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IAP2 USA September Newsletter

They rolled out the red carpet in the Mile High City, with nearly 300 people turning out for the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference! Our thanks go to the good folks of Denver, Colorado, and our hosts, IAP2 Colorado Chapter, for a superb experience!

  • FEATURES:  President Leah Jaramillo shares her thoughts on the Conference; we’ll review the Core Values Awards, where the bar just keeps getting higher; IAP2 USA Intern Lauren Wirtis, who’s contributed some brilliant work on the IAP2 Core Values, looks at the thorny issue of dealing with emotion and outrage!
  • EVENTS:  Our Webinar Rewind is the last of the Montreal Encores: a couple of presentations that challenge some of the basic thinking behind P2; we can finally tell you who’ll be in the Webinar On-Deck come October -- the Organizations of the Year from Canada and the USA; and you asked for it: 2018 Skills Symposium is set for next February!
  • INTERESTING LINKS:  Artificial intelligence may provide a new tool for citizen engagement; and a good conversation can sometimes be found at the tips of your fingers.

Now, read on...

Message from the President: Leah Jaramillo

A big round of applause for IAP2 USA’s conference committee and staff for executing an outstanding North American Conference in Denver earlier this month! Thanks to those of you who were there and contributed to IAP2 USA’s goal of Pursuing the Greater Good - P2 For a Changing World. In addition to nearly 40 sessions, this conference introduced the pathway concept – where participants took a deep dive into special topics and worked together to develop some output.  Results include an Encyclopedia of Positive Questions – using an appreciative inquiry approach to reframe questions; planned international extension of the IAP2 USA National Dialogue on Conflict’s impact on P2 and an associated white paper, website and resource bank to help practitioners manage conflict and division in our processes. I truly appreciate those of you who waded into the deep end with us.
The Core Values Awards Gala was truly inspirational and the IAP2 USA and IAP2 Canada award winners truly exemplified what we stand for as a practice and organization. From engaging kids against domestic violence in the Yukon to working with a community to provide a health center that meets multiple needs in Denver, these award winners are truly making a difference in their communities by implementing public participation processes that are strategic, engaging stakeholders across the spectrum of participation and inspire us all.  Thanks to our judges and applicants for truly embodying the spirit of IAP2!

Read More!

2017 IAP2 USA Core Values Awards: And the Winners are...

Every year we get together at the Core Values Awards Gala to celebrate Award Winners from across North America. We celebrate people making waves of change in their communities both great and small, we reflect on how we identify with the Core Values, and perhaps take a moment to refill our souls and remember why we do what we do.
This year we saw a variety of projects from Transportation Infrastructure engagement, to rural dialogue on climate change and the revival of a historically disenfranchised neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, through a first of its’ kind neighborhood Health and Well-Being Center.

Organization of the Year: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency   Respect for Diversity, Inclusion, & Culture Award and Project of the Year Award: The Mental Health Center of Denver - Dahlia Project
General Project of the Year Award - Tennessee Department of Transportation   Creativity and Innovation Award: Jefferson Center

Read More!

2017 North American Conference Scholarship Winner: Andrea Clark

Two months ago, I did not know IAP2 was a “thing”. I learned about the organization from a transportation planner at my summer internship. She suggested I apply for a scholarship to attend the conference, and because of that conversation I attended my first IAP2 conference last week. I met a wonderful people and learned a lot, but what I really left with was a sense that my skills are valid.
A few weeks before the conference, my professor had each student take the StrengthsFinder assessment. My top five strengths can be categorized as “soft skills”. Although it was no surprise, these skills can be overlooked in a highly quantitative field. Can I list intuition and empathy as skills on my resume? Will anyone hire me because I can read the vibe of a room? As I heard professionals share stories about their work during the conference, I realized how important “soft skills” are to thoughtfully plan and facilitate public participation.

Read More!

Pathways: A North American Conference Journey


This year we tried something new and exciting that the North American Conference called Pathways. Participants took part in one of three different pathways:

  • National Dialogue: Are we facing a P2 crisis or opportunity
  • Collaboration for the Greater Good
  • Powerfully Positive Questions for P2 in a Changing World.

Each pathway took place over the course of two days. Participants got to set their agenda, co-create, and co-host, and participate in the presentation of their findings during the conference finale on Friday.

Here's what they said...

