The Yankelovich Center at Public Agenda

Advancing Public Judgment and Civic Engagement


Daniel Yankelovich

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 for Public Judgment 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.



Forthcoming projects in 2018

  • The Hidden Common Ground Initiative is an ongoing research and communications project that explores the hypothesis that there is often greater agreement among the public on solutions to difficult issues than among political elites. This work will test and potentially challenge the increasingly dominant narrative of a deeply, even hopelessly, divided America--a narrative that could become self-fulfilling to the detriment of democracy. We’re excited to collaborate with our friends at The Kettering Foundation to launch the first two Hidden Common Ground research projects, on criminal justice reform and health care. Be one of the first to hear about this work by signing up for our newsletter.


Yankelovich Center Publications


THE FIX WE'RE IN

What Americans Have to Say About Opportunity, Inequality and the System They Feel Is Failing Them

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.


REFRAMING "FRAMING"

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?


BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND

A Call for Goal-Driven Deliberative Practice

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.


TRANSFORMING PUBLIC LIFE

A Decade of Citizen Engagement in Bridgeport, Connecticut

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.


CLICK TO ENGAGE: USING KEYPADS TO ENHANCE DELIBERATION

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.


PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

A Primer from Public Agenda

In this document Public Agenda offers a brief summary of the essential elements of our evolving approach to public engagement.


PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND AMERICA'S GROWING LATINO POPULATION

Understanding the barriers to, and opportunities for, more empowered participation of Latino populations is a pressing need facing advocates of deliberative democracy.


PROMISING PRACTICES IN ONLINE ENGAGEMENT

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.


BEYOND DEBATE

Impacts of Deliberative Issue Framing on Group Dialogue and Problem Solving

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.


DEMOCRACY, GROWING UP

The Shifts That Reshaped Local Politics and Foreshadowed the 2008 Presidential Election

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.



New From Public Agenda

HELP US BUILD A DEMOCRACY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE

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


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