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Common Ground for Action

Common Ground for Action is an online platform for deliberation sponsored by the Kettering Foundation starting in 2013, who partnered with Conteneo, a creator of serious decision-making games, to co-develop the forum. Kettering and Conteneo collaborated from scratch to create a unique online forum that engaged participants and produced an authentic deliberation space, which was then tested through the National Issues Forums (NIF) network.

NIFI_Common GroundFrom NIFI…

Common Ground for Action forums are the online version of traditional in-person National Issues Forums. Common Ground for Action is a simple but sophisticated platform that runs in any browser—no technical mumbo jumbo!

In CGA, small groups are able to learn more about the tensions in an issue, examine options for dealing with the problem, weigh tradeoffs, and find common ground just like in in-person National Issues Forums, but with visuals that let you actually see the shape of your conversation as it evolves.

From Kettering…

The online forum has five basic areas:

1. Lobby: Participants get introduced to the platform, other participants, moderator
2. Forum Home: Participants get introduced to the issue, other participants’ personal stakes
3. Baseline: Participants register a personal baseline with regard to the actions
4. Examination of Options: for each option, participants do:
* a personal sense-making and evaluation of the actions and tradeoffs within an option
* then discuss the option similarly to an in-person forum
5. Common Ground Reflection: Participants reflect upon common ground from across the options and see the difference their deliberation has made.

Check out this short video about how to participate in Common Ground for Action here.

More about Kettering Foundation
The Kettering Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Kettering’s primary research question is, what does it take to make democracy work as it should? Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people can do collectively to address problems affecting their lives, their communities, and their nation. Follow on Twitter: @KetteringFdn.

More about the National Issues Forums Institute
The institute’s central activity is to publish and distribute an ongoing series of Issue Guides and videos that prepare you for thoughtful discussion of many of today’s thorniest problems. Moderators and conveners find our resources indispensable in organizing, leading and advertising their forums for public deliberation. We also provide guidelines for those who wish to frame their own issues. To keep the network and policymakers current, we publish reports about forum lesson plans, activities, and outcomes so groups can learn from one another. Follow on Twitter: @NIForums.

More about Conteneo
Our team of scientists, academics and practitioners use the science of serious games to unlock  engagement for our clients. Rooted in a range of disciplines (from cognitive science and evolutionary psychology to game theory), our proprietary software and services enable leading organizations to quickly and easily adapt to market and operational changes–on any scale. Follow on Twitter: @ConteneoInc

Resource Link: www.nifi.org/en/common-ground-action

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