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Innovation in Community Engagement Conference Materials

In Western Australia the Department for Planning and Infrastructure has taken a leading role in exploring innovations in community engagement, with 21st century town meetings, deliberative surveys, citizens’ juries, multi criteria analysis conferences and consensus forums. In May 2005 they assembled in Perth some of the most progressive innovators and experts from the USA and Australia, who led a unique experiment in community engagement. Over two days these initiators and experts took more than 300 participants through their leading edge techniques.

Some of the methods of engagement showcased during the Conference were:

Deliberative Survey: Understand how a poll of a representative, random sample of the population, undertaken before and after dialogue, provides the best of both worlds with informed and representative views on complex issues.

21st Century Town Meeting: Learn how a forum involving anywhere from 100 to 5000 people representing the community, industry and government brings people together in small groups, connected via computers, to deliberate on broad and complex issues to influence decision making.

Dynamic Facilitation: Explore a new style of facilitation that helps people achieve rapid consensus by following the energy of a group without constraining that energy to agendas or exercises.

Wisdom Council: Participate in a demonstration of how a large system of people, such as a whole city, can take part in a dialogue together and even reach consensus.

Citizens’ Jury: Discover how an independent, representative group of people can deliberate on an issue with the assistance of a facilitator and other experts to help seek common ground, and then present their findings to decision makers – a useful technique for decision makers seeking to find out what an informed public wants and why.

The following materials were formally available at www.dpi.wa.gov.au/cityplanning/1208.asp (let us know if you know where we can find these resources currently!):

  • Premier Geoff Gallop’s Conference Opening Speech
  • Conference Program
  • Conference Posters detailing community engagement methods
  • Conference Report highlighting the proceedings
  • Citizen’s Jury on Community Engagement and Deliberative Democracy – final report

Be sure to see Tom Atlee’s thorough report on his experience at this event (https://ncdd.org/rc/item/2565), which he wrote for the NCDD blog.

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