Art • Science • Current Issues
turning echo chambers into ecosystems
We’re building a better way to gather and share information.
Imagine an art show, a science fair, and your newsfeed had a baby — and it's ready to get to work.
Aside from media, conferences, and the water cooler, there aren’t a lot of options for learning about current issues. There are even fewer options that present information in engaging, nuanced, and actionable ways. In a world as busy, fast-paced and complicated as ours, we have to stay informed, open, and cooperative if we want an equitable and healthy society. Clickbait headlines and echo chambers simply aren’t good enough. We need an information ecosystem where experts, educators, and creatives from across perspectives can pool insights to design nonpartisan, inclusive spaces for all of us to learn, grow, and have a good time.
The Plenary designs interactive experiences and resources thatThen we package them up and share them with anyone who wants to make a difference in their social circles and communities.
How it Works
We’re breaking down barriers to put knowledge to work.
Everything we do is inspired by what society needs and knows at a particular moment in time.We don’t shy away from particularly polarizing, challenging, or consequential issues that demand a little extra attention to detail. Those are the ones that can benefit the most from an interdisciplinary, nonpartisan, and exploratory setting.
Whether political, professional, or personal, our communities are often extensions of our own perspectives. Artists typically work with artists, scientists with scientists, and techies with techies. There are many ways of knowing, and by breaking down these barriers andwe co-construct learning opportunities that are more novel, balanced, and nuanced than any one group could build alone.
The reality is that not everyone enjoys sitting in lecture halls or listening to podcasts, which means that most casual learning opportunities miss a lot of people. While we’re huge fans of everyday education in all forms, sometimes it helps to be in the middle of the action.— art, music, games, socializing — and turn them into brain food with a purpose.
What’s the point if we don’t have our “facts” straight? Our evidence — whether Western science, scholarship, or traditional knowledge — isWe always triangulate our sources, provide context and citations, and encourage dialogue around the research we share. What we know changes, so all of our initiatives focus on skills and mindsets as much as on the information itself. We work hard to provide the best current thinking on an issue, without telling anyone what to think.
It’s Only Human
It’s Only Human: Exploring the Biases that Shape Our World was an interactive show featuring 25 powerful exhibits on how the human brain constructs our realities.
We hosted renowned Harvard Professor, author, and co-creator of the Implicit Attitudes Test, Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, as well as the work of countless scientists from across fields.
And of course, the food trucks, craft beer, and live DJ turned the space into the study hall we’ve all been dreaming about. For more information, visit the show’s legacy site here.
Stay Tuned. It's Only Human will Open Again Soon!
We make it easy for you to be the change.
You have strong beliefs but also value the opinions of others. You value evidence, but recognize that science is provisional and evolves over time. You believe in science, art, technology, and connection as potential tools for social good, but don’t know exactly how to wield them. You care about the world, but are worried that our polarized political climate isn’t helping. You want to make a difference, but don’t know where to start. Sound familiar?
In addition to our events, we’re building a community of be-the-changers willing to do what they can to center our collective knowledge in our collective conscience.
Change is personal.
Personal activism is just as important as political activism. Personal activism is about grassroots, bottom-up change that’s driven by the choices we make everyday. So many of us share a vision for the world and the way we should treat each other that isn’t represented by a political party — The Plenary is a path to co-creating that world without the labels, starting with the things we can control.
Knowledge actually is power.
There are so many insights across science, art, scholarship, and traditional knowledge that can help steer our personal, professional, and social lives. The problem is that real world knowledge is often complicated, hard-to-access, and always changing, which means we rarely put it to good use. The Plenary is doing the hard part for you — summarizing and centralizing relevant resources and providing engaging activities that make what we collectively know about current issues easy and exciting for you to bring to life.
You've got this.
Change isn’t an exclusive enterprise. You don’t have to change careers or invest your life savings to make a difference. The Plenary is bringing its members turnkey activities and strategies that fit into the life you already lead. Whether you want to start a local study group, bring our events to your city, or simply improve your understanding of your own mind, you can find resources that fit your strengths and your schedule.
We’re creating a nonpartisan, proactive space for people who want to cultivate informed, open, and cooperative communities.
You can join as a supporting member who helps make our work possible or a proactive member committed to taking matters into your own hands. Members have access to activity kits, resources, exclusive perks, and the inspiration they need to drive impact in their personal, social, and professional lives.
So you never have to wonder where to start again.