WebDialogues have successfully brought together lawmakers, educators, students, citizens, and stakeholders since 2001. Topics included public health, environmental issues, education, and public policy. The following resources highlight the success of selected WebDialogues. For copies, email Lmaak “at”

"Listening to Democracy's Next Generation: Using Web Dialogue to Connect Lawmakers and Students"

Article describes two WebDialogues in which Delegate Kris Amundson invited high school students to discuss Virginia’s state budget and available revenues. Written by Kris Amundson, Laurie Maak, and Kelly Sharbel. Published by the National Civic Review, Winter 2009.

“Web-Based Dialogue: What is the Next Frontier?”

Article summarizes a WestEd-hosted WebDialogue in which twenty individuals with experience hosting, developing, facilitating, and/or researching web-based public engagement discussed and considered aspects of successful web-based engagements. Written by Tom Beierle, Laurie Maak, and Sally Hedman. Published by US EPA Public Involvement Network News, Fall 2009.

“Increasing Public Participation, Understanding, and Transparency of the Legislative Process Through the Use of Web Dialogue”

Article describes Washington State House of Representatives’ pilot project to increase transparency of and expand public access to the legislative process. It is based on public engagement challenges of the Washington legislature and lessons learned from two WestEd WebDialogues that the Washington State House co-produced with two legislative committees: the Health Care and Wellness Committee and the Higher Education Committee. Co-authored by Laurie Maak and Rich Nafziger. Published by the National Civic Review, Summer 2008.

“The Great Lakes Water Quality Web Dialogue”

Article describes bilingual international dialogue hosted by the International Joint Commission (IJC) as part of IJC’s public engagement regarding the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Written by Laurie Maak, Frank Bevacqua, Paula Fedeski-Koundakjian, and Nicholas Dewar. Published by GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communication in How E-Government is Changing Society Strengthening Democracy, Fall 2007.

“Public consultation in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence river basin: Online and face-to-face”

Article compares the International Joint Commission’s (IJC's) public outreach strategies and examines the challenges and successes of their first online fully bilingual dialogue. It is based on The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Review Dialogue, developed by WestEd and hosted by the IJC. Written by Laurie Maak, Frank Bevacqua, Paula Fedeski-Koundakjian, and Nicholas Dewar. Published by National Civic Review, Summer 2006.

“National Student WebDialogues”

Guest column describes how web dialogues can engage students in focused, informed, and facilitated discussions about issues important to them. Authored by Laurie Maak, and John Minkler. Published by Education Commission of the States in Citizenship Matters, 2006.

“Bringing the Public and the Government Together Through On-Line Dialogues”

Chapter presents insights from Laurie Maak, WestEd’s WebDialogues Developer, and colleagues. It was published in “The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century”, edited by John Gastil and Peter Levine, 2005.

“Web Dialogues Facilitate Citizen-Lawmaker Communication in California”

Article describes planned legislative WebDialogues. Written by Laurie Maak, Michael Ricketts, and Bruce Hamlett. Published by National Civic Review, June 2005.

“National Dialogues for Public Participation”

Article describes a national dialogue, Libraries as a Community Resource for Environmental Information, produced under a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Written by Robert D. Carlitz, Laurie Maak, and Patricia Bonner. Published by U.S. General Services Administration, Intergovernmental Solutions, 2001.