Abstract submitted for Passion Talks 16, held August 12-13, 2016 in Mt. View, California.
America is experiencing a level of political and cultural polarization not seen since the 1960’s. In this talk, I will explore how productive work can be a powerful tool for breaking down the assumptions, habits, and tribal structures that contribute to social polarization. I will start by presenting a simple conceptual model of the causes of polarizations, then discuss two case studies from my experiences at MIT and Apple demonstrating how to use that model to bring together mutually suspicious communities. I will end with suggestions for how technologists, entrepreneurs, and activists might leverage this model to better achieve their societal and business goals.