Public Decisions Library

Stakeholder Engagement 2010TM
The Annual International Online Conference

Including the Excluded: Social/Environmental Justice,
Accessibility, and Social Inclusion in Engagement

2-4 March 2010


This page contains a description of the conference sessions. To access the session recordings (where available), please use the link on the main library page.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

1) 9:30-11:00 am EST / 2:30-4:00 pm GMT
The Berrett-Koehler Keynote Address: Collective Wisdom and The Power of Inclusion
This inspiring and practical keynote address by John Ott, co-author of The Power of Collective Wisdom, will focus on the six commitments people can adopt that will increase the likelihood of collective wisdom.

Detailed Description: If we are to disentangle the extraordinary challenges that we face today in organizations, communities, and nations we must transcend our divisions and develop solutions together. But what enables us to collectively make wise choices and sound judgments instead of splintering apart? Based on nine years of research, The Power of Collective Wisdom (Berrett-Koehler, 2009) is a foundational book for an emerging field of study and practice relevant to everyone seeking more effective and satisfying ways of working with others. This inspiring and practical keynote address by John Ott (co-author with Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson and Tom Callanan) will focus on the six commitments people can adopt that will increase the likelihood of collective wisdom. John will use stories and historical examples to illuminate and illustrate how collective wisdom has emerged in a range of settings and through the lives and traditions of varied cultures. Peter Block, author of the books Stewardship and Community, said, "This book takes knowledge about groups and elevates it to a field and a movement."

2) 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST / 4:30-6:00 pm GMT
Networking Roundtable: Social Inclusion
Not recorded

3) 1:30-3:00 pm EST / 6:30-8:00 pm GMT
Alternative Approaches to Leadership and Community Knowledge
This session highlights three presentations, each with a different way of thinking about leadership and knowledge: collective leadership across boundaries that can lead to transformations in the entire community, traditional knowledge from an aboriginal perspective and its benefits when combined with western science and "lessons learned" from partnerships across tribal-regional government boundaries in support of common goals.

Detailed Descriptions:
a. Collective Leadership Works: Pathways to Civic Engagement by Carla M. Roach / Innovation Center for Community & Youth Development.
This presentation introduces collective leadership: a new way of recognizing problems, understanding them, and summoning the collective will to act across established lines of difference such as race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, and age. Collective leadership occurs when people cross boundaries to come together, commit to mutual learning and action, and share responsibility and accountability. In a collective leadership model, numerous individuals—not just the best and the brightest—function as leaders. By disrupting the power differentials that characterize traditional leadership paradigms, collective leadership works toward transformational change. Also, collective leadership encourages multiple individuals to play leadership roles as part of a group which, in turn, provides leadership to the entire community. This way of working is relational, fostering the kind of interactions that catalyze change at multiple levels. Finally, collective leadership is a fluid approach to leadership. Due in part to the diversity of its participants, collective leadership evolves in response to specific situations and settings. It is an adaptive approach that can be effective with any group of devoted individuals working in any community. By seeking transformational change, emphasizing relational strategies, and embracing fluid interventions, collective leadership creates multiple pathways to civic engagement. This framework can be a particularly effective way to work toward social justice goals because it offers a way to address complex issues and provides a constructive outlet for residents impacted by systemic oppression.

b. The Application of Aboriginal Knowledge in Resource Management Decision Making by Karen Wianecki / Planning Solutions Inc.
The Government of Ontario is interested in enhancing its resource management decision making capabilities by incorporating traditional knowledge with western science. There is a lot of information on traditional knowledge but not from the lens of First Nations or the Metis Nation. An Aboriginal Working Group was created to develop a Statement of Aboriginal Perspective on the use of Traditional Knowledge. There were many issues raised about the application and use of traditional knowledge and the Statement presents an overview of the aboriginal perspective and identifies from their lens, how traditional knowledge should be viewed. This presentation provides an opportunity to learn from first hand experience about a process that engaged aboriginal people and produced results. A Statement of Aboriginal Perspective was prepared and has been submitted for consideration by the Government of Ontario.

