Amid the noise of change, tuning in to one another becomes more important than ever. This year, we have a collective opportunity to reset, to listen, and to make strides toward creating real impact in our communities. DISQO is proud to have sponsored a recent NYC Women in Research (WIRe) virtual event, which centered its discussion around open communication on relatable issues we’re all facing today.

In order to set the stage for honest conversation, it’s important to be flexible and compassionate towards new perspectives. When a movement for social justice began days before the event, WIRe quickly adapted to include the important topic — helping to build a stronger community where people feel comfortable to share their advice and experiences with one another.

The conversation began with a Q&A with Kalinda Fisher, creator of The Great Reset, an organization that encourages conversations with people of diverse thought. What started as a conversation among community members in Fisher’s living room, has turned into a global movement. A handful of strangers who are open to talking about real issues: that’s the simple foundation of The Great Reset, which strives to “break down barriers and build trust” among communities.

“Conversation isn’t’ just important, it’s imperative. Without conversation, we cannot understand another person’s perspective. If we can’t understand, we can’t empathize. If we can’t empathize, we can’t connect.”
— Kalinda Fisher

As the owner of a market research company, Fisher decided to pursue this passion project and was excited by the overwhelming interest she received from people across the nation. She then launched a “listening tour”, to better allow the voices of marginalized populations to be heard. Fisher stated, “People want a space to be heard. People want a space to share their stories. People want a space to connect with other human beings and build a level of empathy and trust.”

One may think it may be difficult to hold deep conversations on sensitive topics with strangers, but Fisher emphasized the need for patience and understanding. “If you come with humility and respect, people will give that back to you”, she stated.

Here are her top tips for anyone interested in starting their own passion project:

  • Align with others who can help. Creating your own community of people with a shared passion for the goal of your organization is critical. Don’t be afraid to accept when others offer you help.
  • Manage your time well. “This comes down to balance”, Fisher stated. It’s really easy to start a new project and give it everything. But this may cause other priorities to fall behind. Organize your tasks and time well to eliminate stress.
  • Be brave. Fisher emphasized two things: “show yourself grace” and “have a plan.” Don’t let your fears or anxieties keep you from starting a passion project. Create a plan that works for your lifestyle, embrace it, and pursue it boldly.

“We need to understand the lens with which other people look”, Fisher stated. Compassion and openness is what can move our ideas forward and this starts by sharing our own stories and experiences with each other.

Following this session, attendees were split into different breakout rooms to hold their own intimate discussions. Bonnie Breslauer and AJ Keirans of DISQO, each facilitated rooms to exchange thoughts on changing habits in our personal and professional lives, advice for work-life balance, and new behaviors to take with us post-COVID. Common themes involved a new level of authenticity, that has emerged from getting to know professional colleagues and clients in a more intimate way.

As noted by Breslauer after the event, “We are now seeing a window into people’s lives, and have a better sense of being together. Let’s take our authenticity with us post-COVID!”

About The Great Reset

The Great Reset is a social enterprise founded in February 2018. It encourages conversation with people of diverse thought to increase understanding and build community. Learn more about The Great Reset here.

About WIRe

WIRe champions diversity in the market research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections, and stay inspired. They believe in the positive impact of women in business, and their mission is to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry.