USC Center for Public Relations Presents #PRFuture

Dinner Discussions and Democracy: Breaking Through Polarization with Philippa Hughes

Episode Summary

Social sculptor Philippa Hughes has been hosting dinners with Democrats and Republicans to discuss politics and break through polarization at a grassroots level since 2016. In this episode, Philippa discusses what she’s learned through her experiences and research, and how we can start to have meaningful discussions around polarizing topics in our communities and as communications professionals.

Episode Notes

From cooking red and blue spaghetti while hosting Democrats and Republicans around her dining room table to leading dinner events with hundreds of people from diverse political viewpoints in communities across the nation, social sculptor Philippa Hughes has been entrenched in the polarization issues that plague our country, and intent on solving them through grassroots efforts to start conversations. Her dinner series, “Looking for America,” aims to bring people together across the political divide to have frank conversations about politics and try and find common ground. 

In this episode, Fred and Philippa discuss the current state of polarization nationwide, trends in political conversation that Philippa has identified through her work and how we might be able to help bridge the great political divide as communications professionals.

This discussion is part of our series previewing the 2021 Global Communication Report, available now at


Featuring: Philippa Hughes (@philippahughes_), Social Sculptor 


Host: Fred Cook (@fredcook), Chairman Emeritus of Golin, a global PR firm. Author of “Improvise - Unorthodox Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO” and Director of the USC Center for Public Relations


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