Fresh insights & multiple perspectives on public engagement!

More and more people, from many walks of life, are standing up to be counted on issues that affect them. That means those involved in public participation are called on to develop new and wide-ranging skill sets.

The 2018 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium — Feb. 26 – March 2 in Austin, TX — boasts a variety of one- and two-day courses, all in an environment of sharing and networking among P2 practitioners. Just look at some of the offerings:

“When Things Go Sideways” (1 day)

Conflict is generally a given in public forums, but sometimes the best-laid plans can come off the rails. How do you take anger and frustration and channel them into an environment for constructive engagement? This course explores tools and techniques for embracing high emotion in public settings. You’ll increase your self-awareness about personal reactions and responses to other people’s emotions. Register here.

“Designing for Diversity” (2 days)

Do you work with communities of differing cultures, lifestyles, ages or abilities? This course will help you appreciate the spectrum of diversity and how important it is to bring underrepresented voices to the table. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of the what underrepresentation is and how it happens, and learn how to develop ethical and effective approaches for engaging diverse participants. Register here.

“Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in P2” (2 days)

Forewarned is forearmed, and when you know you’re going into a high-emotion/outrage situation, there are specific strategies you can put to work to keep things moving forward to a successful outcome. This course takes the work of Dr Peter Sandman and combines it with the experiences of IAP2 trainers to give you insight into the 12 factors that contribute to Outrage and six strategies for reducing outrage. You’ll learn how risk, hazard and outrage are interrelated, and discuss the ethics of “managing” outrage. Register here.

“Social Media and P2” (2 days)

It’s commonly accepted now that digital engagement and face-to-face engagement go hand-in-hand. Social media can bring to the conversation many more people with many more viewpoints to consider. With the benefit of several years of experience and observation, this course gives you an idea of what works and what has been tried and found wanting. You’ll learn how to gather input creatively, enable collaborative online interactions, and sustain participation over time. You’ll learn how to recruit participants using social media and integrate mobile communication into the mix. Register here.

“Toolz for Tough Conversations” (1 day)

Are you working on a community initiative that demands input from diverse areas? This course will prepare you to lead difficult discussions, cross-sector deliberations and collaborative decision-making. “Toolz for Tough Conversations” combines awareness of the physiological and habitual reactions to conflict with ways of identifying conflict alternatives to shift awareness to critical issues that must be heard in order to achieve a positive outcome. Register here.


You can read the full Schedule-at-a-Glance online. Reserve your room at our host hotel, the Lone Star Court, by February 2 and get the special Symposium rate of $149/night*!

*plus tax; subject to room availability.

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