Workshop: Resident Engagement: How to Change Negatives into Positives

All-America City Workshop Track:

Location: Hilton Denver City Center
1701 California Street, Denver, CO 80202
Date: Friday, June 22, 2018
Time: 11:15am – 12:30pm Workshop Block 2
Room: Colorado

Click here to view the 2018 National Conference on Local Governance & All-America City Awards combined agenda.


Martín Carcasson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Communication Studies department of Colorado State University, the founder and director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD), and the current chair of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. He also works closely with the Kettering Foundation’s Centers for Public Life program, and is an engagement fellow with Public Agenda. He considers himself both a practitioner and a scholar (or, as some say, a “pracademic”). His research is focused on helping local communities address “wicked problems” more productively through improved public communication, community problem solving, and collaborative decision-making. The CPD is a practical, applied extension of his work, and functions as an impartial resource dedicated to enhancing local democracy in Northern Colorado. Dr. Carcasson trains students to serve as impartial facilitators, who then work with local governments, school boards, and community organizations to design, facilitate, and report on innovative projects and events on key community issues. Dr. Carcasson’s research has been published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Communication Theory, National Civic Review, Colorado Municipalities, the International Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife and three children.


Resident Engagement: How to Change Negatives into Positives:

In today’s polarized and hyper-partisan political environment, resident engagement is both more difficult and more important than ever. This workshop dives into social psychology and brain science to understand why public engagement often goes badly, and explores how to use deliberative process design techniques to turn the tables. Better processes work to frame issues as wicked problems, which can often transform adversaries into collaborators and build capacity for local communities to address difficult issues much more productively.

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