Deliberative Action Planning

Deliberative action planning offers meaningful information

MO River 2Deliberation asks people to consider different approaches to a problem, and the tradeoffs and consequences of each. It asks people to learn about the issue and consider perspectives other than their own. Deliberation helps move people past wishful thinking and denial and toward real solutions.

Consensus has produced deliberative events of dozens of people lasting a couple hours. We have also produced some of the biggest public engagements in local history, with hundreds of people for an entire day.

Consensus offers skilled facilitators and a deep understanding of this proven way to find common ground for action. For big projects, we engage national leaders in applying technology to large-scale engagement.




  • Creating Community Solutions-KC, 2013. Some 360 participants and volunteers create action plan to improve mental health.
  • Community Conversation on Health, 2014. Almost 300 uninsured and underserved citizens helped the Health Care Foundation and United Way set goals for the next decade.
  • MacNeil/Lehrer Productions “By the People,” 2004-2007. Four nationwide day-of-deliberation events of about 100 persons each, co-sponsored locally with KCPT Public Television.
  • Libraries Together in Scott County, Iowa, 2005. The ten-month study included public forums on changes in library services that local residents would and wouldn’t support. [Final report, IAP2 article, American Libraries article]
  • Washington County Cooperative Library Services, 2008. The 14-library cooperative considered new models for delivering services. Public meetings showed what tradeoffs local residents would accept. [WCCLS Funding & Governance Final Report]
  • Original discussion guides. Consensus has developed guides for clients such as the Johnson County Library, Mid-Continent Public Library and Science Inc. [Border War guide, science and religion guide, science literacy guide, living wage guide]