Civic engagement

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

In 2010, the Northern Ireland government set ambitious renewable energy goals with the Strategic Energy Framework. Hitting those goals will rely in no small part on the development of new wind and solar energy installations across the... Learn more

Photo: Zeidler Center for Public Discussion facilitators

Born in 1912, Frank Zeidler served as mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin over three terms from 1948 until 1960. Mayor Zeidler enjoyed a unique bipartisan appeal. He seemed able to connect with voters across the political, social, and economic spectrum... Learn more

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Arkansas
The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

In 2017, the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (WRI) in Conway County, Arkansas, hired Essential Partners to offer two days of facilitation training to their program officers. The following week, the Arkansas Agriculture Secretary reached out to WRI... Learn more

Ohio Civic Engagement Incubator

The city of Oberlin, Ohio, faced a daunting municipal challenge: deciding whether to renovate four dilapidated school buildings, or to replace them with a single, modern, costly edifice.

Risks and rewards were present for both options,... Learn more

Welcoming America New Hampshire

Over the past 25 years, New Hampshire has seen an influx of immigrants and refugees, new communities seeking to integrate alongside long-established immigrant populations. Cities like Manchester experienced especially notable demographic shifts,... Learn more

Gloucester Conversations

A community on Massachusetts' North Shore invested in creating a culture of dialogue, and the results are everywhere.Learn more

Community Dispute Settlement Center

Community mediators saw an uptick in group conflicts. Public Conversations offered new skills and greater confidence in group facilitation.Learn more

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Union of Concerned Scientists

Scientists, preservationists, policymakers, and tribal leaders engaged in a transformative conversation about how climate change affects America's most treasured places.Learn more

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

Restraint and seclusion were once widely used in mental health settings. Could former practitioners and patients engage this fraught issue?Learn more

Photo by Ian Saylor, via Flickr
Ruth Mott Foundation

A community in Flint, Michigan sought t o increase the capacity of community groups to collaborate in the revitalization of the city. Learn more

A public engagement process was made possible through personal and sustained conversations about land, conservation, and the economy.Learn more

Photo of the 1994-99 abortion dialogue members

The idea for the Public Conversations Project—the organization that, in 2016, became known as Essential Partners—occurred to Laura R. Chasin while watching a televised debate on abortion.

The moderator’s efforts to facilitate an orderly... Learn more


The Carroll School

The Carroll School is an independent school in Massachusetts dedicated to serving and educating children with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia. Their mission is to empower young people with learning differences so... Learn more

Photo: Bridgewater College campus
Bridgewater College

In 2012, Bridgewater College launched their Academic Citizenship project, designed to transform campus culture by helping students recognize themselves as empowered members of an academic community.

Underpinning the Academic Citizenship... Learn more

Image via Northeastern University Honors Program
Northeastern Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service

How can dialogue shape a community of global citizens?Learn more

Clark University

A university sought to build an inclusive community. That began with a new, more personal conversation about gender and identity. Learn more

Randolph College

When a women's went coed, sides formed and divides deepened. Dialogue invited greater curiosity and empathy across differences in opinion and experience.Learn more

Mount Holyoke Weissman Center for Leadership

A diverse, multigenerational group of women - students, faculty, and community members - harnessed the power of leading by listening.Learn more

Southern Vermont College

Alignement around how to create an inclusive, more diverse campus culture was a challenge. A new conversation helped spark change and a plan.Learn more

Brown University Mediation Project

A campus mediation group gained new skills and amplified benefits from using dialogue to engage a diverse college community.Learn more

Guns and public safety


In March 2018, in the midst of another difficult national conversation about the role of guns in our communities, Essential Partners collaborated with Spaceship Media and Advance Local to bring people from across the country and across the spectrum of views together in Washington, DC.Learn more

Christian Science Monitor

Amidst deepening polarization around guns, people shared their widely different experiences, and discussed how to create a safe community together. Learn more

Montana Mediation Association

Advocates and community leaders with deeply divergent views engaged in constructive dialogue on one of the state's most divisive issues. Learn more

Faith communities

The Wexner Foundation

In 2017, Essential Partners embarked on a collaboration with the Wexner Foundation. The nonpartisan, interdenominational, and pluralistic Wexner Foundation has focused on the development of Jewish leaders in North America and Israel since its... Learn more

Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association
The Challenge

The Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association (LICA) is a unique and productive organization. LICA is made up leaders from different faith communities in Lexington, Massachusetts, including Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Jews,... Learn more

BioLogos Foundation

A group of conservative Christian pastors uncovered ways to be curious about science and the natural world.Learn more

Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion's profound disagreements around homosexuality came to a boiling point. Leadership turned to dialogue to enhance mutual understanding.Learn more

Glendale Presbyterian Church

A church grappling a leadership transition successfully healed division, rebuilt community, and built its capacity to manage conflict. Learn more

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Interfaith Mediation Centre

Amidst escalating religious violence, Christian and Muslim leaders embraced interfaith dialogue in northern Nigeria. Learn more

Minnesota Council of Churches

A Minnesota ballot initiative on same-sex marriage heated up the election season. Could a council of churches encourage respectful conversation without becoming political? Learn more


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Mediators Beyond Borders

Liberia's civil war resulted in widespread social and economid devastation. A partnership formed to help female ex-combatants heal and thrive in their communities.Learn more

Interfaith Mediation Centre

Amidst escalating religious violence, Christian and Muslim leaders embraced interfaith dialogue in northern Nigeria.Learn more

The Conflict Resolution Group Foundation, Inc.

In the digital age, one woman decided to try to bring back face to face conversation for the Philippines' next generation. It went viral.Learn more

United States Institute of Peace

In Burundi, Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa sought recovery from extreme violence and a civil war, in part through building relationships and trust.Learn more

Photo: United Nations building

In the lead-up to the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, Essential Partners (EP), known then as the Public Conversations Project, facilitated three days of preparatory dialogues on policies that addressed... Learn more