CSU Home Page

Events Calendar (updated 10/26/2013)

At the University of Northern Colorado LEAP summit on Saturday, November 2, CPD students will run a two hour session on mental health issues tied to the National Conversation on Mental Health that was launched in June by President Obama. For more information on the national conversation, visit the Creating Community Solutions website.

On Thursday, November 7, the CPD and the Fort Collins Local Food Cluster are hosting the Engaging Fort Collins on Foodforum at the Drake Center. RSVP and/or complete a survey regarding local food at www.surveymonkey.com/s/fortcollinsfood

.On Wednesday, December 4, CPD and the Senior Transportation Coalition will be hosting Rethinking Transportation: Creating an Age Friendly Community at the Pathways Hospice on 305 Carpenter Rd, in Fort Collins. Two identical sessions will be held from 12:00 to 2:30 and then 5:00 to 7:30pm. RSVP to the Larimer County Office on Aging at (970) 498-7751.

Past Events

CPD students and staff assisted with forums on Amendment 66 in Golden Colorado on Oct. 15 and on local food issues in Steamboat Springs on Oct. 17.

The City of Fort Collins, in collaboration with Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation, hosted a Community Issues Forum on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Lincoln Center.

Topics included Amendment 64 and retail marijuana businesses, City of Fort Collins Bike Plan updates, expanded smoking regulations, and train horn noise in downtown. 

The CPD hosted a pilot forum in September with the Senior Transportation Coalition to explore options to improve address the growing senior transportation needs tied to the changing community demographics as the Baby Boomer generations begins to hit retirement age. Additional forums are being planned.

The CPD hosted a forum working with the United Way and several non-profit leaders during the summer to explore the potential of developing shared metrics and strengths and concerns tied to increased focus on metrics and evaluation.The CPD hosted forums on bullying at Polaris and Lesher Middle Schools during the spring as part of a pilot project to gather student feedback on anti-bullying efforts. A report will be provided to the school distict on Tuesday, May 28.

The CPD hosted an event with the Loveland Senior Advisory Board on May 2, focused on the aging community and how Loveland should react. 75 participants joined the state demographer and CPD students for the vibrant conversation. A report is being developed.

The CPD worked with the Associated Students of CSU to explore the smoking policy on campus. We hosted a forum for campus staff on March 7th, and a student forum on April 3rd. An online survey has also been open for most of the spring semester. A report is currently being developed.

The CPD is hosted a community workshop on Saturday, April 6. 21 participants were involved.

Working with the Poudre River Library District, the CPD started a year long series on September 5th with a presentation by CPD Director Martin Carcasson. It is now also available on YouTube: What Kind of Talk Does Democracy Need? Additional events were held on October 8, 2012 (Community Book Discussion of David Mathew's Politics for People), November 12 (a public forum on Higher Education's Role in our Society's Future), January 28 (book discussion of Sirianni and Friedland's Civic Renewal Movement), February 19 (Public Forum on Energy Issues in the US: Where Do We Go from Here?), April 8 *(forum on improving political decision-making and community problem solving in our communities).

The CPD continues to work with the Senior Transportation Coalition of Larimer County. Events will likely be held later in 2013.

The CPD ran three public forums on school safety for St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont in early February, and then a student forum on March 6.

The CPD assisted with the UniverCity Connections stakeholder meeting on January 17, 2013.

On November 3, the CPD assisted with LEAP leadership conference sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado at the Embassy Suites in Loveland.

On October 22, the CPD assisted the Fort Collins Human Relations Commission with the Elder Abuse Summit.

On Oct. 16-17, the CPD assisted with the Net Zero Cities Symposium

The CPD assisted the Poudre School District at four fourms to gather public input concerning the superintendent search.

The new group of CPD student associates were trained on Saturday, August 25th at the Tamasag Retreat Center to prepare for the fall semester.

Working with the Fort Collins Senior Center and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, the CPD is hosting Growing Older in Fort Collins – Silver Tsunami As a Golden Opportunity, a series of public forums focused on our community's response to the changing demographics as the Baby Boomers enter retirement. The initial event was held on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, a second on March 1, 2012, and a third meeting on April 17, 2012, and the final meeting on June 20 at the Senior Center.

