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Shaping Our Towns and Cities (IF Discussion Guide)

The 40-page discussion guide, Shaping Our Towns and Cities, was published by the Interactivity Foundation in 2014 and edited by Jeff Prudhomme.  The guide offers seven contrasting public policies to consider when shaping our towns and cities. These policies are broad approaches on how to design our communities; and while not exhaustive, these are mean to provide a starting point for creating public policy that supports thriving communities. You can view the discussion guide in full on IF’s site and it can also be downloaded […] (continue)

Ideals of Inclusion in Deliberation

The 23-page article, Ideals of Inclusion in Deliberation, was written by Christopher Karpowitz and Chad Raphael, and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. In the article, Karpowitz and Raphael, build off of previous research they performed regarding inclusivity within democratic deliberation. They propose four ideals of inclusion summarized in the abstract, “These principles of inclusion depend not only on the goals of a deliberation, but also on its level of empowerment in the political system, and its openness to all who want to […] (continue)

Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The 28-page issue guide, Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence?, written by Tony Wharton was published on National Issues Forums Institute site on January 2017. This issue guide provides three options for deliberation around how communities should address the violence within their communities. In addition to the issue guide, there is a moderator’s guide and a post-forum questionnaire, all available to download for free on NIFI’s site here. From NIFI… After falling steadily for decades, the rate of violent crime in the United States rose again […] (continue)

Can Public Life Be Regenerated?

The 32-page report, Can Public Life Be Regenerated? (2016), was written by David Mathews and supported by the Cousins Research Group of the Kettering Foundation. This report is based on a presentations Mathews gave the the Independent Sector conference on issues of community, civil society, and governance. In this report, Mathews explores the possibilities to “reweave the social fabric” within society, to improve its social capital and revitalize its sense of community, and create a healthier civil society. Below is an excerpt of the report and it […] (continue)

When is Deliberation Democratic?

The 14-page article, When is Deliberation Democratic?, was written by David Moscrop and Mark Warren, and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. In the article, the authors theorize on how deliberative democracy operates in relation to equality and equity. They lift up two features that are of particular importance to pre-deliberative democracy: popular participation and agenda-setting, that must be paid attention to by theorist and practitioners. Deliberative democratic processes shape and are shaped by these two features, popular participation- how people show […] (continue)

Equity through Learning to Listen: The Case of Public Discussion on Body-Worn Cameras in Madison, Wisconsin

The 17-page article, Equity through Learning to Listen: The Case of Public Discussion on Body-Worn Cameras in Madison, Wisconsin, was written by Katherine Cramer and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. In the article, Cramer discusses the process around gathering public input on whether the Madison police department should implement body-worn cameras on their officers. She gives details around the context for the process and the four lessons learned throughout the whole experience. Read an excerpt of the article below and find […] (continue)

Promoting Inclusion, Equity and Deliberation in a National Dialogue on Mental Health

The 15-page article, Promoting Inclusion, Equity and Deliberation in a National Dialogue on Mental Health, was written by Tom Campbell, Raquel Goodrich, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, and Daniel Schugurensky, and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. In the article, the authors share their experiences with the project, “Creating Community Solutions” (CCS), in which six organizations partnered to better understand how the public is engaged around mental health. By implementing three engagement strategies, CCS sought to shift the social norms around mental health and work […] (continue)

Talk Matters! Saving the World One Word at a Time

The 342-page book, Talk Matters! Saving the World One Word at a Time, by Mary Gelinas, was published September 2016. In the book, Gelinas explains and guides you and your community in eight practices that are essential to creating effective dialogue and deliberation. Use it as a guidebook or training manual to enhance your own skills as you work with groups to address the issues they care about. From the book…  We create the present and future in our meetings and conversations every day. What […] (continue)

Budgeting for Equity: How Can Participatory Budgeting Advance Equity in the United States?

The 18-page article, Budgeting for Equity: How Can Participatory Budgeting Advance Equity in the United States? , was written by Madeleine Pape and Josh Lerner and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. The article talks about the history of participatory budgeting, starting in Porto Alegre and how it has growth in the US. Two major claims of PB is that is it an opportunity to “revitalize democracy and advance equity”. Pape and Lerner share some of the challenges and strategies to equity within PB. […] (continue)

Leaders or Leaderfulness? Lessons from High-achieving Communities

The 21-page report, Leaders or Leaderfulness? Lessons from High-Achieving Communities (2016), was written by David Mathews and supported by the Cousins Research Group of the Kettering Foundation. The report discusses how communities become stronger and more resilient through more “leaderfulness” of its community members, as opposed to having just a few of active leaders. What Mathews means by “leaderfulness”, is that people are engaged within a community and show leaderfulness by taking initiative to participate. Through years of research, Kettering has found that the serious […] (continue)

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