Janet D. Fiero, Ph.D. is a Director of Business Develpment at AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org). She has performed key roles in major projects, including:
o Voices and Choices, an unprecedented civic initiative involving tens of thousands of citizens and leaders across Northeast Ohio in creating a shared action agenda to revitalize the region’s economy. Advance Ohio (http://www.advancenortheastohio.org) is an outgrowth of Voices & Choices.
o The New Orleans Project brought together 2500 residents in 5 cities in order to include the voices of the displaced.
o CaliforniaSpeaks (www.californiaspeaks.org) was a state-wide conversation on health care reform bringing 3500 residents together via satellite for an all day deliberation.
o The We-the-People Town meeting (www.wethepeopletownmeeting) mobilized the small community of Owensboro-Daviess County, Kentucky to develop plans and priorities for the future.
Janet Fiero has over thirty years experience in management and consulting in the corporate world before transitioning in 2001 to applying her group and organizational skills to the public engagement sphere as an associate with AmericaSpeaks. Janet holds a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Organization Development and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human and Organizational Systems.
The 21st Century Town Meeting Model
Since the early 1980’s, the deeply-embedded human impulse for freedom, dignity, justice and authentic democratic space had shown itself to be alive and well around the world. Humans have been collectively moving to throw off the institutional systems that have oppressed them, with bloodless revolutions in the
The 21st Century Town Meeting model developed by AmericaSpeaks/Global Voices over the last decade and a half responds to this need, seeking to give large numbers of citizens a direct impact on their government’s decision-making. The model has been used in the U.S. and on three other continents — as well as in a breakthrough global deliberation — on key policy issues such as health care reform, climate change, disaster recovery, municipal budgeting and strategic regional growth. A 21st Century Town Meeting discovers the collective priorities of the assembled public, successfully counteracting the power of special interests.
The 21st Century Town Meeting model is created to operate in the world of realpolitik. The four central design principles — establish a direct link to decision-makers, operate at large scale, ensure demographically representative participation, and work in real time —respond to the timeframes and context in which elected officials meet and make decisions.
Over the years, it has also become evident that the model is equally valuable on a smaller scale with leadership groups from all sectors; that it is a highly efficient and effective way to bring multi-stakeholder groups to decision. Because of the founders’ commitment to work on public concerns, the model has only recently been used in the private sector, but the same principles apply and similar outcomes — including in transnational corporations — have been achieved.
Join this master class to learn the philosophy of the work, how the design principles are applied, the skill sets necessary to use the model effectively, and the dramatic results that are possible.