The Beltane Public Engagement Network in Scotland seeks to advance and support public-engagement efforts across its four partner institutions: Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University, Queen Margaret University, and the University of Edinburgh. While the network is no longer actively funded, it still seeks to support public engagement through all methods feasible with its partners.
The network has made many resources available to aid others interested in public engagement and, in particular, Dialogue & Deliberation. These include case studies of public-engagement experiences by researchers in the network, including lessons learned and success stories; publications produced by the Beltane team; and an online toolbox, which is a curated selection of resources across the internet to help with public engagement, including planning guides, videos about presentation and writing skills, guides for help with social media, traditional media, other forms of outreach, and more.
How to Use
The guide we have highlighted was developed by Oliver Escobar, who was a Public Engagement Fellow with Edinburgh Beltane in 2009. This guide can be used by organizers looking to develop public forums or programming with meaningful dialogue and conversations through providing an in-depth understanding of the importance and meaning of Dialogue & Deliberation, as well as how it can be used effectively to bridge across divides. See Dynamics of Dialogue on page 22 and Qualities of Deliberation on page 34.
This guide is especially useful for practitioners on the ground who will be facilitating the dialogue. While the report covers important concepts behind the meanings of Dialogue & Deliberation, it also places significant emphasis on the role of the facilitator and how the facilitator plays an important and key role in shaping Dialogue & Deliberation spaces