About the Center for Public Deliberation

Since 2006, the CPD has dedicated its efforts to enhancing local democracy.

APLU Public Deliberation from Colorado State University on Vimeo.

Our Work

Our aim is to improve the way our community is able to talk through complex issues so that we can arrive at better decisions. Deliberation requires open spaces for citizens to come together, good and fair information to help structure the conversation and skilled facilitators to guide the process. The CPD is dedicated to providing these three key ingredients to Northern Colorado.

As an impartial resource, we’re able to assist local government, schools, and community organizations in problem-solving key issues. This means we start by researching and developing useful background material. Then we work with partners to invite those affected by the issue into the room. Our students are trained in small group facilitation and guide participants through these sometimes difficult conversations. From designing to facilitating to reporting on innovative public events, we rely on contemporary, relevant research from the fields of deliberation and communication studies.


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

Event participant listening to a presentation.

1. Enhance the local civic culture

Increase local participation in community problem solving

Decrease the sense of polarization, cynicism, and frustration with politics

Help develop a civic habit of relying on deliberation to address local concerns

2. Expand collaborative decision-making

Promote interconnections between local government and citizens

Expand and improve the role of the public in decision-making processes

Help incorporate deliberative techniques in local institutions

Community member actively engaged in conversation at Center for Public Deliberation Community Conversation.
Center for Public Deliberation facilitator taking easel notes from participant comments in conversation about air quality.

3. Improve Civic Education

Across K-12, higher education, and continuing education:

Study and improve methods of developing citizenship skills

Incorporate deliberative pedagogy

Learn More

Hear CPD Director, Martín Carcasson explain the work of the Center for Public Deliberation.