c. Tribal-MPO Relations: Lessons Learned from the San Diego Region by Jane Clough-Riquelme / San Diego Association of Governments.
The U.S. Constitution and treaties recognize Native American communities as separate and independent political communities within the territorial boundaries of the United States. The current government-to-government relationship is a federal/tribal relationship, the origin of which flows from treaties, federal statutes, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Government-to-government relations between regional planning agencies, local governments, and counties is voluntary, however in recent years there have been a number of federal and state requirements put in place which require tribal consultation. While tribes as land use authorities should be engaged in regional planning, there are a number of obstacles to their participation. In this presentation, Clough-Riquelme will share her experience of how the San Diego Association of Governments built a partnership with the region’s 17 tribal nations while also discussing best practices and identifying valuable lessons learned.

4) 3:30-5:00 pm EST / 8:30-10:00 pm GMT
Engaging People with Disabilities
This session features two presentations that highlight efforts to engage consumer/survivors of a state mental health system and clinicians and administrators from that system, and a project that identified “best practices” for including individuals with disabilities in public consultations. NOTE: Part 2 with Terry Williams' presentation will be posted following the conference.

Detailed Descriptions:
a. Speaking Truth to Power: Authentic Voices, Responsive Ears by Robert R. Stains, Jr. / Public Conversations Project and David Joseph / Public Conversations Project
A steering committee of "consumer/survivors" of a state mental health system and clinicians and administrators from that system worked to implement a federal grant to reduce and eliminate the use of mechanical and physical restraints and involuntary seclusion in state mental health facilities. Collaboration broke down when communication challenges arose related to profoundly differing perspectives from life experience. Work on implementing the grant was stalemated.

b. Reaching Out to People with Disabilities by Terry Williams / MAZE Consulting
Many stakeholder engagement practitioners are challenged by the difficulty of ensuring inclusion of the disenfranchised and hard-to-reach in public consultations. This session offers some insight into the complexities of reaching out to people with disabilities, and provides suggestions for supporting involvement of a considerable segment of our society that is often not well-represented in public participation activities. Three major aspects of working with people with disabilities are discussed: the invitation (reaching out), understanding the range of disabilities that may be encountered and criteria to be considered when selecting a venue and planning the event.

5) 5:30-7:00 pm EST / 10:30 - 12:00 pm GMT
Second Life® Field Trip: Virtual Ability, Inc.
Co-winner of the first Linden Prize—which recognizes innovations in Second Life "that improve the way people work, learn and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world"—Virtual Ability helps people with disabilities get into and become successful in virtual worlds like Second Life. Once they are "there," Virtual Ability helps members of our community integrate into the virtual society, and provides an ongoing community of support. The community offers members information, encouragement, training, companionship, referrals to other online resources and groups, ways to contribute back to the community, and ways to have fun.

Field Trip Hosts: Gentle Heron / Virtual Ability and Ladyslipper Constantine / Virtual Ability
Not recorded

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

6) 8:00-9:00 am EST / 1:00-2:00 pm GMT
Networking Roundtable: Open Forum
Co-facilitated by Edward Andersson / Involve and Beth Offenbacker / PublicDecisions
Not recorded

7) 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST / 4:30-6:00 pm GMT
Crowdsourcing as a Means of Inclusion This session highlights insights gleaned from a recent U.S. Federal Transit Administration project on "crowdsourcing" in Utah that sought to involve diverse publics and draw upon localized knowledge in support of public transit planning.

Detailed Description:
Integrating Previously Uninvolved Stakeholders in an Online Public Participation Program: The Next Stop Design Case by Daren C. Brabham / University of Utah.
Traditional public participation methods in urban planning, such as town hall meetings, attempt to bring the input of diverse stakeholder groups to bear on planning problems. These methods strive to include the broad range of voices from users in the common visioning of a future public space. However, these methods have their own limitations. Interpersonal dynamics and identity politics—including race, class, gender, disability, sexuality—affect how individuals participate in town hall meetings. Special interest groups may show up to a meeting and intimidate citizens with elaborate charts, expert testimony, or even staged shouting matches. And often traditional public participation meetings occur at times and in locations inaccessible to individuals who work multiple jobs, who are immobile, or who do not have access to transportation. In short, these methods, which seek to involve diverse publics and draw upon localized knowledge, may in fact fall short in that goal. This presentation is based on research conducted by Daren C. Brabham, Thomas W. Sanchez, and Keith Bartholomew.

