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Developing Effective Leaders. Citizen Engagement through Public Deliberation. Experience with democracy . . . Government where everyone’s opinion counts. Citizen frustration . . . Intolerance . . . Ignorance . . . Apathy . . . Objectives.

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developing effective leaders

Developing Effective Leaders

Citizen Engagement through Public Deliberation

experience with democracy
Experience with democracy . . .

Government where everyone’s opinion counts.

citizen frustration
Citizen frustration . . .

Intolerance . . . Ignorance . . . Apathy . . .

  • Increase knowledge of public deliberation and how it can engage people in public decision making.
  • Become actively involved in fostering public deliberation as a means of resolving challenging public problems.

The Case of the Ugli Orange

addressing public issues
Addressing Public Issues
  • For democracy to function, citizens must accept responsibility in making public decisions.
  • Ways to get public input:
    • Voting
    • Polling
    • Debate
    • Letters to the editor
    • Civil disobedience
    • Demonstrations/protests
    • Town Hall Meetings
    • Boycotts
coming together as a community
Coming Together as a Community

Case Study - The Birmingham Story

public deliberation
Public Deliberation
  • A way of reasoning and talking together:
    • Weighs alternative solutions to a public problem.
    • Considers consequences, costs, and benefits.
    • Challenges people to identify trade-offs.
    • Respects others’ perspectives and values.
  • Requires that people:
    • Interact peacefully.
    • Share knowledge and perspectives on issues.
    • Organize to act publicly on these issues.
public deliberation cont
Public Deliberation (Cont.)
  • May reveal new possibilities for action.
  • The goal is to move people toward shared, stable, well-informed public judgments, based on what is valuable to them about important issues.
  • A means to find common ground for action and secure commitment to work together.
public deliberative forums
Public Deliberative Forums
  • Center around a public problem (not a solution that a group is trying to advance)
  • Complex, no simple answers
  • There is time for deliberation; not an emergency
  • Deliberative; beyond debate or simple discussion
  • Diverse participants and perspectives
public deliberative forums cont
Public Deliberative Forums (Cont.)
  • 15 – 20 participants sit in a circle
  • Use an Issue Book
  • Facilitated by a trained moderator and recorder
  • 2 to 2½ hours
    • Opening
    • Deliberation of approaches
    • Reflections/Closing
issue books
Issue Books
  • A structured dialogue offering 3-4 approaches to a challenging public problem.
  • Over 50 topics are currently available from public deliberative organizations.
moderators and recorders
Moderators and Recorders
  • Facilitate the deliberative forum by keeping discussion on track and recording the deliberations.
  • Trained at Public Policy Institutes
  • Currently over 200 trained moderators and recorders in Oklahoma.
  • Visit to find someone in your area.
after the forum
After the Forum
  • Nationally:
    • Moderators from multiple forums report outcomes of the deliberation and public deliberation organizations prepare national reports (3 or 4 per year)
  • In Oklahoma or locally:
    • Forum outcomes are compiled into a final state or local report, which is shared with the community and officeholders
    • The public takes action
studies of public deliberation
Studies of Public Deliberation
  • Deliberative Forum Participants:
    • Come from every part of society.
    • Reconsider their own opinions and judgments.
    • Approach issues more realistically considering costs, consequences and trade-offs associated with policy options.
studies of public deliberation cont
Studies of Public Deliberation (Cont.)
  • Deliberative Forum Participants:
    • Reconsider & develop greater understanding for the views of others.
    • Define their self interests more broadly.
    • Develop a greater sense of confidence in what they can do politically.
    • Become more interested in political and social issues.
developing a habit of public deliberation





Recording, and Reporting

Deliberating as a Participant in a Forum

Developing a Habit of Public Deliberation

Awareness Competence

public deliberation organizations
Public Deliberation Organizations
  • Both NIF and Everyday Democracy produce issue books to guide community discussion. See their websites for complete lists.
how to get involved
How to Get Involved
  • Go to or and review topics that are of interest to you and represent a problem in your community.
  • Visit OPPD’s website at
  • Conduct a Forum!
  • Become a Moderator and Recorder!
final thoughts
Final Thoughts

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed that is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

“Few of us will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”

Robert F. Kennedy