Social and cultural issues are core to people’s sense of well-being, identity, and community and ripe for conflict. Perceptions about the “right” answers to social policy questions are often deeply embedded in moral beliefs, which may differ sharply among stakeholders.  Both expert-driven and traditional democratic processes voting, public meetings, advocacyare often ineffective at producing policies and plans that address the core concerns of specialists and the public.

CBI has nearly two decades of experience interacting with communities around the United States, and the world, using our Mutual Gains Approach. We bring a uniquely sensitive approach to helping citizens, governments, nonprofit and private institutions engage to set priorities, make decisions, and establish policies that strengthen the social and cultural life of the community.

Areas of Expertise

Social Policies and Programs

Working closely with leaders and their stakeholders, CBI professionals design efficient public input processes to help groups assess, address and anticipate challenges and opportunities around difficult social policy and decision making. CBI enables groups to achieve consensus; facilitates negotiated rulemaking and policy dialogue processes; and effectively manages internal and external stakeholder meetings on a variety of issues, including:

  • Public housing policy
  • Criminal justice policy
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Human services
  • Diversity and immigration

Cultural Resource Management

Decision making on conserving, preserving, and managing cultural resources is a challenging endeavor due to the broad range of stakeholders that are often involved: governmental authorities, public and private sector actors, scientists and historians, ethnic or cultural groups, citizen neighbors, visitors, and many others. Stakeholders often have different interests, values, and priorities, and exist in a context of overlapping management mandates and responsibilities. CBI applies our proven consensus building skills and frameworks to help cultural resource managers:

  • Recognize the importance of stakeholder values to effective preservation
  • Gain the skills necessary to identify and involve key stakeholders
  • Elicit stakeholder values and interests
  • Integrate stakeholder feedback into planning, management, and decision making

See all Social Policy & Cultural Resources case studies