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Participatory Practices…

Over 180 tools and methods used for dialogue and deliberation are listed here. About 50 of the resources in this category originated in Coastal CRC’s Citizen Science Toolbox, and were edited and expanded upon (with permission) in an NCDD wiki.

21st Century Town Meeting

AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting method creates engaging, meaningful opportunities for citizens to participate in public decision making. This unique process updates the traditional New England town meeting to address the needs of today's citizens, decision makers and democracy. (continue)

Active Listening

Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Active listening is a structured form of listening and responding that focuses the attention on the speaker. The listener must take care to attend to the speaker fully, and then repeats, in the listener's own words, what he or she thinks the speaker has said. (continue)

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives "life" to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. (continue)

Asset Based Community Development

Instead of focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies and problems, Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) helps communities become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets. (continue)

Backcasting

Backcasting is a method of analysing alternative futures, often energy futures. Its major distinguishing characteristic is a concern with how desirable futures can be attained. It involves working backward from a desired future end point or set of goals to the present to determine the physical feasibility of that particular future and the policy measures that would be required to reach that end point. End points are usually chosen for a time 25 to 50 years in the future. (continue)

Bohm Dialogue

The late quantum physicist David Bohm observed that both quantum mechanics and mystical traditions suggest that our beliefs shape the realities we evoke. He further postulated that thought is largely a collective phenomenon, made possible only through culture and communication. Human conversations arise out of and influence an ocean of cultural and transpersonal meanings in which we live our lives, and this process he called dialogue. (continue)

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a method for developing creative solutions to problems. It works by focusing on a problem, and then having participants come up with as many deliberately unusual solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible. (continue)

Breakout Groups

Breakout groups are subdivisions of a larger meeting to deal with specific issues. Small groups meet in separate areas -- corners of a large room or several smaller rooms. Each group appoints or elects a discussion leader, and each participant has a chance to express an opinion. Afterwards, groups report back to the large meeting. In neighborhood meet ings to discuss transit service issues, the Boston Transportation Department asked break out groups to identify priority issues. After each group reported, the larger meeting set priorities to report to the regional transit authority. (continue)

Briefing

Briefings are often a way of providing information on a specific issue or initiative to a special audience. The presentation may be delivered by an industry, government or organisation's representative, and is typically followed by detailed discussions in a question and answer format. (continue)

Candidate Evaluation Panel

Citizen Evaluation Panels are citizen deliberative councils that evaluates candidates for public office, making inclusive "We the People" recommendations available to voters through Voter Information Booklets, websites, news reports, etc. (continue)

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