small group of twenty students and four academics or professionals in the field (to be announced soon) to engage in substantive conversation about these issues and build skills for engaging in complicated issues with nuance and civility. During the event, students will engage with the speakers and other students during panel discussions, large and small group sessions, and reading and writing exercises with the aim to understand a diverse set of viewpoints surrounding tech policy. This event is co-hosted by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy.

There is no cost to attend this event. Meals Thursday night through Friday night will be provided. Travel and lodging will be arranged and provided as needed.

The forum is part of the Mercatus Center’s larger Pluralist Lab, an effort to foster open mindedness and mutual forbearance while actively demonstrating how we can exchange ideas and coexist with our fellow citizens across deep divides. The Pluralist Lab hosts forums like this one in order to encourage experimentation and development of new tools for improving civil discourse in professional and everyday life. We are hopeful that this series of conversations on the core values and current challenges to a free, open, and equal society will yield the understanding and tools necessary for rejuvenating them.

Eligibility: Students of all majors at the graduate or undergraduate level

Event Date: Thursday evening, April 21, 2022 – Friday evening, April 22, 2022

Application Deadline: Friday, February 6th, 2022

Location: UCLA, Los Angeles, California. This is an onsite event, adhering to COVID risk mitigation per UCLA, Los Angeles County, and California guidelines in place at the time of the event.

Contact: Sarah Wright,

Note: The final page of this application consists of four short response questions. You will have a max of 1,500 characters (~250 words) to respond to each.

  1. Please describe your interest in attending this event.
  2. Who is one of your intellectual influences and how have they shaped your worldview?
  3. What is something that you used to firmly believe, but have since changed your mind about? What changed your mind, or influenced you to change your beliefs?

*Students will be notified of their application status by Friday, February 11, 2022.

For more information, please visit:


Apr 21 - 22 2022


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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