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Talking to Strangers

Posted on: April 8th, 2016 by Bri DeRosa

mapped phonesIn an effort to increase tourism, the country of Sweden has started an interesting new campaign. They’re asking Swedes to volunteer for “Calling Sweden,” a program that allows people from anywhere in the world to call a single international number which will then connect to a randomly assigned person. In other words, you can now talk to strangers in Sweden whenever you want, about anything that interests you.

Learn more about the Calling Sweden project here, then talk about it with your family:

  • Would you ever volunteer for this kind of project? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think so many people have signed up to answer calls?
  • If you called Sweden, what would you want to ask or discuss?
  • Where else in the world might you want to call?
  • What do you think people from other countries might want to ask if they called America? What would you want to tell them?
  • Usually, we’re taught that it’s not safe to talk to strangers. Why would this be different? How could you make sure to keep the conversation “safe?”
  • Between “Calling Sweden” and allowing ordinary citizens to manage the country’s Twitter account every week, Sweden seems to place a lot of trust in its people. Do you think letting ordinary people handle these types of public communications is a good idea, or not?