The CPD also continues to be involved with United Way's Pathways Past Poverty effort and Concerned Larimer.

The CPD worked with the CSU Stadium Advisory Committee to design and facilitate the public process concerning the proposal. The stadium process information is being updated on the front page.

We continue to work with Embrace Northern Colorado, the PSD Think Tank, the United Way's Pathways Past Poverty effort and Concerned Larimer.

Many other events will be added as they arise, so check back here or contact Martin directly at (970)491-5628 or cpd@colostate.edu .

Our last student workshop was January 28, 2013, and the next will be held in late August or September. These are primarily exclusive to students in the CPD student associate program, but at times we allow graduate students to attend the first two weeks of class and the workshop to be trained to help with events. If you are interested in this possibility, contact us at cpd@colostate.edu

Annually, we tend to hold at least one day-long introduction to deliberative practice workshop, offered free to interested participants. The last workshop was held in April 2013.

During our first 3 years, we held three day long summer workshops open to the community. In 2009, our 3rd Annual CPD Deliberative Democracy Workshop had 14 participants from across Colorado, plus one from Nigeria. They were involved in the three day workshop to learn about deliberative democracy and facilitation skills. We held a one-day community workshop on Saturday, September 24th, for 16 community members, including representatives from the City of Fort Collins, the Poudre Valley Library District, St. Vrain School District, Poudre School District, and CSU.We plan on hosting these one day workshops once or twice a year. Email Martin at cpd@colostate.edu if you are interested in the next workshop.

Faculty Research
Colorado Municipalities published an article by CPD Director entitled Tackling Wicked Problems through Deliberative Engagement.

Public Agenda and the Center for Advances in Public Engagement has published an article by Martin Carcasson and Michelle Currie entitled Click to Engage: Using Keypads to Enhance Deliberation

CPD Director Martin Carcasson has published three different articles discussing the work of the CPD and the role of universities in providing local capacity for deliberative democracy and collaborative problem-solving: (1) "Facilitating Democracy through Passionate Impartiality: Communication Studies Programs and Students Should Serve as Local Resources," published in Spectra, (2) "Facilitating Community Democracy from Campus: Centers, Faculty, and Students as Key Resources of Passionate Impartiality," in Higher Education , (3) "Facilitating Democracy: Centers and Institutes of Public Deliberation and Collaborative Problem-Solving," in New Directions in Higher Education

  • Journal of Public Deliberation published an article written by CPD director Martin Carcasson, along with Laura Black and Elizabeth Sink, on the connections between deliberative democracy and communication studies. That article is available online: Communication Studies and Deliberative Democracy: Current Contributions and Future Possibilities Carcasson also served as co-editor of that issue of the journal, and co-authored the introductory essay .
    Public Sector Digest published an article by CPD director Carcasson and associate director Leah Sprain on the Key Aspects of Deliberative Democracy

    Martin Carcasson and Elinor Christopher completed a research report entitled The Goals & Consequences of Deliberation: Key Findings and Challenges for Deliberative Practitioners for the Kettering Foundation on the role of deliverative forums in community politics.

    Past Events and Reports
    National Food Day was Monday, October 24. Working with CSU Extension, the CPD hosted student-focused forums to broadly discuss issues related to food at the Lory Student Center Grey Rock room. On November 14th, we held a community forum at the Larimer County Courthouse. Data from those events are being used to develop more focused forums in the future.

    Working with the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County, the CPD assisted with three employer rountables on child care issues.. An initial meeting was held Oct. 12 in Estes Park, and additional meetings were held in Loveland on Oct. 26 and Fort Collins on Oct. 28.

    CPD facilitated leadership task force meetings for Embrace Northern Colorado in April, May, September, and October, along with process planning meetings over the summer.

    CPD designed and facilitated an all day leadership retreat for the St. Vrain School District on June 18th.

    The CPD ran a process for the Werner Elementary School PTA on Tuesday, February 8th.

    On Monday, February 21st, the CPD trained a group of PSD high school students involved in the PSD Think Tank.

    Over spring break, CPD director and several CPD students attended the The Citizens’ Toolbox conference at Miami University in Ohio.

    On March 26th, CPD students ran a process at the CSU Women's Conference in Fort Collins.

