The Touchstones Discussion Project is a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that all people can benefit from the listening, speaking, thinking, and interpersonal skills gained by engaging in active, focused discussions. Since 1984, Touchstones has helped millions of students and adults develop and improve these skills in school, work, and life.

Touchstones invites us to experience the transformation that occurs when individuals learn together, explore their world together, and collectively map strategies and create the skills necessary to move ahead.²

We at the Lantern Project believe that engaging in this process is powerfully healing in itself and helpful in building a foundation for discussing the evolving role and character of medicine in our community.

The Lantern Project offers free Touchstones series:

Spring 2015 Group

The Compass: A Guide to Collaborative Exploration
A free discussion group from the Touchstones Discussion Project

Students using The Compass build essential communication and thinking skills, collectively map strategies for continuous improvement, and form a community of learners characterized by trust and respect.¹ Read and discuss excerpts from works of philosophy, literature, history, and art. Click here to view sample readings.

Participating in The Compass series allows you to:

  • Join a community rooted in collaborative discussion
  • Speak authentically in a supportive environment
  • Learn effective group dynamics through specific exercises designed to navigate group pitfalls

Discussion leader:

BPH TLP headshot

Brian Huwe graduated from the discussion-driven undergraduate program at St. John’s College, upon which Touchstones is based.

Meeting details:

  • (Most) Sundays from March 1 – August 16 from 4 – 5 p.m. in Asheville, NC.
  • Limited to 15 participants.
  • No cost to attend, but sign up is required.

¹Source:, January 29, 2015.

²Source: The Compass: A Guide to Collaborative Exploration, Howard Zeiderman (2010).