Can we span the gulf between polarized positions?

We live in times in which the volume has been turned up and the listening has stopped. In the wake of the US election, opposing camps have built polarized world views based on conflicting arrays of alternative facts.

The members of the US chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2 USA) experience the disfunction of public discourse on a daily basis in their work promoting and facilitation public engagement with government.

Now, IAP2 USA is organizing a National Dialogue among its members and interested community groups to discuss the current environment for public participation. The dialogue will take the form of meetings across the summer culminating in a discussion at the IAP2’s North American Conference in Denver in September.

IAP2 USA President Leah Jaramillo talked to me about the IAP2’s National Dialogue initiative, its focus and objectives, its origins, where it will happen and its culmination at the IAP2 North American Conference in September.

Check out my full discussion with IAP2 USA President Leah Jaramillo on the Inside P2 podcast.


Talking public participation on Inside P2, episode 3

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Episode 3 of the Inside P2 podcast is live.

On this episode, we talk about the shutdown of, the opening of the Canada School of Public Service armchair sessions to the general public, the IAP2 North American Conference agenda, and P2 learning opportunities you can participate in.

Inside P2 is one of two podcasts I host or co-host. The other is Inside PR. You can subscribe to both on iTunes or the podcast app of your choice. And if you are a listener, please tell others about these podcasts. Thanks!

Inside PR podcast turns 10

We’re  belatedly celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Inside PR podcast. Terry Fallis and David Jones posted the first episode of Inside PR on April 3, 2006. Back then the tag line was “Inside PR: Going deep on the state and future of public relations.” After recording 200 episodes, Terry and David decided that they’d said all that they wanted to say. But they didn’t retire the podcast. Instead they passed it along to Martin Waxman, who had been co-hosting with Terry and David. Martin, in turn, brought Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley in as new co-hosts. And thanks to Terry and David’s benevolence, the Inside PR podcast now has been running continuously for over ten years. That’s a record of longevity that we’re proud of. And we’re not thinking of stopping anytime soon.

Also this week, we give a shout out to original co-host Terry Fallis, who has just been shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for his novel, Poles Apart. Terry has won the Leacock award twice before, for his first novel, The Best Laid Plans, and for his fourth novel, No Relation.  The award winner will be announced on June 11. So check your Twitter feed on the evening of June 11 and send Terry your best wishes.

This week’s #IPRMustKnows:

Also this week, we talk about the Counselors Academy Conference that Martin attended in Puerto Rico. Martin’s big takeaway from the conference was the continuing trend for PR agencies to integrate design, video, paid media and other disciplines as the traditional silos of creative, advertising, PR and content converge.

While at the Counselors Academy Conference, Martin interviewed one of the keynote speakers, Duncan Wardle, Vice President of Creative Inc., Disney Parks and Resorts’ creative think tank. He offers some great advice for priming creativity in our own organizations.