Announcing Changes at Essential Partners

After four years of visionary leadership, Parisa Parsa has made the decision to step down from her role as Executive Director. She will continue to serve as an experienced and trusted practitioner in the field.

With creativity, intellect, integrity, and heart, Parisa ushered in a new era for this organization. Her time at Essential Partners has been marked by deepening impact, innovative partnerships, and institutional successes. 

In her departure, Parisa embodies the rock star’s mantra, Always leave them wanting more.

Top 5 Social Norms that Fuel Our Organization's Culture and Mission

Behind the scenes of Essential Partners is a group of people on staff that not only work incredibly hard to deliver this meaningful work, but who truly enjoy spending time with each other in and out of the office. We make it a point to nurture our relationships with each other and because of that, we find that fun comes easily with this group. We have developed a list of "Social Norms" that we try to live out in our office culture. On November 30th, our team traveled to Salem for a retreat filled with stories, new understandings, resolutions, and laughter.

Evaluating Conversations

EP welcomes Paul Waite from Australia!

Essential Partners has a new face in the office: my name is Paul Waite and I’m from Australia – Melbourne, to be more specific. An Endeavour Fellowship grant is enabling me to spend time with Essential Partners to learn more about their approach to facilitating conversations about contentious issues. Back home, my work with the government focuses on social cohesion and community resilience.

Getting to Gratitude

Gratitude might not be the first thing you think of fostering dialogue in divided groups. And to be sure, the work of communicating amidst painful histories, ruptured relationships, and deeply different worldviews isn't pain-free. But by helping people navigate new possibilities to be together, instead of falling into the same stuck patterns of engagement, dialogue creates relationships where there was only isolation.

Facing Forks in the Road: Practitioners Share Difficult Moments and Lessons Learned

Public Conversations Project has been facilitating dialogue about pressing, heated issues for the past 25 years. We're about public conversations, though, not perfect conversations. To that end, we're exploring those moments when we've turned to stone in group processes when challenged, overwhelmed, or faltering?

To start off, we asked our expert associates two important questions: