Blog

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Strategic Questioning to unlock co-design

August 18, 2021 |

After 20 years I can safely say that Strategic Questioning is the most powerful tool I have employed for helping organisations to become more open to other ways of interacting with their communities. I’ve posted before about the wonderful contributions of Fran Peavey on the art of Strategic Questioning. Fran was committed to inspiring changemakers…

People get ready, there’s a train a-coming’ …

May 4, 2021 |

Thoughts about readiness to codesign No doubt you’ve heard the song (I admit my favourite version is Eva Cassidy’s). Readiness is something we are acutely aware of when organisations approach us to do codesign or a deliberative engagement process for a complex issue. In recent months I’ve been working with many Councils, mostly keen to…

How do you learn?

March 16, 2021 |

An opportunity for those committed to authentic co-design. It is worth thinking about it – the question, how do we learn? Have you ever reflected on moments in your life when you have a major awakening? A time when ‘the penny dropped’ for you, or a time when you were so challenged about a particular…

Engaging to make a difference. A conversation with Ben Neil.

February 1, 2021 |

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with a wonderful community engagement practitioner, Ben Neil. He has so many stories from his wealth of experience. Here is some of what we spoke about. Max: Ben, give us a really brief description of your role at Capire and professional background? Ben: I have been at…

It’s time to do stakeholder mapping differently!

October 28, 2020 |

A recent blog by Richard Delaney put forward the merit of doing impact analysis as opposed to issues identification. Worth a read! I’d like to offer another suggestion for improving the way we plan community engagement processes; stakeholder mapping. The classic process used is the 2 x 2 matrix of plotting stakeholders according to their…

Public Deliberations

Facilitating Public Deliberations

August 28, 2020 |

The important lessons that I have learned when it comes to facilitating public deliberations over the last several decades.

Debunking myths about ‘deliberation’

July 14, 2020 |

There is much being said and written about deliberation. This is not surprising, especially in Victoria, Australia, where the new Local Government Act stipulates this is the way to now engage communities. So, I thought I’d make a contribution as a practitioner who has promoted, designed and facilitated deliberative processes for over 20 years. In…

Democratic Innovation and Beyond the Vote (Guest Blog by Dr Wendy Russell)

September 18, 2016 |

Thanks to Max for having me as a guest on his blog. It’s been a pleasure to know and work with Max overthe years, as I know it has been for a large number of people. I want to talk today about innovation. Innovation is one of the over-arching themes of Open State, this exciting…

If citizens’ juries are the answer, what is the question?

August 12, 2016 |

It’s been so long since I blogged. I can’t recall a busier time as a consultant. Mostly, this has to do with the surge of interest in deliberative engagement processes, such as citizens’ juries. I’ve blogged about this before, but now I’m going to attempt to write to organisations, executives and politicians about what they…

Musings on plebiscites

March 21, 2016 |

There is growing debate in the Australian parliament and media circles about the planned plebiscite concerning the potential legalisation of same sex marriage. Opinion is divided as to whether the plebiscite is necessary, whether it is worth the money, and whether it is likely to do more harm than good. There is growing debate in…