8) 1:30-3:00 pm EST / 6:30-8:00 pm GMT
Second Life Field Trip: Including Urban Youth
Founded in 1989, Global Kids' mission is to inspire and educate urban youth to become successful students and global and community leaders by engaging them in socially dynamic, content-rich learning experiences. Through its leadership development and academic enrichment programs, Global Kids educates youth about critical international and domestic issues and promotes their engagement in civic life and the democratic process. This field trip highlights how Global Kids’ use of Teen Second Life supports equity, accessibility and social inclusion, all of which are intricately tied to the organization’s mission.

Field Trip Host: Rik Panganiban/GlobalKids
Not recorded

9) 3:30-5:00 pm EST / 8:30-10:00 pm GMT
Social Justice and Virtual Worlds
This presentation will explore how virtual social communities can be used as a means for bringing about "safe places" where those who may be socially marginalized can shed the shackles of socially imposed stigmas, redefine themselves and directly effect social change at the individual level.

Detailed Description:
Social Justice and Virtual Worlds by Dr. Jon Cabiria / Fielding Graduate University and UCLA
This presentation will explore how virtual social communities can be utilized to engage in identity recreation. Marginalized people, especially those who have what noted sociologist, Erving Goffman, refers to as "hidden stigmas," often mold and manage their real world identities at the expense of their ability to become, in psychologist Abraham Maslow’s terms, "fully actualized beings." Societal pressures, such as stereotyping, prejudice and media messages, force some people to create an artificial representation of self in order to "fit in." Referring to some case study samples and other research, we will look at some incredible examples of how engagement in virtual social communities has allowed some individuals to shed the shackles of their stigmas when in virtual environments. But it doesn’t end there. Through efforts to redefine themselves within the safe harbors of virtual environments, people have discovered the means to bring the positive benefits that they experienced in their virtual lives back out to their real world lives. We will also look at how older people, particularly the baby-boomer generation, are using virtual spaces to reformulate their identities as they enter the next stages of life. This presentation is sure to be interesting, illuminating, and thought-provoking as it explores novel ways in which virtual environments can be used to directly effect social change, starting at the individual level.

10) 7:30-8:30 pm EST / 12:30 - 1:30 am GMT
Networking Roundtable: Social Environmental Justice
Not recorded

Thursday, March 4, 2010

11) 8:00-9:00 am EST / 1:00-2:00 pm GMT
Networking Roundtable: Open Forum

12) 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST / 4:30-6:00 pm GMT
Education as a Means for Social Change and Action
This session features two case studies that highlight practical strategies for social change and action: a case study from Collier County, Florida focuses on overcoming social and economic turmoil in support of turning around this divided community in support of common priorities for the community’s schools and a second case study from Amarillo, Texas that engaged citizens in addressing the local and regional economic implications of failing to overcome low rates of educational attainment for the community’s youth.

Detailed Descriptions:
a. Community Driven Vision for Education: The Collier County Example by David Moore / Collaborative Communications Group
Traditionally, efforts to involve the community in identifying aspirations and priorities for education involve traditional stakeholders and "the usual suspects." In a contentious and divided issue environment the challenge is to bring in new voices from diverse communities to change the context, content and energy in the discussion.

