Constructive Deliberations Symposium Series

A CSELP symposium series to develop capacity for constructive deliberation, informed decision-making and collaborative action

This series of four symposia, which run from October 2018 to February 2020, is designed to improve individual and collective capacity for constructive deliberation resulting in accurately-informed and well-considered decisions that can be implemented successfully and sustained, particularly concerning matters that are highly contentious.

The series is based on a similar series held from 2016 to 2018, which was well-received and resulted in requests to repeat.  It was developed and presented by Bruce Beairsto, Hugh Finlayson and Charlie Naylor.

Participants attend all four symposia in the series and are encouraged to both apply what they learn and share it with others through local initiatives in the time between symposia.  Both district-district-level and school-level teams from five Lower Mainland districts are participating.

Intended Outcomes

Each symposium affords participants the opportunity to:

  • Develop a conceptual understanding of, and a practical tool kit of strategies and skills for, constructive deliberation that enables informed decision-making;
  • Examine a range of contentious issues in case study format using these strategies and skills to better understand how groups with a range of perspectives and interests can engage in constructive deliberation; and
  • Reflect on these illustrative experiences and plan for improving personal and group capacity for constructive deliberation.


A Tool Kit of resources was developed during the first symposium series and will continue to be refined and expanded during the second series.  It is available for public use by anyone with an interest in constructive deliberation at Introduction to Tool Kit for Constructive Deliberations

Further Information

For more information about the symposium series contact Bruce Beairsto, SFU Adjunct Professor, at