• To solve pressing issues we need facts without favoritism.
  • And a framework for making a difference.
  • And a framework for making a difference.
  • Research that inspires problem solving.
  • Research that inspires problem solving.

Connect with NIF


This is important to me for many reasons. I have 2 disabilities that I know of and they are bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I notice it has a problem as a child. During grade school I was picked on because of my height and I developed breasts before many of the other children. I can't remember being hated until I attended parochial school. They laughed at me. Then did not want to talk to me. How does a child grow up in an environment where the other children do not wish to talk to them? That causes schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which is a form of depression.

Making each Step Count

Outside to inside classrooms

Hi all,
I'm interested in getting a group together to practice facilitating on CGA. I imagine it happening separately from the #cgafridays events, but would be like 6-8 people who rotate facilitator biweekly. If you're interested we can work out dates, times, topics, etc. Email me: kndillard [at] alaska [dot] edu.


Community Conversation, Hosted by the Ashland University Center for Civic Life on June 16, 2014.


Anyone know what to use for the 9 digit number Forum ID?

Trying to join Bullying forum on CGA whicg began at 3:15pm



Below are ideas that came out of our May and July moderator prep workshops for stimulating *deeper* deliberation in CGA forums. Do you have other tips or examples you've discovered in your use of CGA? Let us know!

Explain purpose of deliberation or “what the group is supposed to do,” either in Lobby at the beginning, or right before option deliberation begins. Be explicit!

Spend more time on ground rules, buy-in to process.

Use individual responses to provoke deliberation throughout the group.

These hacks came from the May and July CGA Moderator Preparation sessions held here in Dayton! What hacks or other tricks do you use to make your forums smoother and/or more deliberative?

Scheduling a CGA forum, for practice or for real, is super-easy!

1. To schedule a forum, go to findcommonground.org and login.

2. Click the “Scheduled Forums” tab on the left.

3. in the “Scheduled Forums” tab, click the orange “Schedule New Forum.”

4. Choose the Issue Guide you want to hold a forum on.

So, you've been through a CGA moderator prep session, and now you just want to practice a time or two before using it in a class or other setting. Holding a practice forum is the best way to get more familiar, and it's easy as pie.

1. To schedule a forum, go to findcommonground.org and login using your moderator credentials.

2. Click the “Scheduled Forums” tab on the left.

3. in the “Scheduled Forums” tab, click the orange “Schedule New Forum.”

4. Choose the Issue Guide you want to hold a forum on.


National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. It includes civic clubs, religious organizations, libraries, schools, and many other groups that meet to discuss critical public issues. Forum participants range from teenagers to retirees, prison inmates to community leaders, and literacy students to university students.

NIF does not advocate specific solutions or points of view but provides citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those choices, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.


There is a way to tackle problems more directly. Deliberative decision making. Find out how to leverage the power of personal experience, different viewpoints, and the kind of intelligent exchange that leads to a shared purpose and acceptable solutions.

There’s a space between agree/disagree waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to society’s most challenging problems, our elected officials are often stuck between a two-party rock and a hard place. That’s because they aren’t getting honest input from the people they serve.

You can change that, by reviving a lost democratic practice: deliberative decision making.