IAP2 USA's Good Read: 

By: Lauren Wirtis, IAP2 USA Intern

“Nelson Mandela once said, 'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.' He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else's language, even if it's just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, 'I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.” - Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Language is how we communicate with one another. And, since it is how we communicate, it is often the fodder for our emotions. Our hearts swell when someone says they love us for the first time, we weep when we confront terrible news, we laugh when we are told a joke, and we are enraged when we are presented with injustice.

When IAP2 originally created the Foundations course, John Godec was the principal writer of the section that discussed risk communication and dealing with upset people. Frequently, the trainers would receive feedback that they wanted to spend more time on this section. In response to this demand Stephani Roy McCallum, John Godec, and Mary Hamel created a class called Emotion and Outrage in Public Participation (recently retitled Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in P2).

Read More!

SAVE THE DATE! 2018 IAP2 North American Conference

Make your plans now to come to Victoria, BC, for the 2018 IAP2 North American Conference, September 5 - 7! The City of Gardens will be ready and waiting for you! Watch your newsletters, emails and the web page for ongoing information.

Run for the IAP2 USA Board of Directors - 2018 - 2020

Yes, it is that time of year. The time to start thinking about what you can contribute to your Association. What would you like to see happen? How do you think you can add value? Nominations for the 2016-2018 IAP2 USA Board will open October 19th and close Friday, November 9th

Are you interested and want to learn more? Take a look at the Board Information Package and the Application Form by clicking here.

Nomination Package      Nomination Form

Join us! At the 2018 Skills Symposium!

This year we are making our way to Austin, Texas. Ten courses, 5 days, endless opportunities to expand your knowledge, challenge yourself to attain greater heights, and network with like-minded practitioners. This is your opportunity to learn from some of the best public participation trainers in North America and network with your peers from around the world. Improve your skills. Have your questions answered. Put what you have learned into practice.

Register TODAY!

The early-bird deadline is December 6th, 2017!


Webinar Rewind – “Understanding the Squishy Stuff” + “Are We Smarter Together?” (August, 2017) 

Two presentations that challenged some of the key principles of P2 were featured in our last “encore” from the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference in Montréal. Dr Mark Szabo looked at the way the “squishy stuff” – emotional responses that are hard to quantify but no less important to consider – can be addressed. Jacques Bénard discussed the collective mindset, questioning whether decisions reached collaboratively are really the best ones.

Read More!

October Webinar
2017 Core Values Award-Winners: Organization of the Year!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

We’re excited to kick off the new “webinar season” with two of the top organizations when it comes to Public Participation. In San Francisco, those little cable cars are so romantic as they “climb halfway to the stars”, but try coordinating them, along with buses, bikes, bridges, LRT, roads and the subway!

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has that daunting task, and discovered in recent years that it could not go ahead with plans -- be they new initiatives or needed upgrades -- without consulting the public. SFMTA succeeded in turning public outrage into public participation with POETS -- the Public Outreach Engagement Team Strategy. Deanna Desedas, SFMTA’s Public Outreach Engagement Manager, will share with us how P2 became a way of life.

The City of Burlington, Ontario, adopted a Charter of Engagement in 2013, putting P2 at the heart of everything the city did. “Making it Part of Our Culture” truly sums up the approach at City Hall, with this commitment to consult with residents. For staff, P2 is not a question of “whether”, but “how”, with extensive P2 training and a full-time engagement department.

Michelle Dwyer, Burlington’s Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives, and Donna Kell, the City’s Communications chief (and past-president of IAP2 Great Lakes), will join us to tell how they did it -- how the decision-makers were convinced to buy into the concept and how projects have succeeded under this system.

Register Now!

Upcoming Online Training!

Time is our most precious commodity and knowledge is power. Are you short on time and want to continue your learning? Choose from a variety of topics ranging from Evaluation and Participatory Budgeting to Tool Selection! You will walk away from these short training modules with real working skills that you can immediately apply to your public participation projects! Not quite sure yet? Here are 5 great reasons you should take advantage of IAP2 USA’s online learning opportunities... Read More.

Chapter News

The Greater LA Chapter presents...

