WEBINAR REWIND: February 2018 – “Handling Emotion and Outrage in Public Participation”

When dealing with conflict and entrenched opinions, do you look for the root causes of the entrenchment? In our February webinar, “Handling Emotion and Outrage in P2”, John Godec, MCP3, looked at some of the reasons why people become polarized in their opinions and why they hold those particular opinions in the first place.

A new benefit for IAP2 USA members: recordings of our webinars are now available exclusively to IAP2 USA members. Check out these and other recorded webinars here.

(One of the IAP2 “Flagship” courses is “Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in P2” – formerly known as EOP2 – but this should not be confused with this webinar.)

John pointed out that many of the issues P2 practitioners face today are not new. At the 1997 IAP2 Conference in Phoenix, Chris Gates, president of the National Civic League, described a society made up of angry citizens, ruthless media, broken politics, cynicism and old approaches, as well, Gates added, as “an assumption of bad intent by business and government leaders.”

Sixty years earlier, John noted, Dale Carnegie, the “How to Win Friends and Influence People” guy, stated that “When dealing with people, remember that you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

John’s research into these root causes, in part, came from trying to understand his own family, many of whom he calls “über-conservatives”. It’s taken him into realms of neuroscience and human behavior, and the work of people like Dr Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Jonathan Haidt a social psychologist who identify biological differences in brain function between people who hold conservative views and those who self identify as more liberal. In other words, people often become polarized and entrenched in their socio-political positions because they are wired that way.

Grasping that concept and learning to deal with it leads to better thinking when planning a P2 process that you know will be controversial and bring out wildly opposing factions, ensuring that certain voices are not allowed to dominate the scene.

IAP2 USA Members can view this webinar online at: https://iap2usa.org/2018webinars

Note: Members must be logged in to view this content.

 

Webinar Rewind – March 2018: Core Values Award Winners – project categories

Camille Morse Nicholson headshotAlthough climate change is on the minds of pretty much everybody, one group has been routinely left out of the policy conversation: rural residents. Farmers, ranchers and others who live outside our big cities have found that policy designed by urban and suburban interests often fails to address the distinctive realities and challenges they experience.

The Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Jefferson Center joined with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to create the “Rural Climate Dialogues”, in which people in three rural Minnesota communities hosted Citizen Juries to deliberate on the topic of climate and extreme weather, and create solutions that worked for them.

Camille Morse Nicholson, Program Coordinator at the Jefferson Center, outlined some of the different techniques required to build community support in advance of the dialogue, facilitate the jury’s work, and support the communities in their follow-up. Although a divisive debate is a possibility with such a politically-loaded topic, one participant remarked, “there was no political/ideological divisiveness: everything was done with respect and in good order.”

The dialogues continue with a focus on the future of energy in rural Minnesota, and the project has already won the Core Values Award for “Creativity and Innovation.”


Dealing with the prospect of closing schools is a touchy subject in the best of conditions, but throw in language and other cultural differences, and things get even trickier.

Rockandel bio pict_sm (1)That was the challenge faced by the Richmond BC School District when faced with the need to do seismic upgrading on their buildings, in a zone identified as prone to liquefaction in case of an earthquake. The potential hit to the budget meant a real potential for closing some schools. This meant taking it to the people, which led to a Core Values Award for the District and Catherine Rockandel of Rockandel and Associates.

The Award — for “Respect for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture” — recognized the work done to reach out to families in a place where sixty percent of households do not have English as a first language. Languages in Richmond include Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Tagalog, Punjabi and some Japanese. Moreover, many of the immigrants come from cultures which mistrust governments and officialdom in general.

What tools and techniques did they use to encourage people to take part and trust that their voices are being heard and taken seriously? How did they reach a conclusion in which no schools were closed?

IAP2 USA Members can view this webinar online at: https://iap2usa.org/2018webinars

Note: Members must be logged in to view this content.

 

 

Member Profile – Mahina Martin

POSITION: Director of Government & Community Relations Maui Electric

I believe that the public deserves a voice, and I also believe that not all governments and companies are ill-intended. There’s so much energy spent on conflict, and we have better things to do, like being with our families, having fun, pursuing personal passions; so participating with so little time and interest can get in the way. I also like that P2 is a good way to guide a process to a good resolution.

President’s Message – Leah Jaramillo

Greetings from Austin!

