Deliberative Democracy in California


The conference, which was co-sponsored by  the New America Foundation and CommonSense California, explored the emerging field of deliberative democracy, which uses tools such as citizen dialogues, deliberative polling and citizen's assemblies to engage regular citizens in policy issues. Deliberative democracy methods seek to break through partisan gridlock, overcome special interest domination, and rekindle a sense of civic ownership in the conduct of government.

The conference brought together leading policy makers and opinion leaders, provided a space to meet with experts in this field and to learn more about the various methods.


Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA, 90263
See map: Google Maps


  • Debra Bowen
    Secretary of State, California

  • Dr. James Fishkin
    Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University

  • Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer
    Director, AmericaSpeaks

  • Dr. Steven Rosell
    President, Viewpoint Learning

  • Gordon Gibson
    Designer, Citizens' Assembly process for the British Columbia government

  • Steven Hill
    Director, Political Reform Program, New America Foundation

  • Lynne Serpe
    Deputy Director, Political Reform Program, New America Foundation