A Framework for Civic Conversations
Keywords:civic life, conversation, deliberative democracy
Systemic changes in people’s relation to democratic government and governance have been widely noted over the last 40 years. Concurrently, participation in civic life has declined. Drawing from approaches in service design, this article proposes a design-led structure for democratic engagement that serves two goals: the provisioning of people’s expertise on policy decisions for governmental use, and scaffolding of civic life. The paper details a structure that has been tested and refined in over 30 community meetings, and suggestions for effectively evaluating meeting outcomes.