At The Conference — May 19

2017conferenceHow to keep difficult conversations civil, ways of getting people engaged in projects that aren’t very engaging, and how to tell folks that their ideas didn’t make the cut: these are just three more of the sessions that can help you put P2 to work for the greater good at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference.

EB PRR TransformingInfraThere are those who think infrastructure projects are boring. (Imagine that!) But projects like sewer upgrades are necessary and affect a lot of people, so in Transforming Infrastructure Projects into Human-Powered Places, Lynsey Burgess and Laura LaBissonniere Miller will use case studies from their own company – PRR – to show how P2 was used to create Human-Powered Places – places that are designed around people. You’ll learn how to identify opportunities for creating Human-Powered Places in projects you’re working on and come away with some compelling arguments to convince project developers to work P2 into their plans.


One of the cornerstones of P2 is that stakeholders have a right to know how their input was used, but another side of the coin is the question, “How do we tell them why the input wasn’t used?” In “The Power of ‘If Not, Why Not’”, Lara Tierney and Kirsty Neill will offer some strategies for breaking the news to the public that their idea didn’t fly – and why – and ways to convince people that you really did hear them.


EB Gelinas Talk MattersThe theme of this year’s Conference is “Pursuing the Greater Good”, but can you imagine P2 as not promoting the greater good? Mary Gelinas does, and her presentation, “We Need to Talk but We’re Stuck!, will help you how to understand how a P2 process can trigger fears in people when they’re faced with people they disagree with. She notes that conversations can get hung up on vilifying, rather than actually listening to, people with differing views. To pursue the greater good, people need to be able to see and bring out that greater good in themselves and in their neighbors, colleagues and leaders. In this 90-minute session, you’ll learn about three ways people can get stuck or trapped in conversations – and five ways to break through fears, avoid traps and help people bring out the best in themselves.

At The Conference: Bridging Chasms of Opinion

2017conferenceHaving groups polarized on key issues comes with the territory for P2 practitioners, and veteran communicator Eric Bergman will offer a new way of addressing that issue in his session, “Managing Polarization in Public Consultation.

EB Bergman_ManagePolarEblastYou’ll learn about The Polarization Model, which helps track, understand and manage polarization, using a spectrum ranging from “Openly Hostile” to “Openly Supportive” with “No Opinion” in the middle. You’ll learn techniques for turning “Openly Hostile” views into something positive.

You’ll also look at bridging truth and transparency, and Eric will offer what he calls a novel definition of transparency: “Ask me anything.”

At The Conference: Drumming up a fresh, old idea to engage

2017conferenceOne of the challenges of trust-building is that not everyone marches to the same beat. “An Ancient Solution Reimagined for Modern Times”, offers an alternative way of getting people together using hand-drumming.

EB Drumbeat_AncientSoln2EblastAlan Beattie will show how DRUMBEAT® mixes music, psychology and neurobiology to help people connect with others – and themselves. Get an idea of how it works in this video. And yes, you’ll have a chance in the 90-minute session to “pound the skins” yourself – literally, a hands-on experience! – and see how DRUMBEAT®’s techniques might apply in your own practice.

At The Conference: does your organization reflect your demographics?


Ideas! Insights! Tools! What you need to apply P2 for the greater good in our changing world! You’ll find them at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference, Sept. 6 – 8 in Denver.

EB Metro_Beyond_Inclusionv4 EblastDo some organizations – perhaps your own – tend to run “behind the curve” when it comes to reflecting demographic reality? Metro – which administers the three-county metropolitan area around Portland, Oregon – recognized that there was a widening gap between policy-makers and some of the communities.

Metro developed a racial equity strategy  that demanded a change not just within the agency but within the people who work there. In “Beyond Inclusion: Community partnerships that transform public service culture”, Metro staff members and a member of Momentum Alliance will present their own experience as a case study, showing you how they laid the foundation for change. You’ll get to take part in small groups that will give you ideas and tools you can use in your own organizations.