Jason Diceman is a professional meeting facilitator and public participation expert.
He leads the planning and implementation of large multi-stakeholder collaborative workshops that lead to clear outputs, and the design and management of affordable and productive community engagement processes.
Since 2010, Jason has held the full time position of Senior Public Consultation Coordinator for the City of Toronto. He has lead public consultations for some of the City’s most controversial and high profile infrastructure studies, including downtown separated bike lane installations, the redesign of Front Street at Union Station, new roads and bridges in Liberty Village, contentious multi-use trails, and the Gardiner Expressway financing.
In 2004, Jason Diceman invented idea rating sheets (originally called “Dotmocracy Sheets”). These simple paper based tools make it easy to find agreements among large numbers of people, both within and outsude of meetings. Idea rating sheets are now used by hundreds of meeting facilitators in over 33 different countries, in more than 15 different languages.
In 2016 Diceman is releasing a new invention: a non-electronic hardware tool for large group decision making, called Feedback Frames.
Jason has researched consensus cultures in eco-villages in Denmark and spent six months in Venezuela investigating their communal council local participatory democracy system. He is a mentor through the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and is often invited to give workshops and present at conferences. A sample of some speaking engagements include:
Learn more about Jason Diceman's professional experience:
FeedbackFrames.com - (New Invention) group decision making tool
IdeaRatingSheets.org - Facilitators resource site.
Dot-voting VS. Idea Rating Sheets (slideshow)
Idea Rating Sheets Facilitators Handbook
Citizens' Assemblies: Wise Democracy from the Minipublic
Why I'm in Venezuela Where Mob Rule is the Law
Choosing Open Source: A guide for civil society organizations
Co-authored with Mark Surman. January 2004
Ideal Public Discourse Technology (PDF)
130 pages on how to critique and design mass communication technology to support democracy. Thesis paper. April 2001
Jason worked on the following projects as part of Lura Consulting, February 2008 to September 2009
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Rondeau
Bay Barriers & Benefits Research (2009)
Conducted a face-to-face community research survey investigating resident and cottager attitudes and behaviours related to phosphorus loading in Lake Erie.
Waterfront Toronto, Future of the Gardiner East
Environmental Assessment (2009)
Provided key input into the strategy and implementation of the GardinerConsultation.ca e-consultation website and also the web based consultation management tool used by the team.
City of Toronto, Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant
Environmental Assessment Approved Undertaking (2008-2009)
Lead author and coordinator of the Public Consultation & Communications Plan.
Portlands Energy Centre, Community Liaison
Lead coordination of the committee including the implementation of an innovative Questions and Answers document to provide a single source for up-to-date answers to questions discussed in all previous committee meetings.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and City of
Toronto, Transit City
Logistical management of multiple public open houses and wrote reports based on feedback received from participant comments.
Region of Peel, Mississauga Road Widening Class
Environmental Assessment (2008-2009)
Worked with the Project Team to design and carry out an effective consultation and communications plan to engage with the stakeholders impacted by the project.
City of Toronto, Toronto Yards Consolidation
Wrote final public consultation report.
Ontario Ministry of Environment, Wind Turbine
Noise Interpretation Document Workshop (2008)
Facilitated group deliberations and authored final report.
Waterfront Toronto, Lower Don Lands
Infrastructure Study Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (2008-2009)
Co-facilitated public forums and authored summary reports.
Region of Peel, Peel Hanlan Feedermain Class
Environmental Assessment (2008-2009)
Crafted and implemented the consultation and communications program that included stakeholder interviews, multiple public open houses, and a plain language community newsletter.
City of Toronto, Lawrence Heights Revitalization
Carried out stakeholder interviews and facilitated roundtable discussions at community forums towards development plans for this priority neighbourhood.
City of Brampton, Brampton Response to the
Provincial Growth Plan (2008)
Helped the City of Brampton design, implement and facilitate a public awareness and engagement program, which included public communication materials and a series of public meetings.
City of Pickering, Pickering Indicators (2008)
Co-facilitated an innovative half day workshop with diverse stakeholders to recognize their priorities and collect their feedback on numerous ideas presented to them.
YMCA Canada (2007)
Conducting stakeholder engagement as part of a web upgrade planning process.
Transportation and Land Use Coalition of the
Bay Area, California
Authored RFP for web site overhaul and consulted on vendor selection.
