Our Approach

Public Agenda helps build a democracy that works for everyone and fuels progress on critical issues through:

Some of the roles we play include:

Expert facilitator



Honest broker


Trusted outsider





Capacity builder

Research that illuminates people's views and values.

Public Agenda conducts nuanced and in-depth opinion research, based on co-founder Dan Yankelovich's Learning Curve perspective.

This research enables us to understand where people with a stake in a given problem are coming from, what they think and why. In turn, it helps leaders and stakeholders grasp:

  • how others are thinking and talking about a problem
  • the sorts of solutions they are currently willing to support
  • how to effectively engage them in problem solving

Engagement that gets people talking, learning from each other and working together on solutions.

Our engagement work is propelled by our research and based on decades practice. Through careful issue framing, nonpartisan Choicework discussion guides, well-designed dialogue, expert facilitation and skillful reporting, we help people build common ground, despite their differences.

Our Community Conversation model for public engagement offers an alternative to traditional and often unproductive public forums. Community Conversations provide government officials and community leaders an opportunity to engage a broad cross section of a community in productive, action-oriented deliberation.

Techniques for managing the human side of change.

Often, earnest attempts to make a good decision and solve a problem are derailed when it comes time to make necessary changes. Change is always bumpy, but we help improve the implementation and sustainability of reform through additional research and engagement techniques that address the human side of change.

A capacity building ethos.

Public Agenda strengthens the capacity of community members, organizational and institutional leaders, and other stakeholders to continue and expand the work we do. We work closely with stakeholders to develop tailored and flexible tools, provide training and assistance, and share knowledge of lessons learned.

Communications that build momentum for change.

Through approachable and readable reports, regular commentary, social media, and presentations, podcasts and webinars, we share what we're doing and learning to help others across the nation and worldwide work together toward solutions.

New From Public Agenda


Public Agenda knows what it takes to fuel progress on critical issues.
We need your support to keep things moving!

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