Healing Communities of Color by Encouraging Self-Determination

Authentic and meaningful community engagement for under-represented communities should begin with a healing process which recognizes their daily struggles. Healing allows underrepresented communities to take a holistic approach, or a deeper level of thinking, that restores the social, mental, physical and environmental aspects of their community. Only through confronting the inequities in our society that pertain to gender roles, sexual orientation, income, age, immigration status, and ethnic identity can we uncover knowledge, create a voice, and encourage self-determination in these communities.

The Place IT! workshop will train participants how to heal community through an innovative outreach process. The session will begin with a understanding the methodology, followed by an immersive, hands-on activities, and finally a lessons learned.

Read More


Interesting Links

Have you found an article that needs to be shared with the P2 Community? Send it to us at ameliaiap2usa@gmail.com

IAP2 Training Sessions on the Public Calendar

Click through the event listings on the IAP2 USA Calendar for more information and to register. (Learn more about the courses; Foundations brochure.)

  • Denver, CO –  Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation, September 21 - 27, 2017
  • Orlando, FL – IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation, October 16-20
  • Walnut Creek, CA – IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation, December 11 - 15

Check the IAP2 USA calendar for information on how to register for events.

Upcoming Events

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IAP2 USA May Newsletter

This is an exciting time for IAP2 USA, with lots of activity and things for you to get involved with.

  • FEATURES: A word from our President summing up what you need to know about the 2017 membership survey; the review is in on IAP2's Spectrum; we're discovering something new in P2 with this month's membership spotlight; the Journal of Public Deliberation is out; and Planning is starting for the 2018 Skills Symposium in Austin!

  • EVENTS: The early bird deadline is fast approaching! It's time to register for the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference! Check out this week's sneak-peak for more on upcoming presentations! Our Webinar On-Deck is another Montréal Encore: “Facilitation Matters”; check out the Webinar Rewind on the May presentation “Duh! Make it Interesting!”  & last but not least, a dive into Participatory Budgeting; and exclusive IAP2 Member Discounts to the 2017 Annual ACR EPP Annual Conference 

  • INTERESTING LINKS: Thank you to all who submitted articles! Check out this month's hot reads. If you see something interesting send it on to Amelia 

Now, read on...

President's Message

In March 2017, IAP2 USA conducted a membership survey asking you questions about the services and programs we offer now, how you’d like to see those services and programs progress in the future, the challenges and needs facing P2, and the role of IAP2 in addressing them. We received 173 responses, a 16% member response rate. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation and provide you with the highlights of the findings. 

We are taking your feedback and will turn it into future actions to better serve our members!

Read More!

The full report is available here

The Review is in for the IAP2 Spectrum 

It’s been over two years in the process, with a fair bit of informal discussion before that: now, we are pleased to present the long-awaited review of the IAP2 Spectrum. IAP2 Canada took the lead on this project, with input coming from more than 220 practitioners from all over the world via online forums, outreach at conferences and blog postings, among other means. Now, IAP2 Canada president Bruce Gilbert and Board member Tracy Vaughan have summarized these comments into a review.

Read the Review

This will be forwarded to the Federation and circulated to all Affiliates. The Federation will then decide whether the Spectrum needs to be changed, based on the feedback in the Review, or whether more consultations are necessary.
Thank you to all of you who offered your comments and suggestions.
If you have any further comments or questions, please send them to info@iap2canada.org. If something needs to be clarified, we’ll do it; any other comments will be sent to the Federation.

The Journal of Public Deliberation

IAP2 is a proud partner , along with the newDemocracy Foundation and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, of the Journal of Public Deliberation. The new edition is now online, and you can read it here

You may recall that last month, we shared a link to an opinion piece on the decline in respect given to “experts” on any given topic. The spring edition of JPD includes a study by a group of Brazilian researchers on the role experts play in a deliberative setting. Other offerings include studies in children in democracy and the role of social media.

Membership Spotlight: Victor Tran!

By Lauren Wirtis, IAP2 USA Intern

Victor Tran is currently in his first year of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Motivated by his own family’s story of immigration to Alberta, Canada where he grew up, Victor was eager to learn more about how urban spaces can help reduce real and perceived barriers for different groups of people. How, in fact, the physical design of environments has direct outcomes on the health, sustainability, and overall quality of life for people.
Victor heard inklings of IAP2 when he was working with a business improvement district in Calgary, but as he dove into his planning studies this winter, IAP2’s connection with what he was learning and the work he hopes to do some day clicked. He joined the IAP2 Cascade Chapter and has been an active member since. He also looked around the PSU campus for opportunities to combine his passion for shaping the built environment and public engagement. What he found was a two-day intensive Public Interest Design (PID) course presented by Design Corps, the SEED Network, and the Center for Public Interest Design.

