Kylie Cochrane, Chair of the International Association for Public Participation (Inside P2 013)

On the show today, an interview with the Global Chair of the International Association for Public Participation, Kylie Cochrane.

IAP2 is a federation of regional IAP2 organizations such as IAP2 USA and IAP2 Canada. Kylie Cochrane is the Chair of the overarching federation. And while we were both at the IAP2 North America Conference in Victoria, she sat down with me to talk about IAP2, its changing structure, major issues in the P2 practice and a look into the future.

Our discussion covered:

  • The change process IAP2 is undertaking;
  • The areas of greatest activity;
  • The enhancement of credibility and respect that has been accorded to the practice of public engagement that has resulted from the establishment of the Open Government Partnership; and
  • The need for P2 practitioners to evolve our practices and tools to keep up with the interconnected activist groups’ sophisticated use of social media and technology.

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Inside P2 013 Kylie Cochrane, Chair of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

IAP2 Canada President Bruce Gilbert on three years of achievements and what’s next (Inside P2 012)

I recorded this episode the day after returning from the 2018 North American Conference in Victoria British Columbia. This was my fourth IAP2 conference and easily, the best I have yet attended.

The Conference was at capacity, having sold out almost two months in advance. And the sessions were thought provoking and engaging – literally engaging, with several of the sessions taking advantage of professional facilitators as moderators to actively engage the audience as participants to make the session topics more relevant to their everyday experiences.

On the last afternoon of the conference, I sat down for an interview with outgoing IAP2 Canada President Bruce Gilbert. Bruce was first elected President of IAP2 Canada in 2015 and, this year, after leading the organization for three years, he is stepping down. Bruce’s term was marked by some significant advances for IAP2 in Canada – growth in membership, two North American conferences in Montreal and Victoria, the introduction of a new professional certification program, and the first-ever Canadian learning symposium held in February this year in Gatineau Quebec.

During our conversation, we spoke about

  • The growth of IAP2 Canada’s membership at a time that many organizations are seeing declining growth;
  • The reasons that the growth in IAP2 Canada’s membership has been greatest in Western Canada while the east has lagged – and what can be done to promote growth in the east;
  • The first Canadian skill symposium as a harbinger of an increasing emphasis at the region level to skills and expertise transference;
  • The importance of IAP2 Canada providing a training program that is provided in both English and French;
  • The importance of the new certification program and the challenge of promoting it to practitioners and employers;
  • And his next challenge? Bruce is staying active in IAP2 as Canada’s rep on the IAP2 Federation, where he will continue to participate in the change exercise. And beyond that, as a former senior official in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Bruce wants to reach out other senior government officials to prozelityze the merits and benefits of senior participation.

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Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

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IAP2 Canada President Bruce Gilbert on three years of achievements and what’s next (Inside P2 012) by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

EngagePhase Editor Tim Bonnemann on covering the public participation industry (Inside P2 011)


EngagePhase Weekly is the only newsletter that covers the public participation industry in North America and around the world.  And today, EngagePhase Editor-in-Chief Tim Bonneman joins Joseph Thornley to talk about what it took to get EngagePhase going, how he covers the industry and what to expect from EngagePhase in the future.

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Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

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EngagePhase Editor Tim Bonnemann on covering the public participation industry (Inside P2 011) by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside P2 010: A new IAP2 Chapter for Canada’s National Capital Region


Canada’s National Capital Region is getting its own chapter of the International Association for Public Participation. And this week’s Inside P2 guest host, Peter Wilton, is leading the steering committee that is launching it.

We talk about plans for the newly established chapter, which include both events and social media channels. If you are a public participation practitioner or research in the NCR, find more information or sign up to participate in the IAP2 NCR chapter.

Peter is a Senior Consultant at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, based in Ottawa Canada. Prior to joining H+K, Peter was a Public Engagement Advisor at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Originally he hails from Newfoundland, where he earned a Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Health Services Research.

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Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

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Inside P2 010: A new IAP2 Chapter for Canada’s National Capital Region by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside P2 009: Nothing About Us Without Us is For Us


Integrating real world facilitation with online engagement

Rebecca Sutherns, CEO of Sage Solutions, co-hosts this week’s podcast. 

