Person–person–engagement is key to making our communities better. But they need to be planned and mediated in order to minimize bad actors, and maximize resident empowerment.

When you begin to design your activation or outreach, it’s helpful to think of some key parts of the system, so you know:

Who are you designing for? Understand and have a hunch about the Players you are working with and designing for, what titles they might have, and how their behavior archetypes might impact their decision making.

Once you have a clear hunch about the Players, you can decide what part of the Journey are you designing: awareness, considering, deciding, or acting.

Finally, you can design activations across a range of Situations, using Tactics which will be most applicable.



Working at the civic scale is difficult: the pace is quick, there are a myriad amount of players, the stakes are high and often unforgiving, and time is short. In our experience those who work in government or in the civic sphere aim (for the most part) to improve their fellow-residents lives. But they might be constrained by a lack of resources (time and money), rules designed in an earlier age, or an actively hostile bureaucracy.

Tactical Democracy is a toolkit where you can use to host better dialogue with those you serve, gain confidence that solutions to policy problems are just, and help you manage change. This is incomplete, and will of course not encompass all contexts and situations. Where we fall short, we ask for your forgiveness and we ask for your help in improving this toolkit.


Is this for you?

We envision this will be useful for anyone who is working with a large set of actors trying to solve thorny issues. Throughout we have in our minds eye the Civic Practitioner who works everyday to deliver high caliber civic products and services to their constituents and residents.

Everything here is open for you to use under a Creative Commons license. We also ask that if you use part of the toolkit to please snap a photo and send it to us, with any observation or feedback.


Tactical Democracy is a toolkit to help you make meaningful person–to–person engagement in order to empower successful communities.

Learn about the Mindsets you need, how the Players behave and act; what Situations might be best to
deploy Tactics for engagement, to move the Players through their Journey, creating deeper empowerment.

Whoa, there's a lot of terms – check out the Glossary of Terms, and if you want to see everything, goto the sitemap.

Read some blog posts: