Deliberation & digital community engagement course


Learn and experiment with deliberation & digital community engagement.

Add deliberation and digital engagement to your personal community participation toolkit. Experience a mock deliberative process face-to-face and online through this six-week, part-time professional development program led by Max Hardy and Megan Girdler.

The course will include face-to-face training sessions and online activities.

There are only twenty tickets to this world-first course in Melbourne, AU – starting in February 2019.

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Book for three or more people at once and get a 15% discount with coupon code: DELIB15

14 in stock

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Deep and broad – deliberation & digital community engagement 

Deliberative community engagement processes involve weighing up evidence, appreciating complex issues, engaging in dialogue and ultimately making judgments.  A small group everyday people make recommendations to decision-makers about challenging situations, having immersed themselves in the process over a significant period of time.

Digital community engagement, on the other hand, allows more people to participate in your project using online tools and social media. It works best when the community's engagement experience is quick, simple and easy; and provides high-level insights for decision-making.

When you combine deliberation & digital community engagement, it's possible to explore both deep and broad views on the tough topics and issues.

Included in the program

We’ll walk you through how to make digital engagement more deliberative; and how to increase the reach and effectiveness of deliberative engagement in the online space. For part of the course, you'll role-play as a community member who is participating in a mock deliberative process.

  • Two full-day sessions that focus on face-to-face deliberation and digital tools (lunch included).
  • Four weeks of online activities to extend your understanding of deliberation & digital community engagement techniques. (1-2 hours each week).
  • Experience digital deliberation first-hand face-to-face and online during our mock citizens' jury.
  • You’ll be guided by Max Hardy, one of Australia’s foremost deliberative community engagement experts; and Megan Girdler, futurist and international digital engagement innovator.
People doing a poll on their phones during a deliberation event from Future Boutique stock library

This course has been designed for people who work, or aspire to work, in the following areas

  • Project management
  • Communications and community engagement practitioners for government and non-profits
  • Engineers or planners looking to include the community in their work
  • Health promotion professionals and health care planners
  • Community development specialists

Dates/course content for Melbourne from February 2019 (dates TBC)

  • Week 1: Digital deliberation design and critical thinking (all-day face-to-face workshop)
  • Week 2: Forums and online discussion tools (online activities)
  • Week 3: Video, live video and audio evidence (online activities)
  • Week 4: Incorporating feedback and ideas from the broader community (online activities)
  • Week 5: Digital collaboration tools (online activities)
  • Week 6: Lessons learned and course discussion (all-day face-to-face workshop)


  • Face-to-face sessions will be held in the Melbourne CBD, location to be announced.

Introducing Max & Megan

Max Hardy is a deliberation expertMax Hardy

Max Hardy Consulting – Principal

Max is renowned internationally for his skillful design and facilitation of deliberative processes throughout Australia.

With a particular interest in deliberative democracy and appreciative inquiry, Max has developed innovative models for collaboration and community engagement for twenty years.

He has co-authored two books, presented papers at numerous international conferences, and is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, and University of Melbourne. He has also won numerous National and International Awards for his deliberative community engagement processes.

More info on Max's site. 

Megan Girdler is a digital community engagement and deliberation innovator with Future Boutique logo

Megan Girdler

Founder and Principal Consultant

Fascinated by futurism, the human condition and science fiction, Megan is a digital community engagement specialist with more than a decade of experience. Megan has innovated for international brands, government organisations and non-profits.

She's recently created participation websites for VicRoads, Melbourne Water and the Impact Investment Group. Throughout her career she's created digital tools and strategies, to engage diverse communities: from coal miners in North Queensland and Australian scientists, to PR professionals in New York and business executives in Brazil.

More info on Megan's LinkedIn.