Deliberative dialogue is method of thinking and talking together. It is a way for
individuals from varied backgrounds and perspectives to come together to seek a shared
understanding of problem or issue and search for common ground and action. Trained
individuals (i.e. students, faculty, staff, and community members) moderate the dialogue
and use an issue guide to help frame the issue by presenting the overall problem/
concern followed by three or four broad approaches to the issue. Participants work
through the issue by considering each approach examining appeals, concerns, costs,
consequences, and trade-offs for each approach.
Starting in 2021, Ferris is launching its Let’s Start Talking initiative. An initiative that is centered on thinking, listening, and talking together
about difficult topics. This initiative is student-centered and student led. Each
month students will moderate deliberative dialogues on campus.
Some topics will include: Campus Life Post Pandemic, COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness and Issues, First-Gen College
Success, Health and Wellness: Stress, Anxiety Depression and College, Building Bridges:
Getting Past Differences and Talking Together, Social Justice: Food Insecurity, The
Opioid Epidemic: Raising Awareness and Reducing Stigma, Social Justice: Climate Justice,
Learn More About Deliberative Dialogue
There are many ways for you to get involved:
Participate in a Deliberative Dialogue!
Become a Moderator!
Join the Deliberative Dialogue Campus Team!
If you would like to learn more about getting involved, please contact Kristin Conley
at [email protected].
Since 2017, Ferris State University has promoted deliberative dialogue as a tool for
building bridges and continued conversation on difficult topics. We have trained over
100 students, faculty, staff, and community members to moderate in the National Issues
Forum deliberative dialogue method.
Each dialogue is different. As a campus, we have hosted dialogues that included as
few as 20 people to as many as 180 people. Each topic is complex with many stakeholders,
which can make it difficult to discuss. However, by actively thinking and listening
to one another in order to hear multiple perspectives, we can create actionable steps
to move forward as individuals and as a campus.
Youth & Opportunity: What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?
Free Speech and the Inclusive Campus: How Do We Foster the Campus Community We Want?
Policing: What Should We Do to Ensure Equal Justice and Fair Treatment in Our Communities?
A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?
Immigration: Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?
First-Gen Students: Keeping You Successful, What Should We Do?
What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic?
Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence?
Economic Security: How Should We Take Charge of Our Future?
Health and Wellness: Stress, Anxiety, and Depression- How Can Society Better Understand
and Support Mental Health and Wellness?