Strategic Plan – Expanding and Supporting Issues Forums – Goal 1 Engagement

As promised, today we start a series of blog posts on specific sections of our strategic plan.

Issues Forums are our number one priority. Our many-to-many model works. It has evolved over a decade of trial and error. The Achilles heal with this model is that it actually takes work up front, the technology is only a supporting tool. So by resourcing an expansion effort and shared support of existing forums we hope to further reduce the effort required to launch a successful forum and to stoke the fires in a forum that isn’t all it can be.

Our current technology base supports open forums and not forums in conception or recruitment phases. We are interested in your ideas on how we help people around the world to “meetup” to create new forums for their local community.

If you’d like to start a forum in your area, drop us an e-mail – – and join our LiftOff online group. If you want more information watch this video first, then read our 60 page guidebook.

Here is the full-text from this section of the strategic plan:

Goal 1 – Engagement: Strengthen, expand, and diversify engagement through effective and meaningful online discussions and information exchange on public issues

* Strategy 1.1 Expand number of Issues Forums dramatically
a. Establish new Issues Forums in areas with start-up funding or broadly with major expansion support
b. Enable Issues Forums to be created in communities based on volunteer initiative
c. Create marketing material and training curricula for both in-person and online use
d. Share Issues Forum model through partners and affiliates whose missions align with ours
e. Integrate the Issues Forums development and recruitment processes into future technology to enhance scalability
f. Establish annual Issues Forum growth goals and involve local committees/chapters in efforts to spread forums to nearby communities

* Strategy 1.2 Deepen support for existing Issues Forums
a. Increase registrations and level of participation in existing forums
b. Increase and sustain diverse participation including efforts to raise “new voices” in local Issues Forums
c. Connect the diverse voices in Issues Forums with community leaders including elected officials, government staff, and area media
d. Identify and promote local volunteer roles such as discussion starters, content gatherers, and new member greeters
e. Create educational content and training that helps participants promote and support a civil discussion environment
f. Expand civic relationships among individual participants within forums and over time across communities
g. Strengthen support for local committee/chapter infrastructure, focus resources on active Issues Forums and define local initiatives in good standing
h. Establish relationships among local committee/chapter leaders across the network
i. Create alternate opportunities to discuss regional/state/provincial, national, and international issues to preserve the local focus in local Issues Forums.

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