Congratulations Theresa Gunn, IAP2 USA’s newest Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3)!
Congratulations Theresa Gunn on becoming IAP2 USA’s newest Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3).
Theresa has been with IAP2 since 1994 and has worn many hats. She has contributed in many ways within IAP2 and has been essential in molding IAP2 USA into the organization it is today. Her leadership service includes, but is not limited to:
- Serving on the inaugural IAP2 USA Board of Directors from 2011-2012 where she oversaw the nascence of IAP2 USA
- Serving on the first IAP2 Federation Board of Directors following the March 2010 decision to move to an Affiliate model, serving first as Treasurer, 2011-2012, and then as Deputy Presiding Member in 2013.
- Theresa has chaired the Membership Services Committee, 2014-to-date, where she continues her work championing professional development for public participation practitioners.
Theresa is a huge proponent of the Professional Certification Program. It was a priority for her as a Federation board member where she was able to shepherd the process that gave IAP2 USA permission to develop the program.
“IAP2 USA is a global leader in establishing the gold standard for public participation. Professional Certification will ensure organizations relying on certified practitioners are going to get the best of the best, and community residents who are participating in these process will be assured these are transparent, open processes founded on research-based best practices.”
We congratulate Theresa Gunn on her successful completion of the Professional Certification Program and designation as a Master Certified Public Participation Professional (MCP3). We are grateful for her continuing support and admire how she embodies the IAP2 Core Values.
To learn more about Theresa Gunn, see our 2016 Member Spotlight.
- You’re a goldmine of information. Share the wealth! – Mentoring is a way to stay grounded. It becomes a gateway for you to access your past experiences, pitfalls, and triumphs. Mentoring can become an exercise in critical thinking in a way that will help you to look at your practice more analytically. Challenging yourself to become a mentor and share your knowledge will give you an opportunity to explore your reflections and pass on better P2 practices.
- Stay hip and keep up with the times! – Our world is changing at an exponential rate. We have seen the rise of technology and every day we are surrounded by the force it wields. There is no doubt the upcoming generations we see today are far more tech savvy. Taking on a mentee may mean that you will, in turn, learn some tricks of the technology trade and fortify your own P2 practices.
- Change a life, and the industry! – By becoming a mentor you will help set the tone of our industry. For many of us, there is a mentor in our past that helped set the tone and build the foundation upon which we built our career. The personal reward of seeing those positive changes is immense!
Applications are due by March 10th, 2017. Do not miss out on this awesome opportunity!
- Mentors provide a wealth of information – Have ever felt that you are stuck in a professional rut with no viable options, there’s a good chance your mentor has been there. If they haven’t, it is likely they know someone who has. Mentors offer encouragement, but also help set goals and share experiences to help you avoid the sticky situations beginners can make.
- Mentors can provide genuine constructive feedback – There is nothing more frustrating than having a project kicked back with the only nugget of feedback being something akin to “needs work.” Mentors can help you see where you need to improve, where you may be blind to it.
- Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth – Mentors have a way of seeing our faults in such a way that it creates a place for growth and change. Having a safe space to ask questions, make mistakes, and explore new techniques is priceless. They can help you set realistic goals and find ways to make them reality.
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living – if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing you the way. A mentor.”
Applications are due by March 10th, 2017. Do not miss out on this awesome opportunity!
The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) has invited IAP2 USA to participate in their field-wide inventory.
“Now more than ever, it’s vital for us to be able to say, with some authority, how large our field is, how many dialogues are held on an annual basis, involving how many people, and so on. We want to know what approaches you are trained in, which ones you tend to use, and which ones you train others in. We’d like to know which online tools you find most useful, and what factors influence your decisions about which collaborative projects you’ll get involved in. And true to NCDD style, we want to share this information widely.”
- If you are filling out the inventory for yourself, complete the Inventory for Individuals
- If you are filling out the inventory for your organization, complete the Inventory for Organizations
Please do take the time to complete this survey by the deadline — Wednesday, December 7th — if you haven’t already.
