Mission & Services


To play a catalytic role in helping state leaders develop a collaborative system of governance, Kitchen Table Democracy (formerly the Policy Consensus Initiative) and its affiliated university program, the National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC):

  • Create and support collaborative governance capacities, structures, and networks in states
  • Offer a nationally recognized source of information on collaborative governance, consensus building, and conflict resolution
  • Demonstrate effectiveness of collaborative, consensus based processes
  • Support and foster state leaders who champion these approaches


Consultation and Technical Assistance

We work with state leaders throughout the country to initiate and strengthen programs for collaborative governance and consensus building. This assistance takes many forms, including strategizing with state officials on ways to apply collaborative governance; co-sponsoring conferences and workshops; providing information, resources, and training; and assisting with policy and program development.

Joint Projects

We partner with other organizations to explore and demonstrate how states can work on public problems collaboratively with federal, regional, and local agencies and civic and private sector organizations.


We develop and maintain communication networks to help leaders and programs exchange ideas and information. We also maintain a directory of state programs providing collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution services.

Information Resources

We produce and distribute a range of tools and resources, including publications and videos, that promote best practices and provide guidance on the use of collaborative governance.

Workshops and Trainings

We develop and deliver education and training programs for leaders in the use of collaborative governance practices. Recent workshops include “Beyond Bickering” for the Minnesota and Arkansas state legislatures, and a workshop for university programs on collaborative governance and public policy consensus building.

*Kitchen Table Democracy (formerly PCI) does not pay facilities and administration or indirect costs to any organization.

In addition, Kitchen Table Democracy and NPCC:

Conduct Applied Research and Development on key issues facing states, and ways of applying collaborative processes to address and resolve them.

Provide Forums, Colloquia, and Seminars to explore and exchange information and develop consensus-based governing models and systems.

Host Programs and Projects that help state leaders work with communities to solve problems collaboratively.

We host the University Network for Collaborative Governance, an organization for college and university centers and programs that engage in service and scholarship in order to enable citizens and their leaders to use collaborative practices to engage in dialogue, deliberation, and negotiation around public issues.

NPCC hosts three programs in Oregon as well as one bi-state program (Oregon-Washington) that serve as demonstration projects aimed at developing collaboration as a tool of governance:

  • Oregon's Kitchen Table is an online tool that allows community members to give input to elected officials, participate in civic crowdfunding, and get involved in building prosperity through Oregonian to Oregonian micro-lending. The online activities can be combined with old-fashioned face-to-face conversation and community organizing of all kinds. Kitchen Table Democracy supports the work of Oregon's Kitchen Table and replication in other states.
  • Oregon Solutions develops sustainable solutions in Oregon to community-based problems that support economic, environmental, and community objectives and are built through the collaborative efforts of businesses, government, and non-profit organizations.
  • Oregon Consensus provides a neutral forum for Oregon agencies and stakeholders to resolve conflicts and develop public policy in the areas of human services, natural resources and community development.
  • Lower Columbia Solutions Group serves as a bi-state (Oregon and Washington) clearinghouse to coordinate policy, projects and research related to dredge material disposal and sediment management on the Lower Columbia River and Littoral Cell. The group conducts research, finds sustainable solutions, and implements projects that integrate economic, social and environmental objectives for the Lower Columbia River.