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50,000 Voices Under One Tent

thiscitylife:

Inside Talking Transition: New York City’s biggest public engagement project

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Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Leave it to New York City to come up with new ways to use a tent. No longer just an outdoor shelter for camping, social events and festivals, the Big Apple recently used one to host its largest ever public engagement exercise, Talking Transition.

Last week, I was invited by the Broadbent Institute to a luncheon with guest speaker Andrea Batista Schlesinger, a deputy director at the Open Society Foundations. She shared lessons from the Society’s Talking Transition program, a massive project centred around building a tent that became a public gathering place to collect ideas from over 50,000 people. The initiative occurred during a pivotal moment when New York City transitioned to a new mayor. 

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