    On April 11 and April 16, the CPD rau public forums on water issues related to the Poudre River. A preliminary report has been completed on those forums and will be released soon.



    CPD students facilitated discussions on Islamic issues, improving higher ed, immigration, and diversity during the capstone class for graduating communication majors on November 1.

    CPD students facilitated three public forums for the Poudre School District concerning budget concerns and small schools from 7-9pm on January 26 (Poudre High School), February 1 (Rocky Mountain High School), and February 23 (Fort Collins High School). For more information, see : the PSD website

    Several CPD student associates and Assistant Director Leah Sprain attemded the Connect the Dotes National Student Conference on Embedding the Democratic Practices of Deliberation, Public Dialogue, and Community Problem-Solving and Action from March 3-6 in Point Clear, Alabama. For more information, see the conference website


    Each fall, we release report from our activities for the previous academic year:

    2009-2010 CPD Annual Report,

    2008-2009 CPD Annual Report,

    2007-2008 CPD Annual Report

    2006-2007 CPD Annual Report

    Spring 2010 Summary

    During the spring of 2010, CPD Director Martín Carcasson was on sabbatical, so the CPD ran on only partial capacity. Normally, a new group of students are trained every semester, joining a group of students that were trained the prior semester. This semester, there was no new class of students. Nonetheless, Assistant Director Spain and Graduate Assistant Mallorie Bruns directed a smaller group of CPD students who completed several important projects. CPD students facilitated three large public meetings for the Poudre School District to gather input on budget and school closing issues, ran the Arts Engagement Summit for Beet Street and the UCC Arts and Culture subcommittee, and ran forums at local high schools on wellness issues. Dr. Sprain and six CPD students also traveled to Alabama to attend Connect the Dots: A National Student Conference on Embedding the Democratic Practices of Deliberation, Public Dialogue, and Community Problem Solving and Action.

    During the summer of 2010, Dr. Carcasson and several CPD students worked with Bryce Hach, director of Homeward 2020, an effort to end homelessness in Fort Collins by 2020, to design and assist with two meetings. 

    Throughout the year, the CPD also continued to work with the PSD Think Tank, United Way’s Pathways Past Poverty Project, and Concerned Larimer.

    Fall 2009 Summary

    During the Fall of 2009, the CPD welcomed our new assistant director, Dr. Leah Sprain, and moved into our new physical location at Eddy 210. We were also involved in a variety of events. In September, we hosted the Diversity Dialogues during the 2009 CSU Diversity Conference. In October, we facilitated the UniverCity Connections Stakeholder Meeting entitled "Getting There Should Be As Fun As Being There." UniverCity connections is a collaborative effort between the downtown Fort Collins, CSU, and advocates for the Poudre River to develop innovative projects for the area that joins the three entities. The CPD was asked to design, facilitate, and report on the annual UniverCity Connections stakeholder meeting, a large meeting that typically attracted 150 participants. A report was completed and provided to the UniverCity Connections Transit committee. In November we developed and ran a process at the In-Sync event in Longmont, CO. The all-day event brought together representations from Northern Colorado and Denver Metro in the areas of K-12 education, community colleges, higher education, workforce centers, and numerous industries to discuss how they collaborative more effectively. Over 150 participants attended overall. The CPD ran a two-part process during the event to have the participants identify key barriers to collaborations and key action steps to overcoming those barriers. Later in November, CPD staff and student associates ran a “student department meeting” for SPCM majors at CSU. The event was held during the capstone class, but all majors were invited. 70 students attended and provided feedback concerning strengths and weaknesses of the department, what courses they would like to see developed, and what changes they would like to see in the department. In addition to these major projects, the CPD continued to work with the Pathways Past Poverty project and Concerned Larimer , both of which focus on improving the community response to growing poverty in Larimer County. The CPD also continues to work with the Poudre School District Student Think Tank.