I am writing to you from the AUX tarmac after nearly a week of training and fun at the IAP2 USA Board face to face meeting. Following the 2018 Skills Symposium, your board of directors welcomed two new members – Traci Etheridge and Gwen Happ – and buckled down to address priorities for 2018. Among them are: maintaining our existing member services; ensuring our services, costs and fees align; focusing on chapter support and planning for the future. It was a whirlwind of work, but we are excited to be here and ready to get down to the details. On a personal note, I was honored to be confirmed to my third term as board President and appreciate the support of each of our directors and staff in helping to move the organization forward. 

Time to celebrate Great P2!

 

ANNOUNCING: the 2018 IAP2 USA Core Values Awards + new ways to recognize outstanding individuals!

Seen any good P2 lately? Did you produce, or were part of a team that produced, a stellar public consultation process? Did it imagine, inspire, influence, innovate and include? The time is NOW to submit an application for the 2018 IAP2 Core Values Awards!

Submit your IAP2 North American Conference session proposal – deadline February 12.

ONE MORE WEEK to submit your proposal for the IAP2 North American Conference session!

Do you have particular expertise in P2 you want to share with others? Have you gained unique insights into the profession and the many areas connected with it? Now is the time to submit your proposal to present at the 2018 IAP2 North American Conference, Sept. 5 – 7 in Victoria, BC! The deadline is less than a week away: Monday, February 12, at 11:59pm Pacific time.

We’re expecting some 300 people from across North America and around the world to join us as we explore “Growing a Culture of P2”. This is your opportunity to dive deep into this year’s conference theme: Innovate, Inspire, Include, Influence, and Imagine!  

To start with, please review the Call for Session Proposals. There, you’ll find information on what the Program Committee is looking for and tips on what to include in your Session Proposal Application. Successful proponents will be notified in March and we expect to announce the program in early April.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Webinar Rewind: Digital Engagement Panel

We always like to kick off the New Year with a look at the latest in digital engagement, and in January, we brought back together the members of the pre-conference DE workshop at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference in Denver. Dave Biggs (MetroQuest), Charles Connell (Social Pinpoint), Matt Crozier (Bang the Table) and Joseph Thornley (76engage) held a panel discussion, with over 100 people — a sellout crowd! — joining in.

The discussion ranges through a variety of topics. Here’s a sample of the panel’s observations:

MATT CROZIER-2Matt: We can no longer separate digital engagement from in-person engagement — we need to think about how the methods work together. Digital is the only way you can take engagement from reaching tens or hundreds and into thousands or tens of thousands.

“You get more thoughtful responses through online and you can engage when a community is ready. If they’re not already engaged and a project comes up, people will go elsewhere to make their comments — usually on social media, outside the project.”

Webinar Rewind – “Denver Encore: Beginning with the Brain in Mind”

A growing challenge for a P2 practitioner is the deepening ideological divide that has developed over the past few decades. As people become more and more entrenched in their view and less and less likely to consider those of others, engaging the broadest cross-section of the public becomes more and more difficult.

Dr Martin Carcasson with the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University says finding a solution begins with understanding the root of the problem – the “brain science” behind polarization – and the December webinar was an encore of his presentation at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference, “Beginning With The Brain In Mind”.

carcasson - books
Lots of books have been written on the subject

Our human nature makes things problematic, Carcasson says. We crave certainty and consistency, and if we’re making a decision in a controversial or even polarized environment, we tend to protect that decision as much as possible, even in the face of contrary facts.

What’s more, people are suckers for the good-versus-evil narrative – through all cultures and all times, we love the hero-and-villain scenario, and Carcasson says that we’re teaching our children wrong by teaching them that there is an evil force behind bad things, when really, it’s more complicated than that.

We are “groupish” or tribal, preferring to associate with like-minded people. Some of the worst things – and some of the best things – that humans have done in history have stemmed from that mind-set.

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.

Call for Session Proposals!

IAP2 Canada and IAP2 USA are seeking session proposals for the 7th Annual IAP2 North American Conference to be held September 5-7, 2018 in Victoria, BC, Canada.

This is an opportunity to explore the theme, Growing a Culture of P2, with content focusing on topics that Innovate, Inspire, Include, Influence, and Imagine!

Please review the Call for Session Proposals first as it contains information on what the Program Committee is looking for and tips on what to include in your Session Proposal Application.

The majority of the sessions will be in English, however, we plan to include some bilingual sessions. Please indicate in the application if you would like to make your presentation in French and English (simultaneous interpretation will not be provided).

The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, February 12, 2018!