Public Engagement Workshop


Engage in the public square!

Join our pilot public engagement workshop. This blended learning program runs online for six weeks from June 21st – July 26th, with face-to-face meetings on Wednesday nights 6:30 – 8:30 in Grass Valley, CA.  The course is mentored by Michael Freedman, the program designer, and Charlotte Pizzella. Read more about our program design.

Each week we will explore a topic which will help your to better engage in public dialog, providing concrete take-aways and significant experiential learnings.  As this is the pilot class, we are looking for enthusiastic participants to help shape the program, and/or to mentor future classes or programs, and are offering scholarships for this participation.


Participants will examine what healthy dialogue looks like, and the importance of staying informed. How do we properly assess current reality? How do we effectively shape and put forth our own truth? We will get to know each other and form small working groups based on our interests and goals.

Human Factors: Know Thyself

Participants will examine their relationship to society and the psychological/sociological factors impacting human ability to discern truth.

Getting Smarter: The Disciplines of Truth

Participants will learn how to seek and digest diverse and competing ideas and viewpoints in order to advance their perspectives. They will form and use incisive questioning and persistence in the pursuit of truth. We explore five disciplines of truth.

Social Factors: Our Context

Participants will understand the social, political, and economic factors that shape their beliefs and views. They will recognize and counter privilege, social pressures, myths, and conventions.

Effecting Change: Action and Sustainability

Participants will recognize and thrive in an environment of competing beliefs and perspectives. They will recognize the difference between, and develop strategies for, navigating constructive and destructive conflict. Participants will understand the process and systems of change and will utilize systemic thinking. They will understand how organizations and bureaucracies make decisions and use a variety of individual and group strategies to promote and secure change.

Resolution and Next Steps

We will take stock of what we’ve learned, set goals for going forward, and make plans to get there.

Contact us for more details or to discuss scholarship opportunities.



Join us: we are re-imagining The Public Square in Western Nevada County.

The Public Square represents the meeting point of different values, orientations, modes of expression, and beliefs that lie at the core of civil society. Traditionally, it is a physical meeting place where citizens come to solve problems, propose solutions, hash out differences, and make improvements through our representatives. Trusted journalists kept a watchful eye on the public interest, providing a counter balance to the corrupting tendencies of power.

Times have changed. Public dialog is broken, representatives are increasingly isolated from the public, and decisions tend to favor those in power. Mistrust is rampant. Too many of us are overwhelmed with information overload. We are intentionally and systematically marginalized by forces protecting power and treasure. The power of the individual citizen is diminished. The processes and tools are now available for each of us – every citizen – to have a voice in our governance. And the time is right. We will use the power of education, discussion and deliberation, empowerment and engagement strategies to raise the level of civic dialogue, increase understanding, improve trust between our citizens and organisations to improve  outcomes.

Program Road map

  • Trainings and Certifications
  • Events and Workshops
  • Public Lecture Series
  • Local Meetups for Dialogue and Deliberation Practicum
  • Private Groups (topic-based learning communities, campaign support, and mastermind groups)
  • School and Community programs
  • Mentor Training Program
  • Programs tailored to your organization’s specific needs

We are currently looking to connect with speakers, moderators, and program leaders who want to work in this space:

  • Like us at our Facebook group for developments and news.
  • We are currently looking for speakers, moderators, and program leaders. Contact us to start the conversation.