    Spring 2009 Summary

    During the spring 2009 semester, the CPD focused on a variety of projects. On February 12th, we hosted the Fort Collins Bicycle Safety Summit, co-sponsored by the City of Fort Collins FC Bikes, the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op, and Bike Fort Collins. In February we also hosted an all-day workshop with high school students from the PSD Student Think Tank, and thus launched the CPD High School Student Associate Program. Those students later participated in a series of forums in local schools focused on childhood wellness issues. We ran forums at Polaris Expeditionary Learning School, Fort Collins High School, and Werner Elementary. For the first time, we ran forums with students in 2nd, 5th, 7th, 10th, and 11th grade. We also ran a number of forums in IU175 classes in March and April on topics such as Race and Ethnic Tensions, Environmental Protection, the Achievement Gap, and the News Media. We also bee working with the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, CSU's student media group that runs the Collegian, KSCU, CTV, and College Avenue, to help them run forums to gain broad input into the development of their new organizational mission and goals. On April 4th, we hosted the "How Can We Improve Higher Education" forum at the Drake Centre, which brought together about 50 students to discuss how we can improve classes and instruction at CSU. That project will continue in the fall, as we will work to get faculty and students together to discuss their mutual responsibilities to improve the quality of education students receive. Reports are currently being completed on these projects, including the Bike Summit, the Higher Ed forum, and the Childhood Wellness forums.

    Fall 2008

    On Monday, November 17th, we hosted the Fall 2008 Community Issues Forum. The event brought together CSU students with the Fort Collins community to discuss several key issues. We focused on four issues:

    • How can we encourage healthy weights among Fort Collins youth?
    • How can we better prepare for the responsibilities of citizenship?
    • How can we secure a sustainable community and create a future for Fort Collins?
    • How can the discussion of politics be improved in college classrooms? (student only forum)

    Each of these topics had separate breakout groups facilitated by CPD student associates,and gave community members a chance to discuss the issue and consider ways of moving forward.

    On Friday, November 14th from 11am-1pm—we co-sponsored the Pathways Past Poverty Community & Research Update at the Foothills Unitarian Church at 1815 Yorktown Avenue in Fort Collins. The event is open to the public, and will focus on providing an update on the pathways committees that have been working over the summer and fall, as well as communicating the results of the study on poverty in Northern Colorado that has been completed by economist Dr. Martin Shields and sociologist Matt Aronson.  Visit www.pathwayspastpoverty.org for more information. Light refreshments will be served. Note: this event will be a series of presentations, not a deliberative forum.

    Spring 2008

    The CPD designed and hosted the Spring 2008 Community Issues Forum in April, with 150 participants discussing five different local issues. Participants included students from SPCM capstone course as well as community members. This event has now become an every semester event that brings together campus and community members in a unique manner. The Spring 2008 forum included discussions on alcohol and responsibility, domestic violence, the responsibilities of citizenship, Fort Collins external maintenance standards, and the energy crisis. A report on the external maintenance standards forum was completed and provided to city council, which was in the process of deciding on a new ordinance.

    For the official CPD report on the proposed External Maintenance standards and the Rental Housing Codes, click here. Other student-authored reports include:

    Violence in Intimate Relationships How Do We Respond?

    Alcohol and Responsibility: Which Way Forward? (Group 1)

    Alcohol and Responsibility: Which Way Forward? (Group 2)

    The Energy Problem: Choices for an Uncertain Future

    The 21st Century Responsibilities of Citizenship


    The CPD, in partnership with the United Way of Larimer County, launched the Pathways Past Poverty community mobilization effort (P3) in October 2007, a long term project that will continue through the fall of 2008, and include many public events. The project currently involves roughly 200 residents serving in 9 different committees. I serve as the lead facilitator and primary advisor of the overall project, and CPD students participated in eight “approach committees” that met several times during the spring. The CPD then designed and facilitated two community open houses in April and May 2008 to gather public feedback on preliminary goals developed by the approach committees, which received significant media coverage. A total of 250 community members participated over the two forums. CPD students also helped facilitate a “poverty simulation” event connected to the P3 project that drew 50 participants. A report on the forums was developed and provided to the P3 steering committee.

    The CPD facilitated a series of 7 public forums in six cities across northern Colorado (including Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Greeley, Estes Park, and Sterling) in spring 2008 concerning the role of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in the K-12 curriculum. The forums were part of a grant connected to the governor’s office. A total of 250 participated over the seven forums. A report was developed and provided to the organizers of the grant.

    The CPD developed and hosted the Kickoff Event at the Western States Communication Association Conference in Broomfield, CO, on February 16, 2008.  The event brought together communication scholars with local non-profit organizations to improve their agency’s communication strategies.

