Who Will You Invite? An Exploration of Stakeholder Selection in Dialogue and Deliberation
A NCDD Listserv synopsis of the conversation entitled: How to pick stakeholders for a stakeholder dialogue
Listserv Contributors: Tom Altee, Adrian Segar, Peter Jones, Marjo Curgus, Peggy Holman, Chris Santos-Lang, Betsy Morris, Eric Simley, and Sally Theilacker
Synopsis by: Annie Rappeport, NCDD Intern
“The approach to stakeholder selection is the most critical step in the design of fair and inclusive dialogues that reflect a community’s contributions and perspectives” ~ Peter Jones, NCDD Member
In your dialogue and deliberation work do you find yourself struggling as much about who to invite to a dialogue as how to set the agenda?
Are you wanting to include many but worried about sacrificing the needed intimacy of the conversation? If so, you are not alone.
In September 2018, NCDD member Tom Altee began a conversation with an inquiry to the greater NCDD community about the different considerations for and ways to select community stakeholders gathering because they all care about a particular issue. Although Tom Altee’s questions were for a specific project related to community transit and the varying interests of bicyclists, walkers, and drivers, the responses quickly broadened this important conversation about dialogue. Tackling who will be included in a dialogue has valuable impacts on what will be discussed as will the overall size of the group and any present uneven power dynamics.
Our NCDD community responded with resources and ideas aplenty. Here are some contributions we believe may serve others well as they craft an approach for their specific local needs and contexts.
What we can continue to take from this discussion overall is the importance of questioning how we invite and who we invite in community discussions. The tools and approaches vary, but many times our goals remain constant–to have high quality and effective dialogues that are so because they are diverse, inclusive, and a size that enables everyone to contribute.
We hope this discussion may continue! Please post your thoughts and ideas for stakeholder selection in your work.
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