Public dialogue

HVM is commissioned for public dialogue to explore a policy area or issue before a clear idea of the direction of travel is formed, and decisions on how to proceed are still needed. It is a deliberative tool where people are engaged over time in rich and meaningful discussions of an emotive or technically/ scientifically complex issue. This tool is extremely powerful. It creates a safe, independent and impartial space in which people can air their views and trust that they will be used effectively to inform policy making and shaping. Crucially they are given evidence and data to assess and time to think about it. No snap decisions are sought, simply opinions formed through calm reflection. 

Dialogue usually involves designing and facilitating a series of day-long workshops over time, during which various exploratory activities take place with members of the public working closely, on an equal footing, with stakeholders. Individuals bring their common sense and lived experience to the process; stakeholders bring their technical experience and knowledge. Working together they find powerful solutions to the most challenging issues in society. Discussions are informed by a variety of evidence based inputs including, for example:

  • Vox pop stakeholder videos
  • Expert presentations
  • Theatrical scenes
  • Think pieces, technical guides and jargon busters

Click on the image to the left to hear what stakeholders in the health and wellbeing policy field said about the importance of understanding the public views on the interaction between sport, culture and wellbeing.


For examples of HVM's work in public dialogue visit the Library or Projects areas. The primary tool for HVM's work is effective and empathetic facilitation. HVM is where stories, ideas and views matter - facilitating the engagement which allows these to be aired and shared effectively is the key our research and engagement programmes.