Over the last few weeks we have discussed how Public Agenda’s Learning Curve, which we first referenced in our November 30 post, could be combined with other analytic tools and used to help you decide how to best engage your public. This week we want to point you to an illustration of how the learning curve can be applied in practice to help you move through complex issues.
In “The Energy Learning Curve” Public Agenda and Planet Forward used survey data and the learning curve to identify how citizens approach energy issues, differences and similarities, information gaps, and barriers to progress like wishful thinking and denial. By looking at the conclusions different groups came to — many of them similar – they make the case that there is an opportunity to build consensus on our national energy policy. Through analyzing the values and concerns of various groups, they also demonstrate why simply providing information is not an adequate means to build consensus and move people to resolution. The “Energy Learning Curve” is a good example of the type of foundational analysis that can help you create dialogues that would help citizens work through difficult issues and create real progress.