What is your approach to consulting? And… which one best works for co-designing solutions with the community?

July 6, 2020 |

I’ve been consulting for 23 years, and I think I’ve settled on the consulting approach that works for me. When I say ‘approach’ what I mean is how we work with our clients. I’ve reduced it, somewhat simplistically, to three types of approaches. Read on to find out more about these approaches.

Getting the ball rolling on co-design

June 19, 2020 |

Getting started is often one of the hardest challenges for organisations willing to co-design solutions to complex problems with the community, especially where trust is low. Let’s consider some of the assumptions behind the reluctance of the community to become involved. For highly controversial projects, such as Murray-Darling Basin Plan, active members, or the hyper-engaged,…

authentic co-design

Turning around an inauthentic co-design process

May 27, 2020 |

Having a definition is one thing; doing it well, or authentically, is something else again. We outlined five key principles, that for us, help to explain the elements of an authentic process.

learning from covid-19

Learning from Covid-19. How what we are learning now can transform how we engage into the future!

April 30, 2020 |

Engaging communities at a time of physical distancing presents some real challenges for local government.
Let’s face it, community engagement is never perfect. It is never perfectly representative; the processes are not perfectly supported by organisations, nor is the output perfectly considered. It is always a matter of making trade-offs with our processes, limited by budget, time-frames, and the capacity of communities to be involved. But we have come a long way in the last 20 years. Here are some things that I’ve noticed are much better.

A dialogue about dialogue

December 17, 2019 |

Written by Max Hardy and Paul Waite It’s my pleasure to interview a new friend and colleague Paul Waite who is a ‘dialogue practitioner’ amongst other things. Paul, I know you sometimes refer to this as ‘dialogue for understanding’. Can you tell us what that means? Thanks Max. As you know, dialogue means different things…

Community engagement

Community engagement – definitions applicable to systems change

October 21, 2019 |

The importance of defining the term community engagement before designing a community engagement process.

Citizens at the Centre

Citizens at the Centre: A Journey with my Tamarack Institute Colleagues

June 12, 2019 |

It was hectic. Five workshops, in five cities, over eight days – Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. A weekend glamping in the Rockies in between, followed by two nights at Tofino before returning to Melbourne Australia. Find out what it was all about!

Rethinking Democracy: Strategies That Put Citizens at the Centre

February 25, 2019 |

Thrilled to be part of the Tamarack Learning Centre Rethinking Democracy: Strategies That Put Citizens at the Centre webinar with Sylvia Cheuy. The recording of the session is now available online from their webpage. Or you can see it directly here: . You can also download the presentation slides. Please share these links freely with…

Bringing art into engagement

January 17, 2019 |

Introducing and interviewing Jade Herriman I have known Jade for over 10 years. She’s smart, creative and soulful. Her journey has been fascinating, and if you are keen to discover how art and democracy go together then read on. Max: We co-wrote a paper together with some Canadian academics/colleagues a few years ago (You can…

Are you stuck trying to address ‘wicked problems’ with your community?

January 9, 2019 |

A Social Scientist, Design Thinker and Science Impact Practitioner walked into a bar. The Social Scientist asks “how can we work together to solve the most complex problems with communities?” Two hours later and here are their 5 top killer tips for inter-disciplinary approaches to solving wicked problems with communities. @Robyn Mansfield@Anthony Boxshall@Max Hardy 1.…