Rebecca shares her insights into the value of facilitated conversations with stakeholder groups and the challenge of facilitation in an era in which people are more focused on the screens of their mobile devices than to the people who may be sitting only feet away. She talks about integrating the richness and value of in-person experiences with online experiences that will reach larger numbers of people. This presents not only the challenge of asking questions to obtain useful responses across media, but also the challenge of interpreting data sets that will vary in both number and richness of data.

Let’s Talk IAP2

Last September at the IAP2 North American conference in Denver, IAP2 kicked off an examination of its organization and business model. This has been underway at an elite level, driven by a “Change Committee” drawn from North America, Australasia, Indonesia, Southern Africa and Latin America.

This week, IAP2 sent an email to members like us inviting us to provide our input on a set of strategic directions that were established by the Change Committee. The intent is to gather member input via the Let’s Talk IAP2 website for the next few weeks and then for a consensus decision from national and regional affiliate boards at IAP2 in Victoria.

Both Rebecca and I are looking forward to providing our input. However, for me, the fact that IAP2 is consulting members so late in the process, and only consulting members, as opposed to the groups that it is “involving”, such as trainers, or empowering (both of those terms are defined in the IAP2 spectrum) elevates my puzzlement at the top-focused nature of IAP2. It is the only membership-based organization that I have participated in that treats members as peripheral to decision-making. That’s ironic, when you think about the mission and mandate embodied in the organization’s name – the International Association for Public Participation.

IAP2 is important to me — I hope they get it right.

Let’s Talk IAP2 launched August 8 and runs to August 27. Find out more information at Let’s Talk IAP2.

Sidewalk goes off the rails?

Sidewalk Labs is planning to build a model smart community in Toronto. But their approach to community relations and public participation has undermined trust and raised opposition in the community.

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Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

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Inside P2 009: Nothing About Us Without Us is For Us by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside P2: Hillary Hartley, Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer


In 2017, the Province of Ontario appointed its first Chief Digital Officer, Hillary Hartley. Hartley is something of a trailblazer. She came to Ontario from Washington, where she was the Deputy Executive Director and Co-founder of 18F, the US Federal Government’s digital services corps. Prior to founding 18F, Hartley first arrived in Washington in 2013 as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. Before that, she spent several years in integrated marketing and social media management.

Hartley’s arrival in Ontario has coincided with a burst of digital initiatives. The province declared a set of digital service priorities, established a digital lab in Communitech in Waterloo, established a set of digital service strategies and, most recently, published these on github.

Hillary Hartley made some time to talk with me about the position of Chief Digital Officer and the perspective and approach she is bringing to it. We had a wide-ranging conversation, one that made me even more optimistic about the direction Ontario has set in this area.

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Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

You can contact me in several ways

Keep listening. Keep considering what you hear. Keep responding.

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Inside P2 by Joseph Thornley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside P2 006: Making your online engagement accessible to more people


Do you launch online public engagements to extend the reach of your public consultation beyond those who can attend in-person meetings? If so, I’ sure that you are always looking for ways to make your online engagement accessible to as many people as possible.

This episode of Inside P2 focuses on six steps you can take to make your online public engagement more accessible:

  1. Design for mobile first
  2. Design for the social media generation
  3. Optimize for page speed
  4. Make it accessible
  5. Make it available in different languages
  6. Present information that is relevant to the visitor

You’ll hear about each of these steps in this episode, which includes a recording of a presentation I made on making your engagement more accessible at the 17th Conference of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy.

 

It’s your turn

Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

You can contact me in several ways

Keep listening. Keep considering what you hear. Keep responding.

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Reviews on iTunes help others to find this podcast. If you like this podcast, please review Inside P2 on Apple Podcasts.

IP2 005 IAP2 launches a National Dialogue on polarization in public discourse


IAP2 USA President Leah Jaramillo talks about the IAP2’s National Dialogue initiative, its focus and objectives, its origins, where it will happen and its culmination at the IAP2 North American Conference in September.

We seem to live in times in which the volume has been turned up and the listening has stopped. In the wake of the US election, opposing camps have built polarized world views based on conflicting arrays of alternative facts.

