Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication

(Chicago) I am here to release my white paper, “Civic Engagement and Community Information: Five Strategies to Revive Civic Communication,” at an Aspen Institute round-table.

In brief, the recommendations of the report are:

  • Take advantage of the large and growing infrastructure of national and community service programs by requiring all service participants to learn civic communications skills and by creating a new Civic Information Corps—mainly young people who will use digital media to create and disseminate knowledge and information and connect people and associations.
  • Take advantage of the nation’s vast higher education sector by changing policies and incentives so that colleges and universities create forums for public deliberation and produce information that is relevant, coherent, and accessible to their local communities.
  • Take advantage of the growing practice of community-wide deliberative summits to strengthen democracy at the municipal level by offering training, physical spaces, and neutral conveners and by passing local laws that require public officials to pay attention to the results of these summits.
  • Take advantage of new tools for mapping networks and relationships to make transparent the structures of our communities and to allow everyone to have the kind of relational knowledge traditionally monopolized by professional organizers.
  • Take advantage of the diverse organizations concerned with civic communications to build an advocacy network that debates and defends public information and knowledge.

(cross posted on Huffington/Post Chicago)