Alumnus Kal Turnbull sets out to improve online debate

Civil Engineering alumnus Kal Turnbull has recently attracted media attention for his idea to improve the quality of online conversations.

Kal is co-founder and CEO of online platform, a startup which aims to promote thoughtful debate on online platforms.

The company started with an idea which came to Kal when he was a 17-year-old teenager living in the Highlands. Feeling that he might have “grown up in a bit of a small-town bubble”, Kal started a new group on the online discussion form Reddit, called Change My View.

Participants are invited to share a deeply held belief, in order to intentionally open it up to reasoned counter arguments from others, and in the process shift their attitudes towards being wrong.

“It doesn’t have to be a humiliating thing. It’s a chance to lose some ignorance, and perhaps gain some insight,” Kal told BBC Trending.

To date, the community has attracted over 700,000 members, and has been described as “our best hope for civil discourse” by a Wired journalist.

Kal’s has now set up the website to build on this community, with added functionality to facilitate improved discussion.