Centre for Social Innovation (2006)
Provided Dotmocracy group decision-making technique training.
Voluntary Service Overseas Canada (2006)
Consulted on technical on migration of web sites.
Ontario Council for International Cooperation (2006)
Facilitated a large group decision-making process as part of their annual Youth Symposium.
Canadian Co-operative Association (2005-2006)
Planned and implemented the redevelopment of CoopZone.coop.
Social Innovation Canada (2004-2006)
Designed and implemented an online group decision-making tool set and web site.
Toronto General Hospital (2005-2006)
Researched and consulted on public engagement system selection and implementation for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation.
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public (2005-2006)
Selected and oversaw the implementation of a multi-site custom Drupal development and content management framework for Ashoka.org sites.
Sierra Club of Canada (2003-2006)
Provided web development, consultation and training for various Sierra Club of Canada web services, including mailing lists, extranet and content management system.
City of Toronto (2005)
Co-facilitated advanced Dotmocracy based community consultation meeting for the City of Toronto concerning Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market.
The Ontario Network of Employment Skills
Training Projects (ONESTEP) (2005)
Provided strategic direction for web services.
Green Party of Canada (2003-2005)
Developed the "Living Platform" wiki system for the Green Party of Canada's collaborative policy development in 2005.
Conducted two day training course for 17 different NGO leaders using four different web systems for voluntarygateway.ca
Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and
Designed and developed a shared content management for Healthy Environment For Kids . ca
“Jason is passionate, multi-skilled and knowledgeable about tools and techniques that engage people in decisions that affect their lives. He has created Dotmocracy - a tool that enables majority opinions to float to the surface without conflict. He is friendly and personable and would be a great asset to your organization's community engagement team.”
Founder and CEO, Lura Consulting
"I had the pleasure of working with Jason Diceman on multi-stakeholder consultation regarding Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. Jason’s use of advanced Dotmocracy was particularly useful for avoiding conflict at a large public meeting and for generating a great number of ideas in a short period of time. His facilitation and skill in working with the public was excellent and the meeting was highly productive. I would be pleased to recommend him as a facilitator or public engagement consultant."
Senior Public Consultation Coordinator, Public Consultation Unit, City of Toronto
"Jason Diceman played an important role at certain points in the Public Engagement Project, helping us to select and implement public engagement software and hardware. Most specifically, he helped us pilot the use of hand-held survey devices and software in real-time settings for instant polling and reporting of audience opinions."
Project Manager Public Engagement Project, Centre for Global Health Innovation, Toronto General Hospital
"We were so thrilled to have Jason facilitate a consensus decision making workshop for our community. Jason's expertise and professionalism are combined with a genuine warmth and passion to help give organizations important skills for becoming more democratic and efficient. Jason was engaging, funny, warm and organized. His workshop fit the needs of our organization perfectly and his ability to bring passion, energy to his work and simultaneously stay grounded is very impressive. I highly recommend hiring Jason Diceman for your organization."
Co-chair, The Grove Community School
"Jason is a wonderful resource on facilitation techniques for group decision-making. I've been impressed for years by his commitment to dialogue and deliberation, and have referred many colleagues to his Dotmocracy tools."
President, RealWorld Systems
"The Centre for Social Innovation was extremely excited to partner with Jason Diceman to present his introduction to Dotmocracy. The event generated a lot of interest among our audience and was one of the best attended and most highly rated workshops we've held. Jason delivered the workshop with expertise and good humour, encouraging the group to work together in real time using the Dotmocracy process. This was the perfect strategy for explaining the process and encouraging all participants to delve deeply into this unique and promising facilitation technique. Dotmocracy is an excellent way to make decisions within a large group, facilitating equal contributions among all participants and ensuring that the final results are truly reflective of the group."
Program Manager, Centre for Social Innovation
"I was really impressed by Jason's facilitation skills throughout his workshop. I thought that he was really good at reading the energy in the room and keeping it up when needed. What struck me was the ease with which common ground could be identified with such simplicity (and places of tension, for that matter). I was a little worried that it would not be an engaging process because there wasn't as much discussion as usual, but I felt engaged, listened to, and invigorated by how much was accomplished."
