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Dedicated to enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem solving

Behavioral Science Building, A244
Department of Communication Studies

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado

Email: cpd@colostate.edu
Phone: 970-491-5628

CPD Announcements

Curious about what we have been doing? You can download the CPD annual reports below:
2010-2011 CPD Annual Report
2009-2010 CPD Annual Report
2008-2009 CPD Annual Report
2007-2008 CPD Annual Report
2006-2007 CPD Annual Report



The Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) was founded in August of 2006 within the Communication Studies Department at Colorado State University, and serves as an affiliate of the National Issues Forum (NIF) network and a member of the University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG).

The CPD is non-partisan. Working from a communication perspective, CPD staff and students focus on the process of deliberation and community problem-solving, not necessarily its product. Deliberation requires safe places for citizens to come together, good and fair information to help structure the conversation, and skilled facilitators to guide the process. The Center is dedicated to providing these three key ingredients to Northern Colorado.

The CPD has three broad goals:

  • Enhance the Local Civic Culture
  • Expand Collaborative Decision-Making
  • Improve Civic Pedagogy

The director of the CPD is Martin Carcasson, associate professor in the CSU Department of Communication Studies. Leah Sprain serves as the Associate Director. They are assisted by an advisory board consisting of community leaders, including representatives from the City of Fort Collins, Poudre School District, the Coloradoan, and various campus institutions such as the Student Leadership and Civic Engagement office and the departments of Political Science and Journalism & Technical Communication. The primary work of the CPD is completed by a core group of especially selected CSU undergraduates who commit to serve as “Student Associates” for two semesters, during which they receive class credit.

Link to CPD pamphlet (PDF)



To be added to the CPD Event Notification Email List, contact Martin Carcasson at cpd@colostate.edu

Willing to help the cause? The CPD provides its services to the Northern Colorado community as a public service. To donate to the CPD, visit our CSU development page. Donations help us improve our skills through training and support our events.


The CPD, working with a special CSU class focused on human trafficking issues, will host a screening and then discussion of the film Rape for Profit. Thursday, April 17, from 6pm-9pm at the Lory Theatre (on campus at CSU). Free to the public. Film at 6pm, discussion beginning around 7:30pm. Light refreshments provided..


On Wednesday, April 9, the CPD and the Northern Colorado Food Cluster hosted the kickoff event for the cluster at the Drake Centre in Fort Collins.

On Wednesday, March 26, the CPD and the city of Fort Collins hosted their second Community Issues Forum, focused on gathering input regarding the city's new Nature in the City project, and potential changes to the water restrictions plan.

On Wednesday, March 5 (11-2pm at Loveland's Chilson Center) and Wednesday, March 12 (1-4pm at Fort Collins' Senior Center), the CPD and the Senior Transportation Coalition hosted hosting Rethinking Transportation: Creating an Age Friendly Community.

On Thursday, February 20th, the CPD assisted the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities to run a day long workshop focused on developing livability initiatives in Larimer County. Data is currently being compiled from the worshop.

On Thursday, November 7, the CPD and the Fort Collins Local Food Cluster hosted the Engaging Fort Collins on Foodforum at the Drake Center. RSVP and/or complete a survey regarding local food at www.surveymonkey.com/s/fortcollinsfood

At the University of Northern Colorado LEAP summit on Saturday, November 2, CPD students ran a two hour session on mental health issues tied to the National Conversation on Mental Health that was launched in June by President Obama. For more information on the national conversation, visit the Creating Community Solutions website.

CPD students and staff assisted with forums on Amendment 66 in Golden Colorado on Oct. 15 and on local food issues in Steamboat Springs on Oct. 17.

The City of Fort Collins, in collaboration with Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation, hosted a Community Issues Forum on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Lincoln Center.

Topics included Amendment 64 and retail marijuana businesses, City of Fort Collins Bike Plan updates, expanded smoking regulations, and train horn noise in downtown. 

The CPD hosted a pilot forum in September with the Senior Transportation Coalition to explore options to improve address the growing senior transportation needs tied to the changing community demographics as the Baby Boomer generations begins to hit retirement age. Additional forums are being planned.

The CPD hosted a forum working with the United Way and several non-profit leaders during the summer to explore the potential of developing shared metrics and strengths and concerns tied to increased focus on metrics and evaluation.

The CPD hosted forums on bullying at Polaris and Lesher Middle Schools during the spring as part of a pilot project to gather student feedback on anti-bullying efforts. A report will be provided to the school distict on Tuesday, May 28.

The CPD hosted an event with the Loveland Senior Advisory Board on May 2, focused on the aging community and how Loveland should react. 75 participants joined the state demographer and CPD students for the vibrant conversation. A report is being developed.

The CPD worked with the Associated Students of CSU to explore the smoking policy on campus. We hosted a forum for campus staff on March 7th, and a student forum on April 3rd. An online survey has also been open for most of the spring semester. A report is currently being developed.

The CPD is hosted a community workshop on Saturday, April 6. 21 participants were involved.

Working with the Poudre River Library District, the CPD started a year long series on September 5th with a presentation by CPD Director Martin Carcasson. It is now also available on YouTube: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need? Additional events were held on October 8, 2012 (Community Book Discussion of David Mathew's Politics for People), November 12 (a public forum on Higher Education's Role in our Society's Future), January 28 (book discussion of Sirianni and Friedland's Civic Renewal Movement), February 19 (Public Forum on Energy Issues in the US: Where Do We Go from Here?), April 8 *(forum on improving political decision-making and community problem solving in our communities).

The CPD continues to work with the Senior Transportation Coalition of Larimer County. Events will likely be held later in 2013.

The CPD ran three public forums on school safety for St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont in early February, and then a student forum on March 6.

The CPD assisted with the UniverCity Connections stakeholder meeting on January 17, 2013.

On November 3, the CPD assisted with LEAP leadership conference sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.

On October 22, the CPD assisted the Fort Collins Human Relations Commission with the Elder Abuse Summit.

On Oct. 16-17, the CPD assisted with the Net Zero Cities Symposium

The CPD assisted the Poudre School District at four fourms to gather public input concerning the superintendent search.

The new group of CPD student associates were trained on Saturday, August 25th at the Tamasag Retreat Center to prepare for the fall semester.

Working with the Fort Collins Senior Center and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, the CPD is hosting Growing Older in Fort Collins Silver Tsunami As a Golden Opportunity, a series of public forums focused on our community's response to the changing demographics as the Baby Boomers enter retirement. The initial event was held on Thursday, Nov. 10, a second on March 1, and a third meeting on April 17, and the final meeting on June 20 at the Senior Center.

We continue to work with Embrace Northern Colorado and the PSD Think Tank.

The CPD also continues to be involved with United Way's Pathways Past Poverty effort and Concerned Larimer.

Community Workshops:

We held our sixth CPD Community Public Deliberation Workshop in April 2013 in Fort Collins. This free all-day workshop provided participants with a background on the concept of deliberation, as well the practical skills to convene and facilitate public forums, particularly forums using the National Issues Forum material. If you are interested in attending our next workshop (scheduled for summer 2014), email Martin Carcasson at (970) 491-5628 or cpd@colostate.edu