Among the conclusions from the neighborhood leaders weighing in on Carbon Neutral Seattle: "We need to devote more resources toward getting everyone on board."
Tough times present an opportunity to bring people together. What is it about our citizen engagement process that divides people? As budget issues impact business as usual, it becomes apparent that there are costs to discord when hard decisions need to be made. The challenges we face demand a better way and invite ideas for more sustainable governance models. We need to change the nature of civic engagement from a debate to a conversation -- from a design that results in citizens divided over special interests to a design that brings us together in seeking co-creative solutions that protect our commons -- from public hearings to public discourse that deepens our awareness that we are all connected. Particularly when times are tough.
I urge city government leaders to consider that there are governance designs that yield higher levels of collaborative thinking. I urge you to invite proposals for that purpose.