This year's Symposium will feature a wide range of courses of varying duration and topics exploring skills, tools, and techniques that support effective public participation. This training will be undertaken in a rich learning environment, with activities building a creative and supportive space for participants whether they spend a day or the week at the event!

Stay at the Lone Star Court in sunny Austin, TX!

Learn at the Commons Learning Center at the University of Texas in Austin!

More details...

Announcing:  National Dialogue Event

Join IAP2 Board members, local experts, Symposium trainers and participants as we work together to answer the question - 

"How and Why the public should be engaged in highly technical and complex projects?"

Join your P2 peers as we discuss:

  • Who should be involved and why?
  • How to help decision makers meet regulatory requirements and then do more to make P2 meaningful?
  • Which tools and techniques to use and why?
  • What changes to these regulations would improve P2?
  • And more...

Agenda: February 28, 2018Doors open at 5:00 PM, event starts at 5:30 PM!

Thank you to our sponsors! Register Now!

Schedule at a Glance

IAP2 Foundations:
 ►  ►  ►   ►  ►  ► IAP2 Foundations: Techniques
(Prerequisite: Planning)
 ►  ►  ►
Social Media & Public Participation  ►  ►  ► Evaluating & Measuring Public Participation  ►  ►  ►  
When Things Go Sideways Group Facilitation   ►  ►  ► Strategies for Dealing with Opposition & Outrage in P2
(Formerly EOP2)
 ►  ►  ►
Designing for Diversity  ►  ►  ► Toolz for Tough Conversations     




Courses are offered at $300/person/day for IAP2 members and $375/person/day for non-members with the following exceptions: IAP2 Foundations and "Strategies for Dealing with Opposition & Outrage in P2" courses are offered at $350/person/day for IAP2 members and $425/person/day for non-members. There will be a special rate for full-time students, see below. The daily rate includes mid-morning beverages and lunch. 

2018 Skills Symposium Course Rates
 Member Rate Non-Member Rate
IAP2 Flagship Courses      
   IAP2 Planning for Public Participation (3-Days)     $1,050  $1,275   
   IAP2 Techniques for Public Participation (2-Days)
 $700 $850
   Strategies for Dealing with Opposition & Outrage in P2 (Formerly EOP2)

 $700 $850
Two-Day Courses $600  $750
   Social Media and P2        
   Evaluating & Measuring Public Participation        
   Designing for Diversity        
   Group Facilitation        
   Community Led Recovery After Disaster        
One-Day Courses $300  $375
   When Things Go Sideways        
   Toolz for Tough Conversations        

Cancellation Policy

Attention Students and active AmeriCorps members!
A student rate will be established based on course availability. Full-time students and active AmeriCorps members who wish to attend the Symposium should click here to be put on the list to receive information on how to register at the student rate in late January/early February. 

Make your hotel reservation – today!

The IAP2 Conference Block rate guarantee of $149.00/night + tax expires on February 2nd, 2018. Reservations made after February 2nd will be offered at that rate on a space available basis.

Arrive early, stay late! Conference rates will be provided two days before and after the scheduled conference dates based on availability. For these extended reservations, call the reservation line at 800-576-4229.

Cancellation policy: Individual reservations will automatically be billed for one night unless canceled 72 hours prior to arrival.

To make a reservation call the reservation line at 1-855-596-3398 and ask for the “IAP2 Conference Block” or
click on reserve online to make your reservation today using the block code TII18 

Lone Star Court ♦ 10901 Domain Drive ♦ Austin, TX 78758
Reservations: 1-855-596-3398 ♦ Reception: 512-814-2625

Helpful Hint!

When reserving online, select "Group/Block" from the "Promo Type" drop down menu. Then enter our block code: TII18

If you do not see your preferred room type listed, call the hotel and they will be able to assist you!

Course Summaries

IAP2 Planning for Public Participation

Trainer: Wendy Lowe              Course brochure

The International Association for Public Participation developed this program to meet the needs of practitioners conducting public involvement and community engagement in a changing world. Both new and experienced practitioners and managers benefit from the structure, proven techniques, and knowledge that you’ll learn in this interactive training course. The Planning Course introduces foundational information that has stood the test of time and the Techniques Course introduces 39 different techniques for accomplishing desired objectives. Upon completion of both modules, you will receive a certificate of completion from IAP2.

This course is a prerequisite for Techniques for Effective Public Participation.  


IAP2 Techniques for Public Participation

Trainer: Wendy Lowe              Course brochure

Once you have completed the planning course, you are ready to add dozens of practical tools and methodologies to your public participation toolkit—powerful techniques you can put to immediate use in your next project. This module breaks down specific methods, exploring not only what each is, but how and when to use it – the strengths, weaknesses and needed resources. The course combines discussion, presentation, exercises and practice using varying techniques to give you a full understanding of the range of techniques and how to choose, modify and evaluate techniques for the most effective public participation.


