- Postgraduate research students
- Staff (academic and professional) who are new to the principles of dialogic communication and facilitation
Open to all academic disciplines and members of any university, and to people working in other types of organisation.
Why take this course?
Researchers are now expected to do some form of public engagement – to interact with particular stakeholder groups and/or wider ‘publics’ – in order to to increase the impact of their research. The impact of public engagement is strongest when researchers talk with people rather than at them, and researchers are open to hearing what members of the public have to say. Come to this course to:
- Get an introduction to the principles of two-way ‘dialogic’ communication
- Build your skills in facilitating dialogic communication
- Think strategically about how to design dialogic public engagement activities, including how to communicate with your research’s audience from the very start of your research project (instead of just telling them what you’ve done when it’s over)
- Understand the difference between ‘dialogue’ (to increase understanding) and ‘deliberation’ (to come to a decision), and why both are needed
- Develop the skills needed to reflect and improve upon your engagement practice and wider communication techniques long after the course has ended
Whether you’re planning to work with government, business, product and service end-users, or citizens, this course could help you make your engagement more effective. You’ll leave with a toolbox of skills that you can use in a range of different settings where two-way communication is beneficial, including (but not only) public engagement with research.
This training uses a lot of practical exercises – for example, practicing facilitating a discussion on a controversial topic - and some presentations. Refreshments and a sandwich lunch are provided on both days.
The course runs 9am-5pm (approx.) on each day. The final schedule will be confirmed nearer the time.
Feedback on the October 2015 session
“Thank you for a wonderful course”
“Absolutely fantastic. Went above and beyond my expectations”
“I was impressed with how the content was delivered and pleased to learn that we would apply our learning as we went along”
“It was a welcoming environment where I felt confident and comfortable to learn”
“A brilliant starting point for public engagement”
“I came out knowing more about myself and how I communicate, and how to improve my communication”
What this course does not do
This course does not:
- Give guidance on working with specific audiences (e.g. what works best for schoolchildren or policymakers)
- Help you to design a specific public engagement activity
- Focus on ‘outreach’-style public engagement that is only done after research has been completed
This course is FREE for staff and students from universities in Edinburgh! This is a trial for this session only - we usually charge - so make the most of it!
If you are not a member of staff or a student from a university in Edinburgh, the cost is £190. This includes lunch and refreshments on both days, and the course handbooks in hard copy. You can pay by card here (please enter the amount), or contact us if you prefer to be invoiced.
If you book and then find you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 650 4874.
- If you are paying to attend and you cancel, we will refund as much of your course fee as possible, but may need to make deductions for costs we're already committed to (e.g. catering)
- If you are attending for free and are a no-show on the day, we may not be able to offer you a place on a future course
In both cases, we understand that life happens and we always aim to be reasonable!
Wendy Faulkner is passionate about people participating in decisions that affect them, and about the benefits of dialogue. New understandings and possibilities can emerge when people think and work together in a spirit of deep listening and learning, and where difference is respected. A former academic, she now works freelance designing and facilitating collaborative conversations, be they exploratory or deliberative, single events or staged processes. Her experience covers public engagement in research, community engagement, and collaboration with stakeholders. She has trained some 300 people in these areas, largely with Oliver Escobar, for the Edinburgh Beltane Network and other community and third sector bodies. Wendy has an enduring love of Scottish tweeds – hence her trading name Talking Tweed.
Oliver Escobar is Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of What Works Scotland, a large research programme to improve public services and policy innovation. His areas of research, teaching and practice are democracy, politics, policy, participation and collaboration. He is on the Board of Democratic Audit UK, Beltane Public Engagement Fellow, member of the Scottish Government’s Participatory Budgeting Reference Group, Director of ClimateXChange’s Citizens’ Juries, non-executive member of the Scottish Government’s Digital Communications Board, and advisor to DRILL –the world’s largest research programme led by disable people. He coordinates the Citizen Participation Network, has trained and worked with hundreds of public engagement practitioners, and is involved in developing democratic innovations across various policy arenas in Scotland and beyond. He has led or co-led over a dozen research projects. His most recent research focuses on the interface between citizen participation and social inequalities (e.g. http://www.healthinequalities.net).
What Works Scotland: http://whatworksscotland.ac.uk
Oliver’s blog: https://oliversdialogue.wordpress.com