Supporting citizens' deliberation
Citizens need, and increasingly demand, opportunities to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. More than any time in the past 50 years, leaders in government, business, and nonprofits are called upon to provide forums for their constituencies to contribute to those major decisions.
We at CBI view citizen engagement as an important element of democracy, and so we seek to design forums with robust participatory structures. The goal is to foster meaningful dialogue, shared understanding, and engagement that support joint problem-solving and new ideas.
CBI has succeeded in citizen engagement by, for example:
We work closely with the convenor/client to clarify issues, define goals and strategy, and custom-design processes. To do so, we use focus groups, surveys, online platforms to share ideas, steering committees, public workshops, real-time polling, and numerous online tools.
Our team handles logistics including online event registration, room reservations, audio-visual needs, room set-up, refreshments, sign-in, and more.
We work closely with the convenor/client to identify and reach out to key audiences via listservs, websites, media, and other tools.
We handle citizen communication, including advance notices, agendas, handouts, presentations, and websites to support ongoing dialogue.
We use a range of e-tools to support communication and data collection: videoconferencing, online surveys, listservs, project websites, and live polling.
We design engagements—using interactive tools, data, expert opinions, and ground rules—for productive and engaging meetings.
Our commitment to inclusivity and cultural sensitivity ensures that people with a range of perspectives can participate and express their views.
We integrate technical, local, indigenous, and policy expertise to tap into knowledge and wisdom across sectors and disciplines.
Through their calm, respectful, and approachable manner, our facilitators and mediators help participants address controversy constructively.