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‘The Best-Laid Plans…’

“Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or killed by their courage” Aristotle Actions have consequences. Whatever we do in both our private and public lives has consequences. The policies...

New Year’s Resolutions

Another New Year is here! One of the most popular things to do before a new year rushes in is to conjure many new beginnings—or to make a list of New Year’s resolutions—or, in other words, to set some personal goals to be achieved within a year. If you are like...

Democratic Deliberations and Self-Interest

I am currently taking a special topics course on Citizenship Learning, Participatory Democracy, and Social Change.  Even before starting the course, I knew I would be able to link much of what is studied in the class to things I have learned through my involvement...

Discussion as Improv: Serve the Others

New participants in an Interactivity Foundation discussion project often wonder how to act when taking part in the discussion. Often when people hear that we’ll be engaged in thoughtful civic discussion, they think of this in terms of “debate” or “argument.” With...

Managing Anger in Public Discussion

IF public discussions provide participants with opportunities to discuss contrasting policy possibilities in neutral, non-partisan settings.  Because these possibilities are meant to be anticipatory of possible policy approaches that allow participants to...

Dealing With Difference

Difference is a fundamental fact of human life. There is similarity too. But difference is the reason why we need to have discussions about public policy. It is also the reason why they should occur face-to-face, over extended periods of time, and with the...