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Leading Deliberative Democracy

This course is specifically designed for elected representatives, senior decision-makers and leaders within organisations. Gain key insights from leaders who have overseen successful deliberative processes and learn how you can apply the principles to address the complex issues your organisation is facing.


About this course

Deliberative democracy has a key role to play in the future social and political cohesion of Australian and global societies. If you’re keen to find out how these processes can help you in your leadership role, this course is the place to start.

The information, activities and real-world examples in this course will guide you through designing and planning a deliberative process.

You’ll receive key insights from leaders who have overseen successful deliberative processes, see how these processes have been applied in a range of contexts around the globe, and learn how to apply the principles of deliberative process to help resolve the most complex issues.

You will also learn more about the direction that the deliberative movement is taking, with the latest examples of innovative deliberative processes from around the world.

Course structure

This short course will run over 4 weeks, taking about 5 – 6 hours of your time in total.  It is self-paced for the first two weeks, so you can access the content when it suits you.

The following content will be covered during the course:

1. Understanding deliberation

  • What deliberation is and is not
  • What differentiates debate, dialogue and deliberation
  • How deliberative citizens engagement differs from traditional participation models
  • The value of deliberative processes.

2. The deliberative process in practice

  • The key elements of the deliberative democracy process
  • Additional (optional) elements
  • Types of deliberative processes.

3. Designing a deliberative process

  • Choices in the design stage
  • Essential phases of a deliberative process.

4. Case studies

  • Examples of real-world deliberative processes and lessons learned
  • The latest innovations in deliberative democracy from around the world.

The course culminates with a live webinar panel discussion, where political leaders and experts will share their experiences and answer your questions about choosing, designing and delivering deliberative democracy processes.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe high level principles of deliberative democracy
  • Assess evidence of deliberative processes that delivered good, legitimate results
  • Determine what kind of problems deliberative processes are most appropriate for
  • Recognise the hallmarks of a sound deliberative process design
  • Discuss deliberative democracy processes in an informed way with peers and the public.


Full price: $650 (GST-free)*.

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase.

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 response 

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for, but not limited to:

  • Elected representatives
  • Politicians
  • Senior civil servants
  • Business leaders
  • Other organisational leaders.


05 July




4 wks

Meet the Experts

Chris Riedy

Chris Riedy
Professor Sustainability Governance

Chris Riedy is a transdisciplinary academic with a research interest in governance, communication and social change for sustainable futures. He draws on sociological and political theory, narrative theory and futures thinking to design, facilitate and evaluate practical experiments in transformative change towards sustainable futures and coordinates the institute’s work on sustainability transformations.

Chris has designed, facilitated and evaluated deliberative minipublics since advocating for deliberative democracy in his doctoral research. He led the Capital Region Climate Change Forum in 2006, contributed to and evaluated World Wide Views on Global Warming in 2009 and evaluated three deliberative minipublics for newDemocracy Foundation in 2017. He is also an experienced learning designer and facilitator, having led ISF’s Graduate Research Program since 2014 and has delivered numerous workshops and courses on topics including futures thinking, monitoring and evaluation, climate change leadership and critical thinking.

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Nivek Thompson

Nivek Thompson
Research Consultant, ISF-UTS

Nivek Thompson is the founder and director of Deliberatively Engaging, where she recruits mini publics for deliberative processes and supports online engagement through the European crowdsourcing platform Synthetron. Nivek has worked for the newDemocracy Foundation designing and managing citizens’ juries. She also has a long history of working in state government and the non-government sector, undertaking community and stakeholder engagement to support change and the development of new policies in areas including quality childcare, children’s rights, competition policy, consumer protection, community development, workplace health & safety, road safety and regulatory reform.

Nivek is the host and producer of Real Democracy Now! - a podcast, where she talks to thought leaders from around the world about democracy and democratic reform. She is also producer of the Facilitating Public Deliberations podcast in partnership with nDF and Professor Carson. She has drawn on her expertise and vast network of experts in the field in creating the content for this course.

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Lyn Carson

Lyn Carson
Research Director, newDemocracy Foundation

Lyn is a former Professor of Applied Politics at the University of Sydney Business School and a former local government councillor. She also currently serves as newDemocracy’s research director.

Lyn has written handbooks on community engagement and dozens of articles and book chapters on public participation, including Random Selection in Politics (1999) with Brian Martin  and co-edited The Australian Citizens’ Parliament & The Future of Deliberative Democracy (2013). For many years, she taught dialogue, deliberation & public engagement for Fielding University in the US, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture.

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Book a session

Mon 05 Jul 2021 -
Fri 30 Jul 2021
Expert: Chris Riedy, Nivek Thompson, Lyn Carson
  • This online course includes a moderated discussion forum (5-30 July 2021) as well as a live 90min webinar 6pm Wed 28 July 2021 AEST (9am GMT).
  • Online
  • 2 sessions

Enrolments for this session close at 5pm Monday 26 July 2021. The live webinar will be recorded and available for registered participants.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Riedy at +61 402043386. 

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