Candidates Forum 2.0 for District 10 Special Election

This all has come together in the last week because of a conversation that happened at Transparency Camp (more about that below).

I and 3 of my facilitator friends are helping with this unconventional candidates forum in District 10. 2009 Congressional Candidates & Community Interactive Dialogue on Open-Government

We will be hosting a World Cafe to support a deeper dialogue to engage with what President Obama outlined in his Transparency Memo and to consider what it means for the district.

We were inspired by President Obama’s commitment to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. Outlined in his Memo from his first day in office.   This link was taken down on January 20, 2017,  For historical reasons, we have linked to a copy taken by the Internet History Archive.

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.

Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge.

Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.

At the conclusion of each of the three rounds of dialogue we will be inviting participants to write key points from the dialogue down. We will collect these and they will be the basis of a document that will reflect key themes from the conversation.

Once the rounds conclude we will invite citizen reflections on the dialogue for thirty minutes. We are hoping to find a graphic recorder or two to support this part of the process. To conclude the event each of the candidates will have three minutes to make a statement on the record.
I am really excited to be applying my skills as a facilitator in this experiment and hope that it can be used as a model for future innovative events.

This all came about out of Transparency Camp last weekend where I met David Peterson one of the candidates running in the Congressional District 10 Special Election being held September 1.

He was interested in the upcoming candidates forum being on the themes of transparency and openness in government and wanted some of us from the camp who were “experts” in the subject to be the moderators. Silona Bonewald was there talking with him too. We got to talking about what the goals were for the event and what the audiences’ goals were. World Cafe seemed like a good match. Please join us if you are in District 10. We will be writing up how this goes and hopefully it can be a case study for other candidates’ forums to use in the future.

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