Deliberative Dialogues

What are Deliberative Dialogues?

Deliberative Dialogues provides participants with a chance to come together across differences to tackle wicked problems. Wicked problems are ones that have many stakeholders, involves many nuanced variables, and has no easy solution. Deliberative dialogues are the opposite of debate and come well before. 

The purpose of deliberation is to seek an understanding of a problem, search for common ground and shared values, find blind spots, challenge assumptions, critically think, share lived experiences, and work toward a plan of action. 

Dialogues are led by trained faculty, staff, and student moderators. Dialogues are then framed by classroom curriculum and/or an issue guide. Participants work through the issue by considering various forms of information (e.g. empirical data, and lived experiences). Participants typically examine the benefits, costs, consequences, and tradeoffs proposed.

Critical Thinking  through Deliberative Dialogues Scholarship Event


Moderators are integral to the deliberative dialogue process. Moderators facilitate small groups in using an issue discussion guide that frames the issue by presenting the overall problem and then three (or more) broad approaches to address it. Moderators remain neutral, keep the deliberation on track, remind the group about the rules of engagement, and encourage participants to identify shared values and find common ground.


Moderator training for classrooms, organizations, and campus committees/groups upon request (Contact for information)

On occasion, various SHSU entities host Deliberative Dialogue Moderator Training (i.e. DEEDS)

Deliberative Dialogue Institute - semester-long training with AASCU American Democracy Project (Contact for information)