Penn Project for Civic Engagement

The Penn Project for Civic Engagement (PPCE) develops, implements and facilitates public deliberations on important policy issues.  We bring stakeholders together to identify and act on problems in their community, business or organization.  Our structured dialogues unite stakeholder values with expert knowledge and leadership to produce momentum for real solutions.

In short, PPCE turns talk into action.


About Penn Project for Civic Engagement

The Penn Project for Civic Engagement develops, implements and facilitates public deliberations on important policy issues.  We bring stakeholders together to identify and act on problems in their community, business or organization.  Our structured dialogues unite stakeholder values with expert knowledge and leadership to produce momentum for real solutions.

PPCE’s director and co-founder Dr. Harris Sokoloff is one of the nation's leading experts in civic dialogue.  Co-founder Chris Satullo, a former editorial page editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, now serves as vice president of news and civic dialogue at WHYY.  Sokoloff and Satullo have been leading civic dialogue projects around the region since 1995.

Since 1995, the staff at the Penn Project for Civic Engagement has worked with political, business and community leaders to help build bridges to address difficult challenges and create progress.

Our role as a neutral, honest broker helps bring diverse perspectives to the work. Our close partnership with WHYY radio and television public broadcasting stations in the Greater Delaware Valley enables the Project to work with news media to amplify the citizen voice.

Our work helps citizens, governments and companies:

  • Identify and talk about vital issues in their communities and organizations,
  • Create insights and solutions for those issues, and
  • Connect to actors who are responsible for those key issues.

The movement from talk to action is an enduring challenge of public deliberation. We structure civic engagement to have tangible impact on civic life – guiding the work of citizens and policy-makers alike.

In short, PPCE turns talk into action.


Turning Talk Into Action: How We Do It

We use deliberative processes strategically to bring people from different perspectives together.  They work through different experiences, understandings and viewpoints to reach new insights and solutions.  PPCE communicates citizen input to decision makers – using written and oral presentations that provide meaningful guidance for constructive action.

PPCE deliberative forums and workshops lead to:

  • People listening to differing points of view;
  • Establishing steps to resolve sticky issues;
  • Short term and long term goal setting;
  • People from a variety of economic and cultural backgrounds participating in structured, constructive dialogue;
  • People saying “This is the first time I’ve ever been asked and, I believe, actually heard!”
  • Generating public support for ideas  and actions;
  • Uncovering the language and ideas that leaders can use to connect their governing visions to public and organizational values.

Our Partners


For more information, contact:

Dr. Harris Sokoloff, Director
215-898-7371
harriss@gse.upenn.edu

Linda Breitstein, Project Manager
215-898-1112
lindabre@gse.upenn.edu