Strategies for Dealing with Opposition & Outrage in P2

Trainer: Mary Hamel

Making better decisions in today’s world of conflicting viewpoints and rising outrage requires skills and knowledge. Dr. Peter Sandman, a leader in communicating in high-outrage situations, and IAP2, a leader in involving people in decision making, combined their experience and knowledge in Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation. Newly redesigned, this course will help you understand the human behavior and emotion of angry people and give you strategies to improve your public engagement in situations where outrage threatens decision processes, collaboration, and community. This course is highly interactive, using case studies, video clips, group discussion and applications.


Social Media & Public Participation

Trainer: Susanna Haas Lyons

We know that online tools reach new participants and enable different kinds of conversation. But, it’s an emerging field and there is still much trial and error, so this course will give you a leg up by examining what’s worked and what’s failed. This interactive course will teach you to create social media campaigns that gather input creatively, enable collaborative online interactions, and sustain participation over time. You'll also learn how to use social media for participant recruitment, and how to integrate mobile communication into your participation strategy. Bring your computer; this course gives you an opportunity to experience both the host and participant sides of online participation.


Evaluating & Measuring Public Participation

Trainer: Susanna Haas Lyons

Evaluation should always be useful, and this introductory course will cover theories and practical strategies to help you evaluate your public participation efforts. In this hands-on course, you will apply foundational tools like logic models, examine the differences between process and impact evaluation, and review the components of an evaluation plan. You will craft evaluation questions, and identify indicators and sources of information to help you answer those questions. Above all, you will learn how to employ evaluative thinking as a learning strategy, in order to strengthen your work and achieve greater impact.


Designing for Diversity

Trainer: Anne Carroll

Practitioners are routinely expected to design robust and inclusive processes for increasingly diverse communities, but often don’t know how. 

Participants leave this highly-participatory, practical, and case-based course with the experience, confidence, and skills to design and implement robust and inclusive engagement processes, choose the right tools and techniques to meet stakeholder needs and engagement objectives, and access a cohort of great colleagues to help you with this work over time.


When Things Go Sideways

Stephani Roy McCallum Kim Hyshka

Trainers: Stephani Roy McCallum & Kim Hyshka

Building on EOP2 (but not a pre-requisite) this highly participatory course will have participants uncover what’s driving emotion and outrage in P2 processes and discover what triggers these natural responses. Through exercises, discussion and multi-media presentation, participants will learn about AND PRACTICE highly effective, collaborative strategies to transform conflict and outrage and create an environment for constructive engagement.

  • Explore skills and tools to embrace high emotion and outrage in public settings
  • Build experience and practice through practical tools and approaches to constructively engage with emotional stakeholders
  • Increase self-awareness and understanding of personal reactions and responses to the emotions of others
  • Focus on encouraging positivity, generosity and civil discourse in high stakes conversations

Group Facilitation

Kim Hyshka Erin Pote

Trainers: Kim Hyshka, & Erin Pote

This intermediate level two day course will provide the guidance, skills and knowledge necessary to become comfortable with all the critical elements of facilitation for public and stakeholder engagement. Participants will learn facilitation skills to deal with emotion, expand positive participation, identify and build common ground and move discussion forward. This course emphasizes the planning and designing of facilitated public involvement events and has a practicum component that gives all participants ample opportunity to facilitate in a supportive and constructive environment.


Toolz for Tough Conversations

Mary Dumas Marina A. Picolish

Trainers: Mary Dumas, & Marina A. Picolish

This conflict de-escalation and civil discourse training program prepares individuals, organizations, and communities for difficult discussions, cross-sector deliberations and collaborative decision-making.

Participants strengthen key competencies for creating and leading inclusive community initiatives that engage diverse sectors in dialogue and deliberation on complex public issues. Our unique, multi-track engagement framework, body-based mindfulness strategies, and powerful conflict communication skills are useful throughout all phases of creating dynamic, inclusive, community engagement programs. This highly- experiential training demonstrates and provides time to apply key concepts in all phases of project design: scoping, invitation, implementation, evaluation, and continuous improvement and shared-leadership.


Community Led Recovery After Disaster, Trauma & Tragedy

Stephani Roy McCallum Kim Hyshka Erin Pote

Trainers: Stephani Roy McCallum, Kim Hyshka, & Erin Pote

This course is designed to expand understanding of meaningful community engagement with the public and community stakeholders after a disaster, traumatic event or tragedy. Emphasis is placed on empowering community to connect, envision a new future, and come together to heal, rebuild and recover. The importance of encouraging meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, especially vulnerable populations, in the planning process, and increasing skills, knowledge and capacity to host and participate in meaningful conversations is key. Focus on appropriate tools and techniques to use in conducting community engagement in recovery situations is covered. We will explore the impact of disaster, tragedy and trauma on community conflict and emotion and provide tangible tools that result in a plan and approach for moving forward.


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