Advancing Public Judgment and Civic Engagement
The Yankelovich Center at Public Agenda builds on and puts to work the seminal ideas of our co-founder, Daniel Yankelovich. Through six decades of intensive study of how public opinion changes on complex issues, Dan charted the difference between raw public opinion and wiser “public judgment;” the stages people go through to achieve the latter; the factors that help or hinder them in doing so; and what all of this means for democracy, civic engagement, public policy, social change, research and leadership.
The Center conducts original studies on public attitudes on complex and divisive problems, including via signature methods such as Learning Curve Research™; provides tools and assistance that help communities strengthen civic engagement and problem solving; and contributes to society’s understanding of the public’s role in building a just, effective and thoughtful democracy. In our age of poisonous partisanship, gridlocked policy, echo chamber discourse, demagoguery and “alternative facts,” advancing realistic, pragmatic public judgment and citizen engagement has never been more important.
We make all publications and resources developed through the Yankelovich Center and its predecessor, The Center for Advances in Public Engagement (CAPE), available for download free of charge. To support the efforts of the Yankelovich Center, please visit our donation page.
We were able to launch the Yankelovich Center at Public Agenda thanks to the Kettering Foundation's commitment to a robust program of joint research through the Center. Major support for CAPE, the Yankelovich Centers’ precedent, was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
This report from the Hidden Common Ground Initiative focuses on hidden or otherwise underappreciated common ground in the realm of criminal justice reform, specifically with respect to incarceration. The Hidden Common Ground Initiative aspires to tell the story of what unites us by way of concrete, actionable solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives and the fate of their communities—and eventually, perhaps, in our national politics as well.
This report from the Hidden Common Ground Initiative focuses on hidden or otherwise underappreciated common ground in health care. How do people talk across party lines about the problems facing our health care system? What do people think should be done to make progress? The Hidden Common Ground Initiative aspires to tell the story of what unites us by way of concrete, actionable solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives and the fate of their communities—and eventually, perhaps, in our national politics as well.
Public Agenda spent the past year talking with folks from small and large cities, including San Diego, Cincinnati, the greater metro area of New York and numerous points in between.
What if we were to reframe framing to focus less on how it can help one side or another win the political game and more on what it means, and can mean, for strengthening the democratic process?
Public Agenda teams up with Martín Carcasson from the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University to disseminate his latest thinking about the goals and consequences of public deliberation.
As a result of roughly a decade of hard work by organizations, "ordinary" citizens and various local leaders, public engagement has become embedded in the life of Bridgeport, CT.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the use of keypads as part of well-constructed engagement and deliberation processes. We are particularly focused on the use of keypads to support deliberative forums and meetings tied to collaborative problem solving.
In this document Public Agenda offers a brief summary of the essential elements of our evolving approach to public engagement.
Understanding the barriers to, and opportunities for, more empowered participation of Latino populations is a pressing need facing advocates of deliberative democracy.
The fact that the Internet is one of the most powerful organizing tools in history is both thrilling and vexing to public engagement practitioners working to create the conditions for more effective public involvement in public life.
The research summarized in this article was conducted in order to gain a deeper understanding of one key element of these proper conditions: framing issues for deliberation.
In this report, Matt Leighninger summarizes and updates his main arguments on the larger patterns in the many strands of the deliberative democracy movement that have been emerging in recent years.