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This is a good place to start, especially if you have not had experience organizing a public forum. The slides offer a clear outline of the steps needed to increase your chances of success. But don’t worry if the format does not spell out all the details. We’ll have more on that in the next document. Use this to get an overview of the process.
This guide from the Kettering Foundation provides a framework for thinking about each of the steps in the process, including key questions to ask. It grounds the steps in a concrete example so you can see how it works on a specific issue, but the focus here is on providing a framework for organizing the forums.
Parts of this guide duplicate the “Guide to Organizing and Moderating Forums.” But it also provides some nuts-and-bolts suggestions for how to set up a team, the roles you want filled in that team, and how you can physically organize the event.
When you discuss public issues on which people differ—sometimes radically, having some basic rules that emphasize openness and respect for the opinions of others is a good place to start the public meeting. This document provides some key points for a civil debate. You can add other ideas to this list.
National organizations specialize in helping people organize public deliberations. We have listed a number of these organizations in the “Q and A” document (see below). Click on this question: “What other organizations use or promote some form of civic engagement?” and you will see some of the best. We’ve included hyperlinks, but these can change. You can always locate them through a browser search, such as google.