Our mission is to build community capacity for informed, engaged, civil deliberation.
Community leaders, policy makers, and the public are increasingly faced with complex and controversial issues, demanding difficult decisions. Regrettably, our models of social and political decision making tend to be guided by a zero sum, win-lose orientation. It has become an exercise in personal attack, high-decibel speech, polarizing discourse, and ideological sloganeering. This discussion model restricts the citizen input and community reflection so vital for democratic decision making.
The Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD) was formed as an interdisciplinary, non-partisan organization at Kansas State University in 2004 as a response to the negative political discourse that permeates our society. ICDD’s purpose is to engage in research, education, and facilitation of civic communication processes that promote an informed citizenry, community-based decision making ultimately enhancing our democracy. Today’s social and political problems are increasingly complex, requiring decision making skills from multiple perspectives. ICDD’s faculty – university professionals from Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Human Ecology, Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Architecture, and KSU Libraries, as well as community associates – bring a diversity of technical experience, theoretical perspective, and process skills that promote civic engagement and deliberative democracy, improve the quantity and quality of discourse, and increase our understanding of the relationship of discourse to democracy.
Guided by both research and best practices in dialog and deliberation, ICDD’s model of social and political discussion stresses inclusiveness, reciprocity, reflexivity, unconstrained dialogue, “grounded” rationality, and formal democratic rules for decision-making.
Forums, meetings, and deliberations facilitated by ICDD will maintain the following ground rules, in order to promote inclusive, civil dialogue.
Our ground rules for public discussion are:
• Seek understanding and common ground
• Expect and explore conflicting viewpoints
• Give everyone opportunity to speak
• Listen respectfully and thoughtfully
• Appreciate communication differences
• Stay focused on issues
• Respect time limits
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The Journal of Public Deliberation was created as a scholarly forum for deliberative democracy. The journal publishes information on research, opinions, projects, experiments, and experience of practitioners and academics.
Upcoming public forums and events provide an opportunity to contribute your voice on issues of youth retention, health care, and economic security. Join us!
Yes, I want to help strengthen democracy.
To contribute financially to the work of ICDD, you can send your tax deductible gift to the KSU Foundation.
Donate now and help us continue this important work.