NCDD would greatly value your participation!
|We keep saying that the San Diego Skills Symposium has something for everyone, and it does! Where are you on your learning journey? What skills do you need for continuous improvement? What should you be signing up for? The following provides some insights on what you could learn and where courses lie on the continuum of experience. But many overlap, so don’t let us define or limit your journey – choose the courses that best fit where YOU are and what YOU need.|
|Course and Audience||Some of the things YOU will learn in these courses|
|If you are new to the P2 field or want a refresher…|
|IAP2 Foundations Planning
Planning – 3 Days
Techniques – 2 Days
|If you are experienced in delivering P2…|
|Social Media and P2
|IAP2 Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation
|Designing for Diversity
|Building the Trust for Civil Communication
|Evaluating & Measuring P2
|If you have been delivering good P2 for quite a while…|
|When Things Go Sideways
|Wherever you are in your P2 learning journey, plan to join us for these highly interactive and participatory courses.|
IAP2 USA is pleased to announce the launch of our new online training courses. This is an exciting opportunity for you to update your professional skills — in collaboration with colleagues and without leaving your office.
These courses are designed to support ongoing learning, and are more than a set of worksheets or templates. They include videos, exercises, interactive multimedia examples, case studies, interaction with fellow participants and your trainer, and more.
The best online learning goes beyond the content. Our trainers teach skills and knowledge in a way that connects to your goals, hopes, and values AND demonstrates how these connect to your work and world.
Welcome to Virtual Training @IAP2 USA!
Choosing the Right P2 Tools
This course focuses on the critical and oft-neglected professional development “zone” between process design and detailed instructions on specific techniques – that space where practitioners and decision makers decide which tools and techniques to employ.
Too often those decisions are based on the practitioner’s experience or comfort with a particular technique, a project lead or decision maker’s new favorite tool, fears about stakeholder influence or conflict, and so on. While there are always demands and constraints on choices, this course offers a more thoughtful and efficient approach to wisely choose tools and techniques to support stakeholder engagement, meet your project and engagement objectives, and account for key variables including schedule, budget, opportunities, and risks.
Who should take this course? What are the learner outcomes? Got questions? Read more!
October 31 through November 11
LIVE SESSIONS: Thursday, November 3 and Thursday, November 10, 1:00-3:00 pm US Central
December 5 through December 16
LIVE SESSIONS: Wednesday, December 7 and Wednesday, December 14, 1:00-3:00 pm US Central
What is involved? This course will be delivered in a mixed format with two live sessions, some offline preparation, and an open-source resource directory of materials and links.
Price: IAP2 Members – $99.00 (USD) – For members of IAP2 USA, the IAP2 Affiliates, and members of the IAP2 Federation. International Members, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the registration code. Non-Members – $109.00 (USD)
Deliberative Forums – A Deep Dive
What kind of tools and techniques do you use in your P2 processes? Are you keen to learn about a deep, rich conversational process that allows for critical thinking and productive discussion that results in a decision all while bringing participants together to jointly explore the pros and cons of a variety of alternatives? This course is intended to provide you with a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of how to design and implement a deliberative forum all while complementing and building on the content introduced in the IAP2 Foundations for Public Participation course.
Who should take this course? What are the learner outcomes? Got questions? Read more!
Dates: November 9 through December 12
LIVE SESSIONS: Tuesday, November 15, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern Friday, December 2, 12:00 – 1:30 pm Eastern
What is involved? Week 1, participants will complete course activities on their own with formal online support. In Week 2, a live session with all participants will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern. Week 3 will also provide a live session on Friday, December 2, 12:00 – 1:30 pm Eastern. In Week 4, like Week 1, participants complete course activities on their own with formal online support.
Price: IAP2 Members – $139.00 (USD) – For members of IAP2 USA, the IAP2 Affiliates, and members of the IAP2 Federation. International Members, should contact email@example.com for the registration code. Non-Members – $169.00 (USD)
Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest
Dave Biggs is an internationally-recognized speaker, author and public engagement strategist focusing on best practices to supercharge community participation for planning projects.
