What is a Deliberative Dialogue?

A Deliberative Dialogue is a technique used by several institutions, including the National Issues Forum Institute and the New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce College.

Deliberative Dialogues provide a way for community members of diverse views and experiences to seek a shared understanding of a problem and to search for common ground for action. Dialogues are led by trained faculty, staff, and student moderators, and use an issue discussion guide that frames the issue by presenting the overall problem followed by three or four broad approaches to the problem. Dialogue participants work through the issue by considering each approach; examining what appeals to them or concerns them; and also what costs, consequences, and trade offs may be incurred in following that approach. (Excerpted and adapted from http://www.nifi.org/forums/about.aspx)

Deliberative Dialogues at SUNY-Geneseo began with the work of the "Continuing the Conversation" subcommittee of the President's Commission on Diversity and Community in Spring 2004. Ten faculty, staff, and students were trained to be deliberative dialogue facilitators at a national training session in Summer 2004.

Geneseo's first dialogue, attended by 80 faculty, staff, and students was offered in September 2004. The topic was "Engaging Diversity in the Classroom: What's An Educator to Do?" and the discussion guide was collaboratively written by Geneseo's facilitators. Two dialogues were offered in Spring 2005.

Currently one dialogue is offered each semester, with the topic of the Spring dialogue being repeated the following Fall. Members of various offices, departments, divisions, and student organizations are invited to participate. If you wish to receive an invitation to a particular dialogue, please contact the TLC.

 

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