Date: 10/7/2008
Time: 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: NYRAG, 79 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor, NYC
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NON-MEMBERS: To register, please fill out the registration form below.

A NYRAG Collaborative program, presented with Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE).

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:  All funders.

8:30 – 9:00 AM        Check-in and continental breakfast
9:00 – 11:00 AM      Program

Our topic is the growing field of ‘deliberative democracy’. Deliberation is an approach to decision-making in which community members are able to compare experiences, learn more about the issues, consider a range of views or policy options, and plan for action.  Deliberation most often precedes action, organizing, or any type of grassroots community improvement initiatives.  Deliberative democracy is currently a rapidly growing field of practice, as more and more communities find ways for residents to meaningfully enter the policy and political lives of their cities and towns as participants, and not just spectators. The types of deliberation we’ll explore take place in many ways:  from living room meetings, to highly structured programs, to forums involving government officials with community residents.

As funders are increasingly being presented with proposals and projects that include new or time-tested models of community conversations, convening, and community decision-making, it is critically important to understand the history, theory, practice, promises and limitations of deliberative democracy. The board of PACE, in fact, has decided to focus much of its work on the field of deliberative democracy, and is currently developing a ‘Deliberative Democracy User Guide’ for community foundations.


  • Matt Leighninger, Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium
  • Patrick Scully, Deputy Director, Everyday Democracy and Executive Director, Paul J. Aicher Foundation
  • Robert L. Sherman, Founding Program Director, Effective Citizenry at the Surdna Foundation
  • Chris Gates, Executive Director, PACE (Moderator)

FEE:  No fee.

OTHER INFORMATION:  For questions please email