Trust People as Partners

 

I believe in the American experiment as a democratic republic…but I also believe this experiment can only be sustained by our active participation in public decisions at all levels. Since I have a limited amount of time and energy, I’ve chosen to devote a significant amount of my efforts in bringing people together in NIF-style conversations.

National Issues Forums (NIF) provide everyday citizens an opportunity to purposefully and carefully deal with our most challenging public problems. For over 25 years, people have come together in NIF-style forums across the country to deliberate on the urgent and important public issues where reasonable citizens disagree strongly and deeply.

· Participants often find themselves considering some actions they thought they would easily oppose–they’re willing to set aside their assumptions.
· Similarly, people sometimes discover hidden costs and consequences in actions they thought they would support–they’re willing to see the issue as complex.
· Participants gather to learn together, not to simply persuade or advocate–they’re open to new ideas and perspectives.
· Citizens move from making individual choices to making choices as members of a better informed and more connected community–they show respect and build trust in how they talk and how they act.

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