Gregg Kaufman has been involved in convening and moderating deliberative public forums for a number of years. He also teaches a course about deliberative democracy each year for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). You can read an article, by Julie Guiliani, about Kaufman, his work, and his OLLI course for this fall and winter. The following is excerpted from the article, Try Deliberative Democracy; Antidote to Citizen Dissatisfaction and Public Disengagement:
As responsible citizens, we know we can do something. But what, where, how? A good answer might well be found in Gregg Kaufman’s OLLI class, Deliberative Democracy. Gregg’s class offers us both a modicum of optimism and a way to get actively involved. Deliberative democracy aims at achieving a convergence of opinion and community engagement about critical public issues through dialogue, deliberation, and reasoning. Its core premise: More heads are better than one.
As Gregg states, “The course is designed to actively engage people in a method of civil discourse. I moderate a weekly two-hour dialogue on issues of mutual interest.” Topics have included issues concerning America’s role in the world, immigration, health care, the opioid crisis, and the wealth gap in America. A simple question launches class discussion: “What makes this issue real for you?”
For more information about Kaufman's work, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.