Innovation
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Communities separated by distance can now meet simultaneously with the right technology.

AmericaSpeaks was created out of the belief that new innovations were needed in order to involve citizens in the governance process. Since 1995, we have worked to integrate new technologies with emerging approaches for bringing large, diverse groups together to find common ground and shape decision making.

21st Century Town Meeting

AmericaSpeaks is best known for our 21st Century Town Meeting®, which integrates several kinds of technology in order to engage diverse groups of
50 – 12,000 people at a time in real deliberation linked to policy making. Learn more about how our 21st Century Town Meetings or read case studies about how they have been put in action to involve the public.

Other Innovations

Beyond the 21st Century Town Meeting, AmericaSpeaks has developed many other innovations that have helped to advance the practice of public deliberation. Follow the links below to learn about just a few of these innovations.

  • Engaging the Public Online: AmericaSpeaks began experimenting with how to use online tools to engage the public in 1998. Since then we have convened the public online on many different topics and formed a partnership with Ascentum to launch ASonline. We have trained managers from almost every federal agency in online moderation and continue to develop new online innovations. Read more about some of our online projects.
  • Multi-Site Meetings: AmericaSpeaks has sought to convene the public in forums that bridge geographic so that states, regions and the nation can join together in a common deliberation. Reach more about how we have used satellites, webcasting and conversation kits to enable large groups of citizens to come together and deliberate across multiple meeting sites.
  • Diverse Participation: AmericaSpeaks is committed to ensuring that we convene diverse, representative groups to take part in the policy making process. Learn more about our approach to recruiting diverse participation in our meetings.
  • Media Partnerships: AmericaSpeaks partners with broadcast, print and online media in order to educate the public, expand the reach of our town meetings, and ensure that the public’s priorities are heard. Learn more about some of our most innovative media partnerships.
  • Embedding and Institutionalizing Public Deliberation: Our long-term goal is to embed public deliberation into the governance process so that it becomes part of how public decisions are made in our communities, states and nation. Learn more about how we have approached institutionalizing public deliberation.