June 2013 – Present.

The city of Milpitas has contracted PDC to assist with public outreach and community engagement as they formulate a strategic plan to better deliver future city services.  PDC is working with Milpitas in a four phase, year long process where city workers, city commission members, the chamber of commerce, the school district, faith-based organizations, community organizations, and residents will be asked to contribute input.

September 2013 – present.

PDC is working with Dyett & Bhatia, a well known urban and regional planning firm, to assist the City of Half Moon Bay in gathering community input to help inform updates to the General Plan.  This five phase, two-year project includes working with a community advisory committee, interviewing community members and groups, designing and facilitating community workshops and deliberative meetings, and coordinating an online engagement platform.


    • 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.

PDC offers a free 1-hour initial phone consultation to assess your needs and begin to co-construct a vision of possible courses of action. Our senior consultants will work with you to help identify and understand the issues at hand, and will follow up with a written action plan of optional services and possible courses of action to address the specific needs at hand.

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Working with the New Mexico Consensus Council, the Interstate Stream Commission, and the State Department of Environment, the PDC helped to design and facilitate a three-day summit of leaders on water-resource management in New Mexico. Over 250 people attended. During the summit meeting, participants received training in collaborative problem solving principles and then developed approaches to better manage this vital and diminishing natural resource.

PDC was invited to design and facilitate two half-day sessions at a retreat for Senior Staff. One session was on the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, the other on expansion of San Jose International Airport. The overarching issue in both sessions was to help members of the various departments work together as a staff for the City rather than work in vertical “silos” in their own departments.