Philosophy

Our mission is to assist communities and agencies to work together effectively, creating an experience of mutual respect, integrity, and positive results. We tailor our approach to each unique set of project goals and conditions. "One size fits all" is rarely true.  We value the work of the International Association for Public Participation, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and the Institute for Participatory Management and Planning. 

Don’t ask if you don't plan to listen. It wastes time and precious credibility. We carefully evaluate how, when and why we ask for public input, and are clear with all involved about the impact it can have.

We operate with respect for the intelligence of the public and take responsibility to make the information necessary for real involvement accessible to all. As experienced and strategic thinkers, we identify the critical information required to inspire and engage the public.

Thoughtful and active participation results in communities who provide input based on accurate information, understand the inherent trade-offs, and own the outcome. We develop the infrastructure for accurate information to be easily accessible and quickly responsive to public comments and concerns.

We go to where people are and gather the full range of views on a project so that decisions are based on balanced public opinion. We are committed to including underrepresented populations, such as youth, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and low-income populations, because fairness, accountability, and transparency lead to sustainable results.

Moving through decisions can be both difficult and rewarding.  We help groups develop working agreements, identify a decision style and process, and implement their commitment to the community.  Agreement up front on group composition, decision making, and communication is essential! Materials we have developed for the City of Eugene neighborhood groups include:  Primer on Working Agreements and Outreach Tools and Materials