Communications & Research Officer, Developing Human Resources in the Voluntary Sector
"I've been Dotmocracized twice and loved every minute! An excellent energizing way to bring interactive brainstorming to a whole new level. A process that gets EVERYONE involved! One of the things that I appreciated the most about Jason's facilitation technique is his "energizing style" and his ability to be inclusive of everyone."
Executive Director, WomenSpace
"I am very appreciative of how user friendly you made the [web] training and of course the time you took to explain everything in non-techy terms."
Beth De Long
Executive Director, Pillar - Voluntary Sector Network
"Jason is an up and coming large-group deliberation consultant and facilitator who demonstrates innovative approaches, diverse insight and sensible implementation in a variety of environments. I look forward to following his career in Canada and beyond."
Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
"Jason Diceman is a dedicated and skilled practitioner who excels in creating opportunities for people to reach understanding and agreement on complex and challenging issues. I highly recommend him for any such undertaking."
Dr. Joanna Ashworth
Director, Dialogue Programs, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
"Jason Diceman is a promising civic entrepreneur who has developed new democratic governance strategies as close to home as Toronto and as far way as Venezuela. This breadth of experiences, combined with his natural curiosity and commitment, make him an effective and enjoyable person to work with. He is particularly innovative in his thinking about ways to combine different media for engagement - online tools, video, face-to-face meetings - and ways to help groups of people make decisions (such as his dotmocracy voting process) on the basis of their deliberations."
Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Washington, DC.
Author of The Next Form of Democracy
"Jason is an innovator. He brings a combination of expertise, enthusiasm and excitement to his work."
Senior Partner, The Deliberation Network
“I've met Jason a few times at conferences and found him energetic, committed to participation, eager to help, respectful, and determined to have a positive influence on the world. I've asked him questions about online discussion and dialogue tools and techniques and he seems to have a LOT of insight to share, with subtle understandings about how to match tools to the needs of the group. It's nice to meet a consultant who blends passion with such subtlety of insight.”
Facilitator and ToP Trainer, ICA Associates Inc.
"A definite asset to any engagement team."
Co-Chair, Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2)
"Jason is a firm believer in the power of dialogue and deliberation and, more importantly, he is among those who walk the talk - his willingness to share his Dotmocracy tool with everyone is just one example of both his commitment to public participation and his ability to make a valuable contribution to this field."
Partner, Ascentum Inc.
"I have found Jason's insight on public engagement to be very useful."
Jose Reyes, ACP, MCIP
Policy and Land Use Supervisor, Rocky View Municipal District, Albert, Canada
It's nice to know that there are many other people out there doing similar and related work to myself. Following is a list organizations and people who provide concrete methods for conducting large group consensus decision-making, deliberative democracy and various models of flat organizing and participatory governance. This list is helpful for recognizing and orienting how my work fits in this emerging sector.
I specifically include organizations that have a strong emphasis on offline solutions (i.e. not Internet dependent) although they may use some web services and high-end technology.
In priority of similarity to my ideal...
Provide a complete solution for deliberative democracy where hundreds of
citizens participate in "21st Century Town Meetings". (USA)
Consultants who specialises in running public and stakeholder engagement processes, using online, paper-based and face-to-face methods. (UK)
They provide leading edge tools for online digital democracy. They have many successful projects of various scales are definitely worth following. (UK)
Consultants on democratic workplaces.
Consulting and service providers for public consultation processes. (Canada)
Online and offline tools and facilitation. (USA)
Great consensus group decision-making consultant Craig Freshley also privdes free materials.
Larry Dressler is another consensus consultant. There are many international consultants that provide materials and training in consensus processes, although they all tend to focus on small groups (under 20) while the Co-op Tools Dotmocracy process is designed for larger groups of over 50.
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
This association defines the democracy sector within North American (USA).
Resources and consulting on community engagement processes.(Canada)
The Community Planning Handbook
An excellent resource for conducting citizen consultation and engagement into neighbourhood development.
International network of change consultants.
Think tank devoted to studying and improving high-performance collaboration.
James S. Fishkin has defined a technique that combines polling and deliberation to recognize informed public opinions.
Provide workbooks for team development. The focus is on smaller groups in traditional business stuctures.
Electronic audience polling technology.
Expensive online syncronous group decision-making software.
Another expensive online group decision-making and collaboration service.
This list is incomplete and in progress. I'd appreciate suggestions for who else to add.