Sasha Rickard | 2018 | Interns

Sasha Rickard

Sasha Rickard (’19)

Washington, DC

Dana Mead Intern

Computer Science and Ancient and Medieval Studies Major

The Aspen Institute and Better Angels Society

This summer I worked at the Aspen Institute on an initiative called Weave: The Social Fabric Project. The project aims to address the national problems of loneliness and social isolation by identifying and promoting individuals who are successfully building and sustaining robust and meaningful communities around themselves. I interviewed dozens of individuals about the community building work that they do in an attempt to better understand what motivates people to connect with those around them.

I also worked for the non-profit Better Angels helping to establish their high school and college debate programs. Better Angels works on the problem of political polarization by bringing liberals and conservatives together to have highly structured encounters. The goal is to allow for discussion of disagreements without devolving into vitriol. The debate program is the newest aspect of the Better Angels program, and aims to encourage productive exploration of difficult topics in a spirit of mutual truth-seeking rather than combativeness.