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Davenport Institute

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Training Seminar

The size and scope of today's budget deficits and longstanding planning battles mean that decisions can no longer be left to bargaining at the "stakeholder" level, instead a growing number of leaders are "looking out" to their residents rather than "looking in" to their own capabilities. 

The Davenport Institute currently offers three seminars to help leaders improve their skills in public engagement: a half-day "101" seminar that provides a solid foundation in best practices in public processes, and how leaders can asses their current efforts, and evaluate the level at which to engage their residents; a full-day program that goes deeper into process design and the essentials of meeting facilitation; and a full-day training on what leaders should know about "Gov 2.0." All seminars are aimed toward mid- and uppper-level department management, city managers, elected officials, civic leaders, and other leaders in local and regional government organizations. See all upcoming training and speaking events here.

Full Day Seminar - Gov 2.0: What Public Officials Need to Know

From 'Open Data' to 'Gov2.0' to 'hackathons' to 'online engagement platforms', technology is fundamentally changing the relationship between citizens and their governments. Unfortunately, our understanding of what different terms mean, and what technologies should be used for particular enterprises hasn't caught up with all of these changes. In this fast-paced and interactive seminar public leaders will learn:

  • Understanding the "New Vocabulary": How the various terms interact with each other, and sometimes overlap
  • Your Purpose Determines Your Technology: Know your goals for citizen interaction and the technology will follow
  • Thinking Like an Online Marketer: The importance of outreach in the digital space
  • Does Online Engagement=Public Engagement? The similarities and differences between engaging with your public online vs. face-to-face

These and other takeaways are promised from four of the leading "Gov 2.0" speakers in California, including Alan Silberberg (founder, Gov2.0/LA), Alissa Black (fmrly Code for America, now CA Civic Innovation Project), and Pete Peterson (Executive Director, Davenport Institute/Pepperdine).

Find upcoming trainings here.

Full Day Seminar - Public Engagement: Leading and Designing an Effective Process

In this full-day, highly interactive seminar, participants will go beyond the "what" of public engagement and into the "how", learning important process design and facilitation essentials. Specifically, attendees will have:

  • Experienced different ways to conduct public meetings
  • An increased understanding of the positive possibilities of public engagement
  • An understanding of what makes public engagement "good" or "bad"
  • A new understanding of "stakeholders" and a framework to better identify and "recruit" them
  • An introductory understanding of the key elements of facilitative meetings that are part of an overall process
  • An introductory understanding of how to design a process that works based on experience and the latest in "brain science"
  • A sketch of a plan for a public process including different levels of engagement, stakeholders to involve, and an overall process plan including timelines, goals, phases and outcomes.

Find upcoming trainings here.

Half Day Seminar - Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times

Public Engagement can be a nerve-wracking undertaking, but conducted properly, public involvement on important decisions can lead to more creative, acceptable solutions when managed effectively. That is why the Davenport Institute has created a practical and participatory half-day seminar where you will learn:

  • The "Civic Engagement Spectrum": from "informing" to "involving" your residents
  • When your city, region, or school district is ready to engage the public
  • How to develop a positive public engagement campaign
  • Important attitude and behavior changes for elected officials, staff, and residents.
  • The five main criteria for judging an effective civic engagement process

Find information on our upcoming training at the ICMA Annual Conference here.

Who Should Attend:

City staff (City Managers, Planners, etc.), elected officials (Mayors, Council Members), school district leaders (Supes, School Board Members), county/regional officials and staff.