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Digital Engagement Strategies for a Divided Room

18 Oct 2022 12:23 PM | Anonymous

How can digital and hybrid approaches support engagement when participants are polarized? We have all learned that power, privilege, and the inability to understand one another’s perspectives are key challenges for engagement today.

Risk-averse organizations might turn away from public engagement for fear of contentious online discourse, or lean into highly controlled digital strategies with flat surveys and limited conversation spaces; but many are leaning into the challenge to build digital and hybrid engagement spaces that are dynamic, equity-minded, welcoming, and creative.

Hear from experienced digital engagement practitioners about strategies and tools for bringing diverse voices into conversations and offering opportunities for consensus, while supporting safer/welcoming spaces for a divided public.

Thanks to 76 Engage and The HiVE, this webinar is free for all.

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Join us November 10 from 12-1pm Eastern / 9-10am Pacific!

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Joseph Thornley is founder and CEO of 76engage. He currently leads the 76engage development team and assists governments at the national, state and local levels to design, build and run effective online engagement initiatives. Prior to founding 76engage in 2015, he founded Thornley Fallis Communications in 1995v and 76design in 1999. He is a past Chairman of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms and founding Director of IAP2 Canada’s National Capital Region Chapter.



Elizabeth Thornley designs and builds online engagement experiences aimed at providing the public and stakeholders with meaningful input and opportunities.

She has worked with local, provincial and federal governments.




Sophia Robison is an urban planner and advocate for community engagement for The HiVE & Social PinPoint. Sophia works to build a community of best practice in public engagement, particularly around the use of digital technology. Previously, Sophia worked in local government, notably with the City of Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning where she created the City’s first Public Engagement Guide and implemented that program across more than five City Departments. She created the City’s engagement response to the pandemic, EngagePGH, a digital one-stop-shop for all things public engagement for City residents.



Ose Akinlotan is the Neighborhood Planning Manager for the City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning. She serves as the department’s Equity Liaison and has project managed master plans in the City’s Hill District and Hazelwood neighborhoods, as well as creating an educational series for City residents about city planning. She has navigated community engagement throughout the pandemic using various in-person, hybrid, and digital engagement tools. Ose earned a Master’s of Geography and Environmental Planning from Towson University and a bachelor’s in history from The Morgan State University. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Ose worked for the City of Dubuque, Iowa’s Planning Department and the Iowa DOT.

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