The members of the US chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) experience the disfunction of public discourse on a daily basis in their work promoting and facilitation public engagement with government.

Now, IAP2 USA is organizing a National Dialogue among its members and interested community groups to discuss the current environment for public participation. The dialogue will take the form of meetings across the summer culminating in a discussion at the IAP2’s North American Conference in Denver in September.

In this episode of Inside P2, IAP2 US President Leah Jaramilo talks to Joseph Thornley about this initiative.

One more thing

I neglected to ask Leah in the interview who had contributed to the development of the concept. She send me a note after our interview to let me now that, “The IAP2 USA Board members who were involved in developing this as a program for national distribution are Kit Cole, Cathy Smith and Wendy Green Lowe. Thanks are also due to IAP2 USA Executive Manager, Amelia Shaw & Staff for all their assistance and to Lewis Michaelson who co-facilitated the pilot event in San Diego with Wendy Green Lowe.”

Thanks all round to these folks for making this initiative happen.

Resources

It’s your turn

Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

You can contact me in several ways

Keep listening. Keep considering what you hear. Keep responding.

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Reviews on iTunes help others to find this podcast. If you like this podcast, please review Inside P2 on iTunes.

Inside P2 004: Bob Joseph on Working with Indigenous Peoples


In this episode of the Inside P2 podcast, respected corporate trainer Bob Joseph talks with Joseph Thornley about working effectively with indigenous peoples.

Bob Joseph on working with indigenous peoples

Among the highlights of our conversation:

  • How Bob’s career as a trainer was launched through a serendipitous encounter when he was working as a sports fishing guide in Campbell River, BC.
  • Interest in working effectively with indigenous peoples spans the globe. Bob’s work has taken him not only across Canada and the U.S., but also to places like Peru, Guatemala, New Caledonia, and even Switzerland.
  • The organizations interested in understanding how to work with indigenous peoples includes national, state and local levels of government plus natural resources companies, including forestry, gas, mining, and utilities.
  • Where do trainees come from within the organizations? Public relations people, P2 practitioners, environmental specialists, customer service groups, legal departments. Some organizations have also set up aboriginal affairs departments.
  • Bob has noted that many people who are new to this aren’t sure what to expect. We see indigenous people around us, but may not be aware of what we have to learn. And there is a lot to learn.
  • Language can be a barrier to working effectively with indigenous people. Bob holds up the use of “stakeholder” as a term that can bring discussions to a stop when used with indigenous peoples.
  • Research. Research. Research. There is much to learn about indigenous people before you reach out to them. Indigenous communities are contacted frequently by outside groups and they have limited resources to respond. So, prepare well to make the most of your time and to avoid common mistakes.
  • Be straightforward about your naivety in dealing with a community. Acknowledge that you may make mistakes and indicate your openness to guidance to avoid these.
  • Indigenous peoples are not a homegenous entity. Our view of the communities may be shaped by national legal frameworks that imposed a framework on indigenous peoples that masks their true culture, distinctions and history. Be aware that indigenous communities are diverse and distinctive. Avoid trying to apply a blanket solution to them.
  • The biggest mistake you can make? Answering too soon. Aboriginal peoples have oral histories. Their cultures are based on listening and understanding. When dealing with indigenous peoples, learn to listen carefully at a pace that allows for thought and elaboration. To answer too soon can be interpreted as disrespectful.

Resources

IAP2 Third Tuesday

A panel of three leaders in the Canadian Federal Open Government community will talk about Open Government and Public Engagement at the next IAP2 Third Tuesday on May 25:

  • Laura Wesley, Executive Director, Consultations and Public Engagement, Privy Council Office
  • Melanie Robert, Executive Director, Open Government and Information Management, Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Dhurata Ikonomi, Acting Executive Director, Community of Federal Regulators

Find out more and obtain tickets.

It’s your turn

Inside P2 is produced by Joseph Thornley. I’d love to know what you think about the topics in this podcast, topics you’d like me to cover in future podcasts and people you’d like to hear from.

You can contact me in several ways

Keep listening. Keep considering what you hear. Keep responding.

Subscribe

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Reviews on iTunes help others to find this podcast. If you like this podcast, please review Inside P2 on iTunes.