AmericaSpeaks engagement methods provide valuable and representative public feedback for critical policy decisions. The moment for such a project can be when the political landscape is “up for grabs”, a cross-section of the public has a deep stake in the issue, or when polling data indicate that people believe they can reach consensus even if partisan positioning means politicians cannot.

Our models are ideal for working through contentious policy terrain because it equalizes the voices of all participants and follows a design that intentionally builds consensus by using values-based questions to arrive at concrete policy recommendations.

Our work covers these broad topics and more:


Decision and policy makers at all levels – from cities and towns to the federal government – can engage citizens and stakeholders in budgeting exercises and fiscal policy development that responds to public priorities.

Climate Change

The political action and consumer behavior change required to respond to climate change requires broad and strong public support in order to reduce U.S. emissions on the scale and timetable that experts recommend. AmericaSpeaks‘ ability to build a diverse public constituency, neutrally frame the issues for discussion and work towards convergence can overcome these hurdles and lay a path for a safe and sustainable future.

Disaster Recovery and Preparedness

AmericaSpeaks works with agencies, planners, service providers and citizens to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from natural or human-made disasters. From rebuilding Ground Zero in New York City to engaging the citizens of New Orleans in creating the recovery plan for their hurricane ravaged city, the priorities of citizens lays the foundation for a workable solution.

Health Care

Health care reform is a polarizing and urgent issue in America that requires weighing citizens competing priorities to uncover common ground. AmericaSpeaks brings together large and demographically representative groups of citizens who wrestle with the issue’s complexity and create workable, supportable solutions.


The globalized nature of our economies, societies and environment means that many of the world’s most urgent concerns require international collaboration to develop effective and lasting solutions. AmericaSpeaks brings our expertise to engage citizens on these global issues and also works directly in other nations and municipalities around the world to enable public officials to engage citizens in governance.

National Policy

It is a challenge to tap into the priorities of the diversity of citizens who live dispersed across an entire nation – a challenge that AmericaSpeaks has met several times over. Using innovative approaches for community engagement and the bridging capability of technology, the collective wisdom of thousands of citizens have been heard by national policy makers.

Planning & Growth

Many cities and states across the nation face demographic and economic changes that challenge their growth and sustainability. AmericaSpeaks works with policy makers and planning professionals to engage citizens and other stakeholders in effectively planning for their community’s future.

Youth and Education

There is seldom an issue to be addressed that does not impact young people, however the voice of youth is rarely heard in government. AmericaSpeaks works with communities and youth service organizations to engage young people and the people who serve them on the most important issues that affect them. We also work with communities to address difficult issues like education reform, youth obesity and job development.

Stakeholder Summits

Organizations around the world have used AmericaSpeaks’ expertise in participatory dialogue and deliberation to create focused, results-oriented conversations among their constituents to lay the strategic foundation for next steps in organizational change.