The Participation Blog

Community Input Is Bad?

“The community-input system is unfixable and, more important, undesirable,” so says the accompanying article from The Atlantic. I say bull-cookies. With all due respect to the article’s author, they clearly don’t know what you and I know. Public engagement, done with authenticity, skill and creativity, is most desirable. The old, traditional public meeting methods of the past oftentimes need to remain in the past, but throwing the participation baby out with the bath water is a lame and wrong-headed answer. There’s no question that in recent years, people seem to have become less altruistic, and more actively angry and oppositional to proposals that don’t directly benefit them. But we know what needs to be done and how to do it; leaders simply need to be willing to do this work well.