Tom Atlee: processes for addressing specific issues


Richard Moore

This posting is excerpted from an email Tom sent to a few people.


Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:14:36 -0800
From: Tom Atlee <•••@••.•••>

The Wisdom Council is NOT for addressing specific issues.  However, 
DF (Dynamic facilitation) CAN be used that way.  But its use in 
dealing publicly with public issues has not been tested very much.  I 
suspect it would be difficult to DF a SPECIFIC issue with a randomly 
selected group of people, since their passion about it would be 
questionable.  It may be more appropriate to do it with stakeholders, 
who have guaranteed passion about the issue.  However, such a group 
does not represent or embody We the People.  So this is touchy 

For addressing SPECIFIC ISSUES in a "We the People" way, citizens 
juries and consensus conferences are the most widely tested methods. 
The Citizens Assembly model is fantastic, but very expensive.  DF has 
never been tried in association with such citizen deliberative 
councils, but it might be worth an educated experiment some day.

To get familiar with Citizens Juries, you can start with my book 
( and the NCDD site 
which links to the Jefferson Center site which provides a handbook.

To get familiar with Consensus Conferences, you can start with my 
book and the NCDD site

For a report on Canada's first Consensus Conference, see

For less rigorous (not legitimately We the People = random sample) 
but cheaper approaches to citizen engagement with public issues 
(e.g., National Issues Forums, Study Circles, etc.), see the 
resources on my Deliberation page

 From NCDD, here are some other Canadian resources to familiarize yourself with:


The Canadian Policy Research Network

The Department of Foreign Affairs dialogue on foreign policy

Caledone Institute of Social Policy

A report on participatory budgeting in Canada

Tamarack's Communities Collaborating Institute

To expand your networking, you might want to get involved with
The Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation
which is just getting rolling and could use some energy.  A potential 
great place to network, although their website doesn't tell who is 
involved.  I'd suggest contacting the organizers.

A report on the role of legislators as convenors


Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440 *  
Tom Atlee's blog
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