Introducing our new name — the Center for New Democratic Processes

What’s new?

We are pleased to announce an important organizational transformation and officially introduce our new name — the Center for New Democratic Processes!

While our name has changed we remain steadfastly dedicated to our mission. Our commitment to strengthening democracy for all by partnering with individuals, communities, and institutions to design and implement informed, innovative, and democratic processes to address today’s toughest challenges is stronger than ever.

Towards this end, decoupling our organizational name from the legacy of slavery, anti-Black violence, and structural racism associated with Thomas Jefferson is a single, yet profound, step in reimagining how we might achieve our mission. Greater diversity, equity and inclusion in civic engagement is essential to enhance the effectiveness of governance and strengthen democracy. As an organization, we have reaffirmed our commitment to more effectively and holistically embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our internal operations, our deliberative programs, and our partnerships. This transition is just one small step towards this goal.

Why Center for New Democratic Processes?

We selected “Center for New Democratic Processes” as our “new” organizational name for two reasons. First, this returns us to the original name used when the organization was formally incorporated in 1974. Second, and more importantly, this name embodies the spirit of innovation that has fueled our organization throughout its history and propels us forward today.

For nearly fifty years we’ve been expanding the boundaries of democracy through ongoing experimentation and implementation of groundbreaking deliberative processes. We were the first to employ the Citizens’ Jury, invented by our founder Ned Crosby, as a method for participatory deliberative engagement in the United States. Since its introduction, we have supported the global proliferation of this method. Throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s our work focused on refining the use of the citizens’ jury on issues ranging from Ag Impacts on Water Quality Organ Transplants, and School-based Clinics to the Federal Budget and evaluating the positions of candidates for US Senate. In the early 2000s we covered topics as varied as addressing global climate change, piloting the Citizens’ Initiative Review in the state of Washington, advancing the use of deliberative democracy in Australia, and improving Electoral Recounts.

In recent years our projects have informed data privacy and governance, technology policy and artificial intelligence (AI) regulatory guidance, tackled patient safety and diagnostic error, and reconfigured delivery of health services. We’ve supported rural communities responding to local impacts of climate change and extreme weather and assessing renewable energy development through the Rural Climate and Energy Dialogues. We’ve worked with residents and stakeholders to shape significant infrastructure and planning decisions with the City of Vancouver (British Columbia) through the Flats Arterial Community Panel. We were the first in the United States to design and implement a Citizens’ Assembly through the MN Community Assembly Project. We’re using deliberative engagement to build trust between audiences and local media through Your Voice Ohio, the largest sustained, statewide news collaborative in the US.

Along the way, our projects and partnerships have won awards and garnered recognition by domestic and global bodies for excellence in participatory democracy, delivering results, and demonstrating impact.

What’s next?

We are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and genuinely enthusiastic as we embark on this new chapter. As we’ve stated before, this is an extraordinary moment to be working towards a stronger democracy and we are both humbled by the challenges and propelled by the possibilities before us.

We are deepening our commitment to developing creative, customized methods for solving complex problems through rigorous, purposefully designed deliberative engagement. We are investing to meet the transformative challenges of digital-first engagement necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue partnering with local, state, and federal government bodies, academic institutions and researchers, and community institutions and nonprofit organizations so that citizens can play an active role in shaping the policies and decisions that affect them. We will work with private industry, philanthropy and media so that citizens and community members can contribute to democracy in creative, meaningful ways.

Above all else, the Center for New Democratic Processes (CNDP) remains devoted to designing and delivering deliberative civic engagement processes that meet the needs of our rapidly changing world and strengthen democracy for all.

Be on the lookout for announcements of the exciting new projects and programming we have in store for 2021 and beyond very soon. You can keep up with our progress at our new home online, subscribe to our newsletter, and stay connected on social media.

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Center for New Democratic Processes

Formerly Jefferson Center — Designing the future of democracy. Find us @ cndp.us & @CNDP_US