Deliberative forums – preliminary summary of what we heard

One of the ways CCE’s Extension Reconsidered project has promoted conversation in NYS is through “Deliberative Forums”. These are relatively structured conversations in which participants consider, in turn, three distinct perspectives on an issue and reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of each. The goals are to increase awareness and understanding of different perspectives on complex issues, and to bring to light the strengths and downsides of each one in a way that is constructive and less polarized.

Deliberative Forums were held in CCE Albany County, CCE Broome County, CUCE New York City, CCE Seneca County, and on Cornell campus.  More than 90 people participated in these discussions (which were recorded), and 25 of those responded to an anonymous on-line follow-up survey.  The discussions considered 3 stylized “Views” on what Extension’s role in the 21st century should be. These views were articulated in a handout, and although they were drawn from genuine and sometimes deeply-held perspectives on Extension, they were presented in somewhat stark form to highlight their distinctiveness for purposes of discussion.

You can dowload the full document (pdf) by clicking the following link: Summary of what we heard through DFs (Oct 8)

October 8, 2014 – Voices & Values: Extension, engagement and the future

Save the date! During the afternoon of October 8, 2014 plan on coming and participating in the capstone event of the Extension reconsidered project in New York State. We’ll be gathering in Barnes Hall here at Cornell University for an afternoon of stories, theater and discussion as we wrap up the project. Minimal PowerPoint and maximum dialog is our clarion call for this event. Staying true to our theme of “Join the conversation” there will be plenty of opportunities to interact and engage with friends and colleagues who are passionate about the future of Cooperative Extension.

The afternoon will be (loosely) divided into three chapters. During the first we’ll present a snapshot of some of the key moments from the project. Chapter two will consist of a performance by Civic Ensemble (plus a few special guests) woven from voices that have contributed the conversation around Extension Reconsidered here in New York State these past few months. And chapter three is an open invitation to dialog.

We’re anticipating a dynamic, thought provoking afternoon and we’d like you to join us!

October 8, 2014 1:30-4:00 PM

Barnes Hall (Click here for map)

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

Short Stories: Building a narrative with social media

3 one hour sessions

May 6, 13 and 20

Noon – 1 PM

120 Mann Library

During these informal sessions we’ll work together to create short stories using a variety of tools and technologies. We’ll also explore how to take advantage of the power of social media as a tool for both creation and promotion.

The challenge is how to craft small narratives with meaning and impact using social media.

The goal of these sessions is to help you begin to re-imagine, re-tell, reconsider and reconstruct the public narrative of Extension at work using social media. These

Each session will build upon the previous, working through the process of creating a public narrative

This slideset offers a glimpse at the approach and some of the tools we’ll use for these sessions

Prior experience with social media is not necessary

Register for these sessions at:

These sessions will be facilitated by Paul Treadwell of Cornell Cooperative Extension Administration. Paul has been facilitating trainings on social media for 5 years and has worked with 4-H youth, and others, on digital storytelling projects related to Cooperative Extension. He recently piloted a short version of this session at the Kettering Foundation as part of the Extension Reconsidered project.

These sessions are being given as part of the Extension Reconsidered at CCE project.

Why reconsider? Why now?

In New York State, Cornell Cooperative Extension has recently celebrated its own centennial in 2011, and developed a new strategic plan for 2013-2017. Participation in the Extension Reconsidered project now offers a unique opportunity to build on those foundations, especially around civic, and university-community, engagement.  Our theme of inviting people to “join a conversation” signals the importance of inclusive engagement and the desire for this to be an integrated and meaningful dialog rather than simply another exercise in “data-gathering”. This conversation will continue beyond the immediate activities around Extension Reconsidered and contribute to the planning for Cornell University’s sesquicentennial in 2015 and the Land Grant Reconsidered initiative.

The goals of Extension Reconsidered at CCE are to bring to light, and then engage in shared consideration of, diverse and often deeply-held views on the essential role of Extension, in order to ensure its vitality and relevance in the 21st century. To this end, the project will reach out widely within and outside our campuses, county associations, and communities in New York State to gather answers to some open prompt questions. The responses – in a variety of formats – will be collected and shared, and offered back in two forms: a performance piece that illuminates the fundamental themes and variations that run through our collective insights, and a more formal “deliberative forum” that will present three distinct perspectives on Extension in the 21st century and then engage participants in thoughtful reflection on the implications of each of these views. In a world where differences can easily become polarized, the intention here is to offer a careful opportunity to reflect and deliberate, so that Extension’s decisions may be grounded in deep and inclusive understanding of Extension’s possibilities and imperatives.