In Collier County, Florida, a local community organization took on the challenge of shaping a new conversation about the community and education. In the face of turmoil over the firing of a superintendent and a collapsing economy, the process brought together people in high wealth retirement communities and first-generation immigrants and middle-income families to shape an agenda for the community and the schools. In a community where 44% of the students are Hispanic but less than 20% of the adult population is, the understanding about the situation and creating a shared sense of the aspirations held in common created a new foundation for individuals, community organizations and the schools to set priorities and plan. Learn about the keys to success used to address these pressing challenges in this practically oriented presentation.

b. The Panhandle Imperative: Engaging Our Citizenry In Solving The Community's Problems—Economic Implications of Educational Attainment by Anette Carlisle / Panhandle Twenty/20
The ability of Amarillo and the Panhandle to thrive in the 21st Century global knowledge-based economy hinges on the quality and educational attainment level of its workforce, which is currently lower than the state and national average. If current trends remain, the future of the workforce needed for a vibrant economy may no longer exist in the Texas Panhandle. In the Panhandle, one in four adults over the age of 25 has no high school diploma; in Amarillo, one in five has no high school diploma. Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle have low rates of educational attainment when compared to national, state, and benchmark communities.

Factors involved include an economy that heavily relies on a poorly educated workforce, low education levels in our aging population, and the out-migration of many of our youth who achieve higher levels of educational attainment. Historically low post-secondary matriculation for our high school graduates contributes to these low numbers. These numbers, combined with projections from the state demographer, create significant cause for concern for our region’s future economic success. These numbers indicate a trend toward an increasingly under-prepared and low-paid workforce, leading to declining prosperity in our region and a decreasing ability to attract and retain businesses and industries that pay livable wages and create higher-wage jobs. The Panhandle is losing ground in the quality of its workforce’s current and future needs are not being met. The ongoing goal of this effort is to change the direction of this downward cycle.

3:30-5:00 pm EST / 8:30-10:00 pm GMT
Meaningful Inclusion as a Civil Right
This interactive session focuses on several key dimensions of inclusion as a civil right including an examination of disability rights as civil rights, a discussion of the shortcomings of traditional advocacy, recognition of the power of conversations in this change, the individual and systemic changes necessary for true inclusion and a conversation about what attendees can do to address existing disparities in inclusion.

Detailed Description:
Meaningful Inclusion as a Civil Right by Jamie Showkeir / Henning Showkeir & Associates and Kris Copeland / Project SEARCH
The potential power of the disability community is undeniable—it is an incredible labor and customer market. Almost one-third of the United States population is comprised of people with disabilities and their families, friends, and supporters—some 56 million people. Yet many have been relegated to church basements for education, congregate living facilities and jobs that lack substance or meaning. While progress has been made in the last 25 years, an immense chasm exists between "access" and a seat at the table. We have miles to go on the journey of meaningful inclusion. By attending this interactive session you will:

• Examine disability rights as civil rights
• Recognize the shortcomings of traditional advocacy
• Recognize the power of conversations in this change
• Identify the individual and systemic changes necessary for true inclusion
• Identify what you can do to become part of the solution

From the Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." You can be a force for positive social change and unleash the potential power of communities touched by disabilities. Join us.

14) 5:30-7:00 pm EST / 10:30-12:00 pm GMT
Moving Beyond Diversity to Equity
This workshop addresses how attendees can be more inclusive and equitable of those who are traditionally underserved in their communities through strategies and tools that support meaningful and authentic interactions.

Detailed Description:
Moving Beyond Diversity to Equity by Afifa Ahmed-Shafi / Office of Neighborhood Involvement, City of Portland, Oregon & Jeri Williams / Office of Neighborhood Involvement, City of Portland, Oregon
How we can move beyond recognizing and celebrating differences to working toward acknowledging and countering historical disparities? The workshop explores how public employees can be more inclusive and equitable in working with the community. This workshop will be of specific interest to those who work in public involvement and outreach. We will explore how to meaningfully engage communities that have been historically underrepresented in our agencies' public involvement processes. As public agencies deal with increasingly limited resources, it will be imperative to equip public employees with tools to being able to engage the great diversity that exists in our communities. Shifting our focus to equity will increase the ability of public employees to be effective and successful in engaging with communities that have been traditionally underrepresented, as it will ensure meaningful interactions and authentically meeting a community where they are at.

15) 7:30-8:30 pm EST / 12:30 - 1:30 am GMT
Networking Roundtable: Accessibility
Not recorded