PDC’s Guiding Principles


    • PDCWe view community as a complex tapestry of interconnected conversations. Public dialogue can be understood as a series of “conversational turns” in which what occurs in one set of meetings is incorporated into the next round of discussions; each discussion growing out of one context and affecting the next context.


    • PDCIn addition to interconnected conversations, we view community as comprised of stakeholder groups with different and sometimes conflicting ideas of what their community should be. We see these differences as enriching rather than problematic.


    • PDCCommunity building is central to our work and requires active engagement with all community members.


    • PDCWe believe there should be support from the top for initiatives from the bottom. It’s crucial for governments and community organizations to recognize and support public engagement, and for community members to feel heard. This often requires creating new places for quality communication to occur between residents and community leaders.


    • PDCWe treat language as “fateful” and recognize that the way issues are framed and discussed affects outcomes as well as the level of trust and respect among the various stakeholders. Therefore, we work collaboratively to name and frame public conversations.


    • PDCWe see the engagement process as a series of dialogic conversations. We think of dialogue as the ability to state your perspectives, values, and desires while remaining open to the perspectives, values, and desires of others. Engaging in this form of communication creates the conditions for trust and respect and opens up possibilities for enriched actions.


  • PDCWe recognize that as facilitators we must remain neutral with regard to the outcome of community decisions, but vigilant about the process in which those decisions are made.