Read More

2018 Skills Symposium - Requesting Trainer Submissions!

We are preparing for the 2018 Skills Symposium, in Austin, Texas, February 26 to March 2, 2018. The first step is for us to reach out to trainers around the world and ask them to submit their training courses for consideration. If you are interested, please take a look at the Call for Training Proposals and Frequently Asked Questions. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 28th at 4 PM Pacific. We will be back out in late July or early August to let you know what we will be offering. Any questions please contact Amelia at ameliaiap2usa@gmail.com.


Webinar Rewind – Montréal Encore “Duh, Make it Interesting!” (May 9, 2017) 

One of the ongoing challenges for a P2 practitioner is to get people excited about a project, so they will give their input on its development – especially people who might not otherwise take part in the process. The solution is to take the mountain of facts and figures and find ways of grabbing people’s attention and inspiring them to give their input.
Jamie Harvie and Sam Beresky of JLA Public Involvement in Portland, Oregon, have worked on many P2 processes that involved mundane but very important subjects. The list includes transit infrastructure, a water pipeline that had to be routed through traditional Native lands and sewer stewardship. Find out how they did it, here. 

Webinar on Deck
"Facilitation Matters" – June 13, 11 am Pacific (2 pm Eastern)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
2pm Eastern | 11am Pacific

You have a tight P2 budget and need to make the most of it. Online engagement tools are a help and can be cost-effective, but you still know the value of face-to-face sessions – the give-and-take; the meeting of minds. They need to be facilitated properly so you get true consultation and meaningful results and not shouting matches dominated by The Usual Suspects.
Our next webinar -- Tuesday, June 13 at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific, gives you a chance to learn how one mid-sized Ontario city made that leap from intentions to results. Kate Bishop of the city of Guelph, Ontario, and Rebecca Sutherns of Sage Solutions will discuss four in-person engagement activities run by the city. You'll also have a chance to share some of your own experiences and observations.
Register here for this webinar, and remember the two-stage process -- follow the URL in your Registration Confirmation email to get your login information.

Register Today!

As always, IAP2 Learning Webinars are free for members and only $50 for non-members.

2017 North American Conference Sneek-Peek!

Do you work in municipal engagement and sometimes feel like the guy in the Greek myth, constantly pushing a rock up a hill? Have you ever wanted to create an engagement tool? Do you find conversations have become less about listening and more about waiting for one’s turn to talk? Here are three more sessions at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference that can inspire, amuse and engage you.

Become a Sponsor!      Schedule-at-a-Glance
Scholarship Application      Register Today!

     Learn More!     

You can read about more of the sessions on the IAP2 USA blog – search the tag “2017 North American Conference” – and remember: the deadline is just over a month away to register for the Conference at the Early Bird prices. Until June 30, you only pay US$ 550.00 ($700 for non-members). As of July 1, those prices go up by $100.00, so don’t delay!

The P2 profession is often about acquiring new tools, but have you ever built one, yourself? The “Engagement Tool Invention Lab” gives you the opportunity to do just that, brainstorming with practitioners. Kit Cole, Francesca Patricolo and Lauren Cobb will provide a real-life scenario from the often-controversial worlds of transportation and utilities planning, and then turn you loose in small groups to come up with a means for members of the public to make informed decisions. You’ll get to put your creative and problem-solving skills to work in a collaborative environment, help assess what your team and others have developed, and come away with at least one new tool for gathering public feedback at open houses.

It’s something we do 80 percent of the time, but it’s becoming a lost art: listening. Social media has brought plenty of avenues for expressing ourselves, but who’s really listening? It’s reached the point where some universities are offering courses in listening and some businesses are including listening in their employee training. Listening is more than not talking, and at the IAP2 North American Conference, Dr Cassie Hemphill, a member of the IAP2 USA Certification Task Force, will offer a workshop to help re-focus on that important social skill. In “Are You Listening?, you’ll spend time assessing your own ability to listen, then play a whole-group game to refresh the basics, and come away with some new tools so you’ll be more aware of what others are saying.

