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What is Choicework?
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"Choicework" discussion guides offer a different way of approaching problems, one that Public Agenda has used to stimulate public debate for more than 25 years.
With Choicework, we're not claiming to have the "correct" solution to a problem. What you'll find in our discussion guides are three or four different points of view on how to address an issue. These viewpoints are drawn from what the experts say about an issue and from what the public thinks about it, based on surveys and focus groups. Each point of view comes with the arguments for and against, along with some potential costs and tradeoffs -- because every plan has both pros and cons and we believe it's critical for people to have a sense of the big picture. We focus on what each problem might mean to the average person, and because Public Agenda isn't pushing a particular solution, we're not interested in sugarcoating any options or trashing other points of view.
The broad choices we present are designed to be discussion starters, not a political program. They aren’t the only ways of dealing with the problem, nor are the viewpoints mutually exclusive. It's common for people to mix and match different perspectives, and you may have your own ideas we haven't considered. But each choice offers a distinctive diagnosis of the issue, and each leads to a distinctive prescription. Public Agenda does not advocate one approach over another, but simply seeks to clarify alternatives and promote discussion on the issues.
Since these guides are meant to be a starting point, we're ready to talk about ways of updating the choices -- let us know what you think in the Discuss section.
Our current Choiceworks cover:
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