James Hoggan has influenced my work for two decades. I find myself quoting his work in many of my public speaking engagements and the lessons he has articulated have shaped MetroQuest and the best practices listed in our guidebook in numerous ways. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Hoggan to discuss his new book, “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up.” After years of research that included interviewing some of the world’s most profound thinkers on democracy, conflict and consensus-building, Hoggan has cleverly articulated not only what’s wrong with public discourse but also what must be done to fix it. Here’s our conversation.
My interview with Author James Hoggan: ‘I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up’, Published by New Society, May 2016
Dave Biggs: You named your book ‘I’m Right and You’re an Idiot.’ What does that title mean to you?
James Hoggan: The title I’m Right and You’re an Idiot describes today’s warlike approach to public debate. It’s a style of communication that polarizes public conversations and prevents us from dealing with the serious problems stalking everyone on earth.
It is an ironic title, chosen because it epitomizes the kind of attack rhetoric we hear so often today. It reflects the opposite of the real message of the book, which was best said by peace activist and Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh who told me to: “Speak the truth not to punish.”
Dave Biggs: It’s clear that you covered a great deal of ground in researching this book. Tell me about that journey? What motivated you to go to such lengths?
James Hoggan: I was driven by curiosity about how we might create the space for higher-quality public conversations. What passes for public discourse these days is little more than antagonistic name-calling, where each side accuses the other of bad faith.
This bitter combativeness has replaced healthy debate, during which passionate opposition and science can shape constructive mind-changing conversations without creating polarized gridlock or deep animosity.
I am interested in why are we listening to each other shout rather than hearing what the evidence is trying to tell us about problems such as climate change.
How have we come to a time when facts don’t matter and how can we begin the journey back to where they do?
No single person has the answers to these complex questions but collectively the experts I interviewed offer incredible wisdom. Many of the thought leaders I spoke to have spent their entire professional lives working to find answers to these tough change resistance questions.
Dave Biggs: Many of our readers are involved in community engagement for planning projects and, as they can attest, it can get quite heated. You describe public discourse as increasingly “toxic” and “polarized.” What do those terms mean to you? Is the situation getting worse? What’s driving it?
James Hoggan: Today’s public square is a toxic mix of ad hominem attacks, tribalism and unyielding advocacy. It’s a kind of pollution that sabotages public discourse and discredits the passion and outrage at the heart of healthy public debate, because it polarizes people and stops them thinking clearly.
Fear is what propels toxic discourse and it is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, in North America and Europe. Sadly, facts do not compete well when leaders whip up primal feelings around fear, whether it’s about immigration, jobs or economic woes.
Rather than confronting the substance of an argument itself, people tend to attack the motives of opponents and stir up hostility towards groups that hold differing opinions.
This dangerous habit of attacking the character of those who disagree with us, rather than focusing on specific issues, distracts the public from what’s really going on.
Accusing opponents of corrupt motives is a highly confrontational technique that deflects attention and makes it easy to dismiss well-founded criticism. This aggressive approach to public debate leaves little room for the middle ground and as Debra Tannen wrote, “When extremes define the issues, problems seem insoluble and citizens become alienated from the political process.”
Dave Biggs: I’ve started a series called “Fiasco Files” to see what can be learned from the wreckage of public engagement disasters. Have you looked at specific case studies where things went off the rails? Does your book point to common mistakes and how to avoid them?
James Hoggan: One of the best example of a fiasco in Canada was in 2012 when the oil & gas industry and Conservative government campaigned to convince Canadians that British Columbians who opposed pipelines and tankers on the west coast were extremists working for American business interests.
A tremendous amount of information was provided, by both government and industry, regarding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project and TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East.
Despite armies of PR people and volumes of communication materials, the mismanagement of communication around these proposed oil sands developments became textbook examples of how not to achieve social license.
When it comes to public opinion, there’s a common belief among proponents that providing facts is the best way to sell a story. But in the oil sands case, when the companies and government failed to achieve their goals, they resorted to a combative, underhanded style of advocacy.
The Prime Minister’s Office called opponents “foreign funded radicals.” The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources accused environmental charities of criminal activity.