Do you work with a city’s engagement process and sometimes feel you’re alone in the battle? Come and learn about how one city has been changing its approach to P2 and spend some time with other municipal engagement leaders, too! Jane Purvis, Public Engagement Advisor to the City of Edmonton, Alberta, will describe “Changing Engagement for a Changing City”, the Alberta capital’s three-year-long Initiative on Public Engagement. The Initiative was set up to respond to changing demographics and expectations and heard from over 1,000 community voices in its workshops and online sessions. Ultimately, that response will lead to a greater good as people take ownership of the policies and programs in their city.

What does this mean for you? An opportunity to see how one city is succeeding in this area, and a chance to meet and swap ideas with other P2 practitioners in similar positions.

Learn More      Register

Show North America how we pursue the greater good!

IAP2 USA and IAP2 Canada are pleased to announce our second joint fundraiser to benefit our new student scholarship programs! The fundraiser will be held at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference in Denver, Colorado Sept. 6-8 as a silent auction of items donated by chapters, businesses, trainers, board members, and generous attendees like you.

Supporting students encourages student membership, relationships with universities, research in the field, and the ongoing vitality and sustainability of our organization. Thank you for considering supporting this great cause.

Learn More!

I mean REALLY! What is Participatory Budgeting?

It has been called “the greatest wave of democracy coming to the United States”.
What started in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989 has started to make an impact around the world being implemented in over 1,500 communities around the globe. These communities are experimenting with and implementing a new budgeting practice called Participatory Budgeting.
What is Participatory Budgeting(PB)? PB is “a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend a part of the public budget”. From start to finish this process puts the power into the people’s hands.

Read more


Chapter News

Things are heating up in some of our western chapters and we are excited to share it with you!

The Intermountain Chapter  is proud to announce they are co-hosting “Fostering Productive Dialogue in Divided Times” with the U of U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, The Langdon Group, and the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution.
The Cascade Chapter has announced their 2017 Student Scholarship Winner and an upcoming PI Networking Event featuring “Race Talks” with Donna Maxey! They are also celebrating a great influx of new members in the government sector!
The Puget Sound Chapter is cranking up the heat in their area! They are hosting National Dialogue event in Kirkland, Washington! This event is part of IAP2 USA’s effort to answer the question: “Are we facing a P2 crisis or opportunity?” Join the Puget Sound Chapter as they work their way through the tough questions on June 22nd, 2017!

Read More

ACR EPP Invites IAP2 USA Members!

Are you a P2 professional specializing in Environmental Public Policy? This conference is for you. In the past few year we have seen an increasing amount of attention in the news, in the meeting rooms managed by practitioners, in the work environment for government employees, and in the daily lives of stakeholders engaged in environmental public policy shift to civility and identity as central topics. As senior, mid-level and emerging practitioners, we are looked to as (or working to become) the expert professionals to design effective processes that support durable decisions. Beat the heat and escape to Salt Lake City for a few days to connect with P2 Professionals in your field.

Learn More      Register


Interesting Links

Have you found an article that needs to be shared with the P2 Community? Send it to us at ameliaiap2usa@gmail.com

  • The City of Vernon, BC, is launching a P2 website, and the first item to be discussed is the upcoming civic budget.

  • P2 gets a big hand from writer Cynthia Khoo in Common Dreams, for helping protect “net neutrality” in Canada.

  • From GovNews in Australia, The Auditor-General in the State of Victoria takes issue with the way several local governments are engaging – or not engaging – with their citizens, and cites the IAP2 Spectrum in the process. (Read the actual report here.)

  • From The Villager in New York City, discussion about the need for P2 in connection with a proposed new development adjacent to the Hudson River.

  • For fans of “Failing Forward”, we offer this, from the New York Times.

IAP2 Training Sessions on the Public Calendar

Click through the event listings on the IAP2 USA Calendar for more information and to register. (Learn more about the courses; Foundations brochure.)

  • Chicago, IL – IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation, June 26-30; Emotion, Outrage & Public Participation, Thurs-Fri, August 17-18
  • Denver, CO – IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation, Mon-Fri, June 5-9
  • Orlando, FL – IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation, October 16-20
  • Pheonix, AZ - Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation, July 27-28

Check the IAP2 USA calendar for information on how to register for events.

Upcoming Events


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