Deliberative Forums and Community Politics: Convening, Facilitating, and Moderating Forums for Public Acting
In this report to the Kettering Foundation, researchers Bill Corbett and Beth Offenbacker use surveys and interviews to point to the need to develop a “thick” understanding of designing public processes to address issues. Holding forums is one thing, but without deep thinking about the role of the forum in a community’s politics, the legitimacy of public processes can diminish. A convenor of such processes needs to develop an understanding of community politics and a team of moderators and facilitators. The authors usefully distinguish between the roles of moderating a forum and facilitating a public process.