Senator Don Platt said ‘where would …environmentalists draw the line on who they receive money from. Would they take money from the Al-Qaeda, the Hamas or the Taliban…’
This highly polarizing strategy backfired badly as opposition to pipelines grew and community groups and First Nations became better organized. It failed because the government and industry started with a mistaken assumption that anyone who disagreed with them was either misinformed, unreasonable or even a wrongdoer.
Despite assurances from oil and pipeline companies that these projects will create jobs, are safe and will respect the environment, the public continues to see the benefits as small and the risks as unacceptably high.
It’s not that information doesn’t matter, but a growing body of research on how people develop perceptions of risk shows that facts and statistics alone do not change people’s concerns about what is risky. Emotions play a huge part.
University of Oregon psychologist Paul Slovic has studied the various social and cultural factors that lead to disputes and disagreements about risk, and says the problem lies in the diverse ways in which “experts” and the public view risk.
Experts look at risk as a calculation of probability and consequence. The public takes a more personal approach; their perceptions are around personal control, voluntariness, children and future generations, trust, equity, benefits and consequences.
Slovic says the mistake experts (and the companies and governments they represent) make is viewing themselves as objective and the public as subjective.
They perceive the public as being too emotional and having irrational fear. The public’s attitude is then dismissed as laypeople getting the facts wrong and not understanding the evidence.
“Laypeople sometimes lack certain information about hazards,” Slovic says. “However their basic conceptualization of risk is much richer than that of experts and reflects legitimate concerns that are typically omitted from expert risk assessments.”
This is where a company’s decision to “educate” the public to adopt its point of view can really backfire. People aren’t sitting around waiting to be told what to think. In fact, few of us like being told what to think.
Communicators need to be sensitive to this broader concept of risk. Facts aren’t just facts. They aren’t as objective as we assume they are. Facts and risk are subjective for both experts and the public. They are a blend of values, biases and ideology.
The hypodermic needle theory of communication, where we believe we can simply inject information to cure people of their misunderstandings, doesn’t work. Neither does demonizing opponents or polarizing people.
Curtailing the growth of unyielding one-sidedness begins with the assumption that people who disagree with us have good intentions. They aren’t idiots or evil.
It is important to recognize that in a time when mistrust and polarization have soared to all-time highs, conversations aimed at injecting information into people in order to cure them of their misunderstanding will fail.
The power of emotion is a critical consideration. No matter how good you think your argument is, regardless of how provable your facts, if the public feels its liberty, right to fair treatment or livelihood is threatened, you’re losing the battle to dread.
Opposition is often based on feelings of dread that citizens have about the impact a project could have on their way of life, a mistrust of the companies behind it and skepticism around government regulators charged with oversight.
Fear can grow despite a steady stream of facts and expensive PR campaigns from proponents claiming their projects are built to minimize risk.
Opponents often don’t accept the proponents’ facts, but are instead driven by what Paul Slovic calls the “dread factor” — the prime predictor of a strong reaction to risk.
According to Slovic, risk resides in us mostly as a “gut feeling” rather than the outcome of analytical calculations. The most powerful of these feelings is dread and it is linked with a sense of having no control in a situation, inequality (where others get the benefit, while they get saddled with the risk) and how catastrophic a risk is seen to be.
His research shows that reliance on feelings as our guide to risk causes us, when we see risk as high, to also believe the benefit is low. The opposite is true if we come to believe the benefit is high, we tend to see risk as low.
Misunderstanding the “dread factor” and the possibly legitimate concerns that fuel it, intensifies the problem of unyielding one-sidedness that we see in so many public disputes.
It is also difficult to be seen as authentic in an argument if you don’t understand what Slovic calls the “whisper of emotion.” This is the emotional meaning; the good or bad feelings and gut instinct that can help people make decisions. Sometimes these feelings are misguided, but they are usually a sophisticated compass that directs us through life efficiently and accurately.
We need to be more conscious of emotional dialogue because this is where most risk communication fails. And we need to recognize it needs to be a two-way process where both sides have something worthwhile to contribute.
If you hold your views lightly and remember you could be wrong, people are more likely to trust you and be more receptive. It’s about communicating trust, by having an open mind, open heart and an open will.
Reposted with permission from Metroquest, July 5, 2016