Public Policy Building Consensus

5 Aug

In my ‘other’ life, I lobby at the Nevada Legislature.  There, I sit through lots of hearings and often listen to contentious testimony about bills. Every once in a while, I think to myself, wow … those parties should have mediated their issue before the legislative session even started. And then the committee chair says NV Leg“You should have done this in the interim” and I know that my gut instinct was right.

So, how can we help parties do just that?

There is a resource out there to help get this idea off the ground. It’s called the Policy Consensus Initiative (PCI) and it serves as a catalyst to help state leaders develop a system of collaborative governance and consensus building.  In June 2013, PCI hosted a 3 day program entitled “Thinking in New Ways: Collaborative Decision Making with Both Stakeholders and the Public.”  Wouldn’t I just love to attend that meeting along with some of my colleagues?

PCI also published a book, “The Practical Guide to Consensus”, which outlines a step-by-step process for sponsoring, organizing and participating in a public policy consensus process. The organization also works to support champions among leaders to help achieve the highest level of buy-in and support.

As the PCI website states, “The best solutions come when people work together on issues.” This is so true whether it’s on the more focused mediations like the ones I do, or the larger public policy ones that involve public, private and civic stakeholders.

So … hopefully, some of our elected officials out there are reading this blog and it might spark some interest in investigating this suggestion further.


P.S.  If you’ve read this far THANK-YOU.  Just to clarify … I’m not talking about mediating the HUGE public policy issues that we talk about just about every session. Those we will have to save for later when we’ve gotten a few successes under our belt. To start with, I’m thinking about tackling the issues that are more manageable .. yet still take up a lot of legislative time.






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