Jump to Upcoming Deliberative Conversations | Reframing Topeka Project Updates and Timeline | Notes from Recent Deliberative Conversations

It’s never been more important to talk to each other about tough problems.

Although currently we cannot meet around a boardroom table, we can still come together through videoconferencing with a Zoom meeting to practice deliberation, speaking face-to-face from our own homes and offices.

Practice listening with empathy and respect, considering other perspectives, and weighing the trade-offs of possible actions in a National Issues Forum hosted by the library.

Plan to Attend

Once you choose which conversation to attend, register at the event listings linked below so that you can receive the link to the online Zoom meeting. Consider inviting someone to join you in deliberative conversation, especially someone with a different perspective, life experience or background than you.

Upcoming Deliberative Conversations

Deliberative Conversation: Youth and Opportunity – Learn and Practice Deliberation Together
Thursday, May 06: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive? Practice deliberation through considering perspectives, listening with empathy & weighing trade-offs of possible actions. Register for Zoom link.

Deliberative Conversation: Youth and Opportunity – Learn and Practice Deliberation Together
Tuesday, June 22: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive? Practice deliberation through considering perspectives, listening with empathy & weighing trade-offs of possible actions. Register for Zoom link.

Please check back for updates and for more online face-to-face video forums to be announced.

Attend

How does a deliberative conversation work?

Between 12-20 people with a variety of perspectives will follow a National Issues Forum guide to discuss an issue. Each conversation will address an issue that doesn’t have one perfect answer. Please email connect@tscpl.org or call 785-580-4629 for more information.

What happens after a deliberative forum?

Everyone is asked to continue learning and understanding the issue, to ask better questions, and to look both more broadly and more deeply at possible actions to address the big issues communities face while considering the tradeoffs to those actions.

2021 Reframing Topeka Project Updates and Timeline

Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

Goal: Reframing Topeka’s challenges to create a framework for deliberation, considering approaches and tradeoffs and looking for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups 

  1. Concern Collecting 
  2. AdvisorRole 
  3. Reframing Sessions 
  4. Testing the Draft Issue Guide 
  5. Launching Local Deliberative Conversations around How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

 1. Concern Collecting 2-3 pm, April 1  

We’re reframing Topeka’s challenges to look for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups — and we need your input. What concerns you about HOW we are improving Topeka? 

Report out from April 1, 2021 Concern Collecting (3 page pdf)

Contribute additional concerns and invite others to contribute through this form or email connect@tscpl.org.

2. Advisors know themselves and know our community 

We consider you an Advisor in this work. As part of continuing work that Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is doing with the Kettering Foundation, we are working with the community around how we face our difficult issues. This is something groups are already talking about, so we’re trying to look at things in a new way, using a deliberative framework to examine different approaches, tradeoffs and unintended consequences. As a community we can explore the things we can mostly all agree on, the people these actions may affect, and include people from different backgrounds and with different priorities or values. 

Advisors receive updates, send feedback, participate as you are willing and able in work sessions, embrace deliberating approaches to challenges we face in Topeka, explore possible unintended consequences and consider trade offs Read more about our work with Deliberative Conversations. 

3. Reframing Work Sessions (April and May 2021) 

Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?   

Goal: Reframing Topeka’s challenges to create a framework for deliberation, considering approaches and tradeoffs and looking for common ground for action among multiple stakeholders and diverse groups 

  • Thursday, April 15, 2021 9-11 am 
    Session #1 Objective: Consider underlying values of concerns, narrow and group into 3-4 possible approaches 

  • Thursday, April 29, 2021 2-4 pm 
    Session #2 Objective: Consider tensions between approaches, and what we would have to accept if an approach was successful. 

  • Mid-May 2021 
    Session #3 Objective: Identify possible actions for each approach, including actions from federal, state and local government agencieselected officials, organizations, businesses, education, community groups, and faith groups.  Also identify tradeoffs or unintended consequences for each action.  

4. Deliberate to test using the drafted local issue guide (mid June 2021) 

Objective: Use the drafted reframing to thoughtfully deliberate this issue of Topeka: How should we take action to improve quality of life in our community?. Identify areas to improve and rework within the draft.  

  • Thursday, June 10, 2-4 pm 

  • Thursday June 24, 6-8 pm 

 5. Launching Local Deliberative Conversations (early August 2021) 

Publish the issue guide as a tool to encourage and support Topeka in addressing what matters most to our community. 

Present issue guide framework to City Council, County Commission, media, stakeholders, others. 

Share an initial report capturing what the participants identified as common ground, tensions or unintended consequences. 

Encourage community groups to schedule additional community deliberation on this issue, add more public deliberation on this issue. Reflect on who is missing from the deliberation and seek out their perspectives. 

Public DeliberationsLibrary hosts public deliberations using this reframing issue guide and shares reports with community. 

  • August (date to be determined) 

  • September (date to be determined) 

  • October (date to be determined) 

Notes from Recent Deliberative Conversations

Back to Work

How Should We Rebuild Our Economy?

Summary of February 10, 2021 Deliberation: Back to Work

Policing

What should we do to ensure equal justice and fair treatment in our communities?

Notes from the October 7, 2020 Deliberative Conversation: Policing
Notes from the October 21, 2020 Deliberative Conversation: Policing

Making Ends Meet

How should we spread prosperity and improve opportunity?

Notes from the March 4, 2021 Deliberative Conversation: Making Ends Meet

Safety and Justice

How should communities reduce violence?

Notes from October 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Safety and Justice

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Safety and Justice 

Mental Illness in America

How do we address a growing mental health problem?

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Mental Illness 

Notes from April 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Mental Illness 

A House Divided

What would we have to give up to get the political system we want?

Obesity in America

How should we reduce obesity in America?

Notes from November 2019 Deliberative Conversation on Obesity in America

Over the Edge

What should we do when alcohol and drug use become a problem to society?

Notes from March 2021 Deliberative Conversation on Over the Edge