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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Half-Day Seminars

Our local government leaders are trained to be problem solvers, but being prepared to engage an audience where they're at related to their community, history and culture is an entirely different skillset. We offer a variety of seminars to help these leaders improve their skills in public engagement through half-day and other hosted seminars. Our different trainings offer a solid foundation in best practices in public processes, and how leaders can assess their current efforts, and evaluate the level at which to engage their residents. All seminars are aimed toward mid- and upper-level management and leadership.


Half-Day Offerings

  Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership 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, county, region, or special 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

This seminar was developed by Executive Director Pete Peterson and Senior Fellow Ed Everett.

  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:

  • The "New Vocabulary": How the various terms interact with each other, and sometimes overlap
  • 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?: Engaging with your public online vs. face-to-face

This seminar was developed by Alan Silberberg (founder, Gov2.0/LA), Julianne Shinto, Alissa Black (formerly Code for America and CA Civic Innovation Project), Pete Peterson (executive director, Davenport Institute/Pepperdine), and Ashley Trim (assistant director, Davenport Institute/Pepperdine).

  Customized Half-Day Seminars & Training 

In addition to our three standard trainings, the Davenport Institute can customize a half-day or full-day public engagement session to fit the particular engagement needs of your government or organization. Past customized trainings include those for:

  • Public Safety/ Police
  • Planning Departments
  • Regional Governance Associations


Who Should Attend

  • City Staff (City Managers, Planners, etc.)
  • Elected Officials (Mayors, Council Members)
  • School District Leaders (Superintendents, School Board Members)
  • County Staff and Officials
  • Regional Governance Leaders (COGs)


Want to Host a Training?

For more information about bringing a Davenport Institute full-day or half-day training session to your municipality or organization, contact our team