Chew On This

Chew On This is a program designed by Indiana Humanities to use the power of food and drink as a convener of people and catalyst for conversation to inspire thoughtful discussion on engaging topics.

Chew On This

Chew On This is a program designed by Indiana Humanities to use the power of food and drink as a convener of people and catalyst for conversation to inspire thoughtful discussion on engaging topics. Topics have included: how we know what we know; the 25th anniversary of the Pan Am Games; ethnic identity and food; agriculture; and prohibition.


Chew on This: Will Machines Replace Us?
Sept. 12, 2018 | Statewide | Recap

When’s the last time you spoke to a teller at your bank? To a travel agent? When you go to the grocery, how often do you have an actual cashier check you out? We see the effects of automation all around us, from service and manufacturing, to the legal profession and trucking. Though only 6% of adults report losing hours or a job to automation, according to the Pew Research Center, another report by McKinsey Global predicts that 400 million jobs will be displaced by automation by 2030.

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence and robotics are relieving workers of some kinds of repetitive, tedious and maybe even back-breaking labor. What may be less clear is what new jobs will arrive to provide income and a sense of purpose for those displaced by technology. Can new jobs be generated to replace those that are displaced? Is automation safe? Can we imagine income without work—and if so, what will we do with all this new free time? This statewide conversation was held in 5 cities and 7 restaurants. 

Chew on This: Are We Our Data?

The advent of powerful computers means it’s possible to track and analyze so many human behaviors—what we read and say online, where we drive or walk, what we purchase, who we talk to, and more. The possibilities are exciting—better targeting healthcare interventions to the people and places that need them most, uncovering evidence of a criminal conspiracy and preventing it before it happens, even the serendipitous delight of a great suggestion for what to read next on your Amazon page or Twitter feed. But there are no shortage of concerns about privacy and consent, about ownership and profit off our personal data. This statewide conversation was held in four cities at six restaurants. 

Chew on This: Are You Sure?

How do we know if something is true? What counts as evidence? How we answer these questions as individuals and as a society affects the choices we make—everything from how we read the news and vote, to how we choose the foods we eat and make healthcare decisions, to how our leaders set policy for the economy, the environment and more. This statewide conversation was held in five cities and seven restaurants.

Chew on This: Latinos & The Next Indiana

Indiana is home to 314,501 immigrants, more than half of whom are from Latin America. In Indianapolis, the number of immigrants is on pace to double within the next 10 years. Attendees contributed to six simultaneous conversations around Indianapolis about the changing demographics of our community and the vital role Latino Hoosiers are playing in the future of Indiana education, business, arts and culture, and our shared civic life.

TMI: A #chewonthis for the cyber savvy generation

Kids between the ages of 13-17 joined us for a special “Chew on This” event for the cyber savvy generation. In small groups, teens had dinner and conversation – the face-to-face kind – about the pros and cons about texting, tweeting and other technology. The chat was informal, parents-free and led by a fellow teen.

Chew On This: Crossroads 1987

A series of dinner conversations at 10 venues around Indianapolis to discuss the success, failures and lasting impact of the Games on its 25th anniversary. In the early 1980s, Indianapolis was at a crossroads. Civic leaders boldly developed a vision that set the city on its path to becoming the Amateur Sports Capitol of the World and turned its citizens into “professional” volunteers. Much like Super Bowl XLVI, the 1987 Pan Am Games put Indianapolis on the map.

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Contact Leah Nahmias, 317-616-9804, or email