Plott is a card-based exercise designed to encourage a flexible mindset before deliberative engagements. I worked with a transdisciplinary team to develop Plott as part of an innovation project conducted for the strategic communication firm KJA.
Drawing on three months of primary stakeholder research, we designed Plott to better prime workshop participants for effective deliberation and consensus-building. The exercise has since been trialled in community engagements for Sydney Airport, with interest from political decision-makers and engagement practitioners.
Many people feel let down by the organisations and governments that serve them. Using innovative engagement tools, how can we empower communities to better govern themselves and act on issues they care about?
We conducted interviews with decision-makers and engagement practitioners, alongside focus groups and a survey of young Australians across the country.
Our findings were supplemented by engagement case studies and research into existing engagement practices.
While time can be a barrier to engagement, we also found decision-makers are more receptive to stakeholder input when there is evidence that stakeholders have evaluated multiple perspectives on an issue.
Ultimately, we found there was significant potential for intervention in the deliberative process – a method currently at the forefront of engagement practice, as it is designed to create informed consensus.
With this in mind, we decided to leverage the deliberative process to create a more constructive and productive relationship between communities and decision-makers.
After successive rounds of testing with various user groups and engagement practitioners, we settled on Plott's final form: a card-based exercise including a custom set of prompt cards and a facilitator's guide with a sample session plan.
This prototype was presented at the Spark Festival 2050 Emergent event in 2019, and the team are currently in the process of refining our design for public release.
Sharon Gao, Nic Hurrel and Marissa Motsos
Scott Newton and Dr Paul Brown
I acknowledge the Cabrogal people of the Darug Nation, the traditional custodians of the land where I live and work. I pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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