The Baylor Public Deliberation Initiative (PDI) is a program of the university's Spirituality and Public Life program, and seeks to be a central space for the community to join in Dialogue & Deliberation on issues at local and global levels. The professional community the center seeks to reach includes students, staff, faculty, and surrounding members of the local community, with goals including improving democratic decision-making in Waco, improving the quality of discussion; fostering civic engagement; and more. In particular, the PDI seeks to build bridges across divided spaces in communities of faith.
PDI bases its approach to Dialogue & Deliberation on 15 key aspects of public deliberation (identified in the article "Key Aspects of the Deliberative Democracy Movement" by Martin Carcasson & Leah Sprain, July 2010, Public Sector Digest). These 15 key aspects are then organized into five major categories: Core Principles, Defining Roles, Processes, Impacts, and Implications for Public Administrators and Managers.
How to Use
PDI has curated a series of articles to help users better understand the theory and pedagogy behind Dialogue & Deliberation. In addition, PDI provides both resources, topical issue guides, such as for health and wellness, politics, social and community issues, and more, and training materials and tutorials for facilitators and Dialogue & Deliberation organizers.
PDI resources can be used in many ways, including for reading about the theory and current thinking of PDI, using resources as a basis for adapting materials for events and programming, and as a community of practice and knowledge to tap into for advice and expertise.