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Montreal Symposium on Professionalizing Our Field

We recently heard about an exciting conference happening in Montreal this July that we want to make sure our NCDD members know about. The conference, hosted by the Canadian Institut du Nouveau Monde, takes place during the IPSA’s annual gathering, and is part of the important conversation about the professional future of our field. Check out the announcement below or find out more at the IPSA’s conference website here.


INM logoThe Institut du Nouveau Monde, a Canadian nongovernmental organization dedicated to public participation, is pleased to invite NCDD members to attend a symposium entitled “Developing expertise in the design of participatory tools: The professionalization and diversification of the public participation field”, that will be held in Montreal July 21-22, 2014 during the annual conference of International Political Science Association (IPSA).

The symposium intends to better understand the conditions involved in the negotiation of the participatory design by looking at the actors that initiate and organize public participation. What are the effects of this professionalization of public participation? Does it compromise or encourage the democratic aims associated with public participation? Is it better to use private consultants, to train public servants to oversee public participation, or to set up an autonomous public organization devoted to public participation? How does the approach that public participation professionals take affect their abilities to design effective public participation mechanisms? The approach chosen to answer these questions is a dialogue between researchers and practitioners for a heuristic confrontation of knowledge and experiences.

About twenty researchers are expected to participate in the scientific segments of the two-day programme (see “Panels” in the preliminary programme). Other segments of the Symposium, the “Round Table” and the “Open Space”, mean to engage with public participation practitioners. Our guest practitioners for the Round Table are:

  • Simon Burral, Executive Director of Involve (London, UK)
  • Carolyn Lukensmeyer, AmericaSpeaks Founding Member and Director and Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (Washington D.C., USA)
  • Peter MacLeod, Principal and Co-founder of MASS LBP (Ontario, Canada)
  • Michel Venne, General Director of the Institut du Nouveau Monde (Québec, Canada)

You can view the preliminary program for more information.

Please don’t hesitate to forward this invitation through to anyone you think would be interested to come to Montreal to assist to this symposium. The more practitioners present, the more interesting the discussions will be!

Upon interest, there are two registration options:

  • Participation to this symposium ONLY (July 21-22th) costs $40 per individual (special event rate).
  • Participation to the ENTIRE IPSA Congress (access to all activities July 19-24) is $260 for early registration.

If you choose option 1, send an email to malorie.flon@inm.qc.ca and she will inform the IPSA secretariat to send you a special registration link.

If you choose option 2, you can now register on the IPSA website: www.ipsa.org/events/congress/montreal2014/registration. You will have to pay the association membership fee ($160 for a regular member, $50 for students). We hope to see you there!

You can find the preliminary program for this conference at www.ncdd.org/main/wp-content/uploads/IPSA-Prelim-Program.pdf. More information on the IPSA annual gathering is available at www.ipsa.org/events/congress/montreal2014/theme.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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