Who We Are

Since 2006, the Centre for Dialogue has designed and facilitated hundreds of events on a local, national and international scale, reaching hundreds of thousands of citizens. After a 2014 event with Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer about the health of citizen engagement in British Columbia, the Centre for Dialogue leadership saw an opportunity to more formally support the field through the creation of a new program: Civic Engage. Civic Engage’s primary mission is to strengthen the democratic process by helping governments and citizens work collaboratively on policy decisions.

Our reputation as a public institution and neutral facilitator allows government and citizens to commit to our citizen engagement processes with confidence they will be inclusive, transparent, and designed to produce outcomes that reflect both citizen values and real-world constraints. We put dialogue at the front and centre of our processes, as we believe this deepens engagement and results in stronger, more resilient outcomes.

As a social enterprise, we are both responsive to client needs and motivated by the public good. The profits from our fee-for-service practice are reinvested in the field of public engagement and dialogue via our capacity building and professional development programming.


Robin Prest

Program director

Robin Prest is the Program Director at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, where he strengthens the democratic process through dialogue-based engagement and builds the capacity of governments, citizens and stakeholders to co-create knowledge and identify collaborative solutions.

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Julie Bezard

Dialogue and Engagement Convenor (Bilingual), Civic Engage

Originally from France, Julie is bilingual and has worked in various local governments and non-profit organizations. She has experience coordinating projects relating to environmental issues, such as waste management, water conservation, air quality, green growth. Julie holds a Master's Degree in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering from Agro Toulouse in France and also studied at McGill University in Montreal.

 

In addition to our core Civic Engage team, we draw upon a pool of highly-skilled and experienced facilitators and engagement specialists.

“…securing widespread citizen engagement will require the help of mediating organizations and structures that have the trust and confidence of the public.”

—Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, founder of AmericaSpeaks