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Core Skills

While there are several schools of thought around Dialogue & Deliberation, ASTC’s Community Science Initiative outlines five skills that are particularly relevant for science and technology center professionals looking to undertake Dialogue & Deliberation programming.

Members of the Canarsie 'Blue, Green, and Everything in between' Action Team raise awareness in a presentation to fellow residents on the correlation of historical wetlands and projections for future flooding in their community at the Cycles of Resilience Action Forum. The visual aid was created for them by City University of New York grad students.
Residents of Brooklyn, New York share local flooding data during a deliberative forum.

1 | Identifying Topics and Framing Issues

Community science practitioners must listen to develop a deep understanding of the community they seek to engage, to enable them to select an authentic community priority and frame it in a productive way.

2 | Designing Events

Dialogue & Deliberation should be as inclusive as possible, which starts with planning for practical needs, designing effective agendas, and providing background materials to support the discussion will help ensure effective and inclusive Dialogue & Deliberation.

3 | Facilitating

Skillful facilitation creates a collaborative, open environment where all voices are heard and discussions yield progress and understanding.

4 | Evaluating Processes and Outcomes

Evaluation efforts should start at the outset of the Dialogue & Deliberation process, and continue throughout, to determine goals, clarify outcomes, and iteratively improve approaches.

5 |Sharing and Sustaining Engagement

Throughout the Dialogue & Deliberation process, community science practitioners should remain engaged with the community, including sharing discussion results with participants, decision-makers, and other stakeholders.