Martín Carcasson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Communication Studies department of Colorado State University, and the founder and director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD). The CPD is dedicated to enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem-solving.
From their website: “Our aim is to improve the way our community is able to talk through complex issues so that we can arrive at better decisions. Deliberation requires open spaces for citizens to come together, good and fair information to help structure the conversation and skilled facilitators to guide the process. The CPD is dedicated to providing these three key ingredients to Northern Colorado.”
I know Dr. Carcasson from my time as an undergraduate at CSU where taking one of his classes and doing well in (and getting excited by) material I was unfamiliar with helped inspire me to go to graduate school. I’ve always appreciated Dr. Carcasson’s thoughtful and unconventional approach to democracy, particularly his framing of “wicked problems” and not “wicked people,” which helps diverse groups of stakeholders understand their shared values in order to achieve real solutions.
On this week’s show, Dr. Carcasson shares with me his journey into academia (which in many ways mirrors my own), his pivot to becoming what he calls a “pracademic,” how the model created by the CPD can be applied elsewhere and at larger levels of government, and a ton more. This episode touches on many of my favorite things – collaborative problem solving, civic engagement, rhetorical theory, and my beloved alma mater Colorado State University and its outstanding Communication Studies Department.
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