Engaging citizens in meaningful deliberation on critical issues

Citizen Engagement

Citizens are increasingly demanding 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 being called upon to provide forums for their constituencies to provide input and seek influence.

We at CBI view citizen engagement as a critical component of the democratic process. Our participatory forums are structured in a manner that is interactive and constructive, and fosters meaningful dialogue aimed at surfacing ideas and solving problems.

Among the projects where CBI’s leadership and expertise in citizen engagement have yielded strong results are:

  • Eliciting and clarifying citizen priorities for a 21st-century transportation system in Massachusetts through a series of interactive statewide workshops, and contributing to the state’s legislative and executive decision-making on new transportation policies and investments
  • Reaching out to a wide range of stakeholders on what is important to individuals, local communities, and national visitors as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service develop a management plan that integrates divergent goals for Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado
  • Facilitating public forums across New England to provide citizen input into how to develop shared data and methods, and coordinate effectively among federal and state agencies for wide-ranging uses of U.S. territorial waters in the northeast Atlantic for the Northeast Regional Planning Body
  • Designing and facilitating a state-wide process for New Hampshire citizens to weigh in on improving the state’s energy siting process for the legislature, leading to the passage of a new widely-supported energy siting law

Our Services


Convenors/clients and stakeholders consistently report that our facilitators and mediators are distinctive in their ability to:

  • Structure Productive Meetings

    Design engagements, using interactive tools, data, expert opinions, and ground rules, in a manner that results in productive and engaging meetings

  • Be Inclusive

    Be inclusive and culturally sensitive, ensuring that people with a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds can express their views

  • Incorporate Expert Knowledge

    Integrate technical, local, and policy expertise into dynamic workshops in a manner that taps into knowledge and wisdom across sectors and disciplines

  • Manage Disputes

    Address controversy, through their calm, respectful, and approachable manner