    The CPD hosted a Community Peace Circle on campus in February 2008, 35 participated in the all day event.

    The CPD hosted a forum on the “21st Century Mission of Schools” on February 12, 2008, for high school students involved in the Poudre Student Think Tank. 10 students participated.

    The CPD hosted a discussion zone at the “Focus the Nation” teach-in on climate change on January 20th and 21st, 2008, at the request of organizers.

    Reports from Spring 2008 events:

    Pathways Past Poverty (P3) open house was held Wednesday, April 30th, 4:30-8pm at the Aztlan Community Center, with 200 participants (press release). A follow up meeting was held in Loveland on May 7th. The P3 steering committee then met over the summer to prioritize the goal and plan next steps. For the report on the community meetings, click here. For the agenda provided at the initial meeting, click here. For a two page list of the preliminary goals that were discussed, click here. For a document that includes one full page description for each of the goals, click here. For the survey given, click here.

    For the CPD report on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) convening meetings held throughout the spring, click click here

    For a preliminary report on the results of the Denver By the People deliberation held on October 20, 2007, click here. For a statistical report on the before/after surveys, click here. For the national background information given to participants across the country, click here. For the local background information provided to participants in Denver, click here. Currently, follow up activities are being planned in conjunction with Regis University's Institute on the Common Good.


    Fall 2007 Community Issues Forum

    On Monday, November 12, from 6-8:30pm, the CPD hosted the FALL 2007 COMMUNITY ISSUES FORUM, a night of deliberative forums on a number of issues at the Lory Student Center. .This was the first of what will hopefully become an every semester tradition for the Fort Collins community. One hundred and twenty participants joined us in breakout groups examining seven different topics, including:

    - The abuse of alcohol;
    - The role of the campus newspaper;
    - Pathways to peace;
    - Health care reform in Colorado;
    - Rising poverty in Larimer County;
    - The energy problem;
    - Improving the student/neighborhood relationship.

    Reports on these various forums are currently being completed.

    Fall 2007 Colorado Health Care Reform Forum

    The CPD, along with the Larimer County League of Women Voters, hosted a community forum on hehealth care reform on Saturday, 9am-12pm, in the Lory Student Center's North Ballroom. 45 participants, including Colorado State Senator Bob Bacon and Colorado State Representative Don Marostica. Report being prepared, should be posted October 10th. Download the report from the CPD/League of Women Voters Public Forum held on 9/29 here (54 page PDF) An 11 page summary report is available here (PDF)

    2007 Poudre School District Grade Configuration Forums

    Our major project for the spring of 2007. CPD student associates facilitated 6 meetings for the Poudre School District concerning the grade configuration of PSD schools. See the PSD website for more details. The report concerning the PSD Grade Configuration Forums has been posted on the PSD website, as well as below.

    Full Report on Grade Configuration (66 pages)(PDF)

    Summary of Report on Grade Configuration (11 pages)(PDF)

    CPD Kickoff Event and Community Issues Forum

    On Wednesday, January 24th, 2007, we held our Kickoff Event and First Annual Community Issues Forum at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. 135 citizens gathered to hear about the Center and discuss what issues were important to them. A report on that forum will be posted on this website in a couple weeks, and will be presented to local, county, and state government officials. Student associates working here at the Center will use the information gathered to pick semester projects, but the Center also hopes that the information will encourage other individuals and organizations to get involved in a variety of ways. In addition to facilitated table discussions, participants completed surveys that asked questions about what issues they would like to have the community engage more deliberatively. Documents provided to the participants at the Kickoff are posted below. Any interested citizens are encouraged to complete the survey and email it to cpd@colostate.edu, or mail it to the CPD at 217 Eddy Building, CSU Campus, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1783.

    Participant Survey from Kickoff Event (Word)

    Participant Survey from Kickoff Event (PDF)

    Agenda for CPD Kickoff Event (PDF)

    CPD Issue Cluster list (PDF)

    List of Available NIF issue books (PDF)

    Link to NIF website information on issue books

    Link to IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum (PDF)

    the NIF network of Public Policy Institutes (PDF)

    Examples of deliberative techniques (PDF)

    Link to IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum (PDF)