• Common Ground for Action
  • Gregg Kaufman

By Maura Casey - "Common Ground for Action (CGA) and Zoom Technologies: Deliberation in the Era of COVID-19"

There is something about deliberative forums that are as old-fashioned and comforting as talking to a neighbor over a backyard fence.  They are blessedly free of Internet trolls and Twitter attacks. No access to Facebook is necessary. Hope may be the biggest intangible asset of these gatherings: The idea, based in the experience and the optimism that forums generate, that most of the problems of the world could be solved if we could just talk and weigh tradeoffs together. 

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  • John J. Theis

Read about Dr. John J. Theis and His Work with Students - "How Civic Engagement Spread across Six College Campuses"

In an article titled How Civic Engagement Spread across Six College Campuses author Maura Casey describes how Dr. John J. Theis, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement for the Lone Star College System and professor of Political Science on the Kingwood Campus, introduced deliberative forums work to college campuses.

The following are excerpts from the article:

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  • Dr. Malcolm Glover

WATCH: Presidential Libraries and Historic Decisions

What can citizens learn from history about democracy? The Kettering Foundation has sought to answer this question through collaborative research with several history museums across the country, including Presidential Libraries, which educate the public about historical events during the relevant president’s administration. By partnering to create deliberative issue guides about historical decisions, these museums and libraries have found new ways to engage with visitors and educational networks, and participants in historical forums gain experience with public deliberation.

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  • Lisa Strahley

WATCH: Civic Education and Learning from Historic Decisions

How do people learn to become democratic citizens? One area of Kettering research explores how schools can provide a space for young people to learn about their roles as citizens in a democracy and engage in the practice of deliberative politics. In this video, Lisa Strahley, Director of the Civic Engagement Center and Chair of Early Childhood & Teacher Education at SUNY Broome Community College, shares why she thinks introducing teachers and students to deliberative decision making is so important.

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  • John J. Theis

WATCH: Deliberating Together on Difficult Issues

Around the country, people are grappling with how best to protect their communities and prevent future mass shootings. While it is necessary to develop a shared sense of how to proceed, some fear engaging in public deliberation about such hotly contested issues, especially at a time of such divisive political discourse. Will deliberating together under these circumstances only lead to greater conflict?

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  • webinar screen shot

Watch the Recorded Webinar - Moving Face-to-Face Deliberation Online

In response to setting new directions for in-person forums during our current climate, several National Issues Forums (NIF) partners have successfully convened virtual face-to-face forums using the Zoom platform.  We are happy to be able to share their experiences and some materials and tips about convening a deliberative face-to-face online forum using a platform like Zoom. You can watch the one-hour May 11, 2020 webinar that featured tips, resources and more, for convening and moderating an online deliberative forum.

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  • Public Agenda

Read the Report - Americans Attitudes Toward Health Care: Some Observations from the Research

The National Issues Forums Institute, Public Agenda, USA TODAY, and other partners are collaborating on Hidden Common Ground (HCG), which focuses on areas of agreement among the public on solutions to tough public problems during the election year. The HCG work on health care included traditional focus groups, deliberative focus groups, and a national survey conducted by Public Agenda in late 2019 as well as a series of in-person and online forums convened in the NIF network.

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